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The Department of Pharmacology is a leading center for research and training in the discipline of pharmacology, and is renowned for its strength in defining basic cellular and molecular mechanisms of signal transduction, elucidating molecular structure and function, and using computational science to translate basic knowledge into drug discovery relevant to treatment of cancer, cardiovascular and neurological diseases.


U.S. News & World Report 
has ranked UC San Diego's
Department of Pharmacology
in the top 5 in Best Global Universities for Pharmacology and Toxicology since 2017

Our department has consistently ranked 2nd or 3rd  amongst other Pharmacology departments in total NIH funding throughout the last decade.



Cutting-edge seminars are hosted almost every Tuesday in the UC San Diego Department of Pharmacology.  

October 13, 2020

Gordon Mills, Ph.D.
Oregon Health & Science University
“Targeting adaptive responses to therapy: PARP inhibitors as a model”
12:00 pm, Webinar Video

October 20, 2020

Frank Bennett, Ph.D.
Ionis Pharmaceuticals
“Antisense drugs for genetic diseases”
12:00 pm, Webinar Video 

November 3, 2020

Andrew Tobin, Ph.D.
University of Glasgow, UK
“Title to be announced"
12:00 pm, Zoom Webinar

November 10, 2020

Cédric Blanpain, Ph.D.
Universite Libre de Bruelles, Belgium
“Mechanisms regulating tumor transition states”
12:00 pm, Zoom Webinar 

2020 Fall and 2021 Winter Schedules

In the News

October 2020

Congratulations to J. Silvio Gutkind, PhD who's been named Chair of the Department of Pharmacology at the UC San Diego School of Medicine.  Dr. Gutkind succeeds Joan Heller Brown, PhD, who served as chair of the Department of Pharmacology for 18 years. The department originated in 1987, with founding chair Palmer Taylor, PhD.

Robert Tukey, PhD and Louise Laurent, MD, PhD awarded $5M grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to implement a program of widespread testing for COVID-19 in San Ysidro, focused on pregnant women and children.

September 2020

Congratulations to Tim Baffi, PhD, a BMS graduate student and pharmacological sciences trainee, who has been selected as the recipient of the 14th annual 2020Roland K. Robins Pharmacology Outstanding Thesis Award.

Congratulations to Chair Joan Heller Brown, PhD who was selected as a 2020 Fellow of the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (FASPET), an honor bestowed on members who have demonstrated excellence via their overall contributions to pharmacology and the Society.

Congratulations to JoAnn Trejo, PhD who was selected for the 2020 ASCB Prize for Excellence in Inclusivity.

Congratulations to Tannishtha Reya, PhD who has been selected to receive the Cancer Research Institute’s 2020 Fredrick W. Alt Award for New Discoveries in Immunology.

David Gonzalez, PhD is featured in "How to Spot Patients Most Likely to Die from Blood Infections" for a study published on September 3, 2020 in Cell.  


July 2020

Congratulations to JoAnn Trejo, PhD who was selected as a Fellow by the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB). Election as a Fellow of ASCB is an honor bestowed upon members by their peers in recognition for their meritorious efforts to advance cell biology and/or its applications and for their service to ASCB.

June 2020

Congratulations to Chair Joan Heller Brown, PhD who was elected as a Distinguished Scientist of the American Heart Association for 2020, a designation which honors those who have made extraordinary contributions to cardiovascular and stroke research. 

Congratulations to Michael Karin, PhD who was selected for the 2020 AACR-G.H.A. Clowes Award for Outstanding Basic Cancer Research.

May 2020

Krishna Sriram, postdoc fellow and Paul Insel, MD are featured in "What is the ACE2 receptor, how is it connected to coronavirus and why might it be key to treating COVID-19? The experts explain."

April 2020

Congratulations to David Gonzalez, PhD  for being selected as a Chan Zuckerberg Initiative awardee to support the study of Inflammatory Bowel Disease along with UC San Diego colleagues Hiutung Chu and Mamata Sivagnanam.

February 2020

Michael Karin, PhD is featured in "Too Much of a Good Thing May Lead to Too Much of a Liver As Well."

January, 2020

Congratulations to Chair Joan Heller Brown, PhD who was selected for the 2020 Robert R. Ruffolo Career Achievement Awardin Pharmacology from ASPET for her scientific achievements and significant contributions to the field of pharmacology.

All News


April 2019
Pharmacology faculty attend the Experimental Biology meeting in Orlando, Florida.

Pictured are (L-R) Drs. K. Brandl, P. Taylor, S. Gutkind, T. Handel, P. Insel, J. Trejo, J. Zhang, J. Heller Brown and A. Newton.

February 2019
Nobel Laureate Dr. Robert J. Lefkowitz (Duke) presents the 46th MilliporeSigma Lectureship Series at UC San Diego.
Dinner with Dr. Lefkowitz
Pictured are (L-R) Drs. J. Zhang, E. Dennis, T. Handel, P. Taylor, P. Insel, A. Newton, J. Trejo, S. Taylor, L. Brunton, J.H. Brown, R. Lefkowitz, J-P. Changeux and R. Sunahara.