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Pitt Department of Pharmacology Announces Name Change


PITTSBURGH , March 2008 — The Department of Pharmacology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine has changed its name to the Department of Pharmacology and Chemical Biology. This new name reflects how the research and teaching activities have evolved in the modern practice of pharmacology.

“Research in the department emphasizes the application of basic chemical principles to the understanding of cell signaling events, with these new insights then translated into the creation and testing of new therapeutic strategies,” said Bruce A. Freeman, Ph.D., Irwin Fridovich professor and chair of the Department of Pharmacology and Chemical Biology. “Areas of discovery in the department that are warmly embraced by this approach include drug development, cancer pharmacology, organ systems pharmacology, receptor function and DNA repair processes.”

The principal goal of the department remains the same – to create an intellectual and physical environment in which teaching and research in pharmacology and chemical biology are pursued as one common enterprise. The major responsibilities of the department include: educating medical students and physicians in the rationale for drug selection; training pharmacologists; developing fundamentally important new knowledge in the biomedical sciences and drug discovery; and providing drug information and consultation services to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), the University of Pittsburgh and the local community.

Founded in 1961, the Department of Pharmacology and Chemical Biology has about 50 primary faculty, 30 secondary faculty appointees, 30 postdoctoral fellows, 20 graduate students and 30 staff members. Ranked eighth nationally in National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding, the department is one of three in the nation to be ranked in the top 15 in NIH funding the past five years. For more information, contact Dr. Freeman, at 412-648-9319 or, or visit the department’s new website at

The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine is one of the nation’s leading medical schools, renowned for its curriculum that emphasizes both the science and humanity of medicine and its remarkable growth in NIH grant support, which has more than doubled since 1998. For fiscal year 2006, the University ranked sixth out of more than 3,000 entities receiving NIH support with respect to the research grants awarded to its faculty. The majority of these grants were awarded to the faculty of the medical school. As one of the university’s six Schools of the Health Sciences, the School of Medicine is the academic partner to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Their combined mission is to train tomorrow’s health care specialists and biomedical scientists, engage in groundbreaking research that will advance understanding of the causes and treatments of disease and participate in the delivery of outstanding patient care.


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