Pharmacology

Pharmacology is more than the study of the mode of action of drugs. It is a science which uses the basic concepts of biology and chemistry to determine how drugs affect the organism; it gives a unique perspective in understanding how cells, organ systems, and organisms function. Unlike other basic science fields, pharmacology is a special field in which one can systematically investigate the mechanism for a biological event--from the molecular level to the whole animal. Pharmacology also allows us to study how biological systems fail to function, providing information on the etiology of disease. Pharmacologic research is essential for the development, testing and clinical use of drugs to treat disease.

The objective of pharmacology as an area of concentration for biology majors is to provide students with knowledge of the basic principles for the actions of drugs and toxic substances. In addition, it provides the opportunity to apply these principles in a research setting. Ultimately, an introduction of pharmacology to undergraduates will encourage interested students to consider graduate study in the field of pharmacology leading to a career in academic research or in the pharmaceutical industry.

Students fulfilling the requirements of the Concentration in Pharmacology will receive a note on their official transcript.

Area Advisor

Area Advisor Area Faculty
Dr. Rochelle D. Schwartz-Bloom, Department of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology
phone: 684-5181 e-mail: schwa001@duke.edu

Bahie Abou-Donia, Tso-Pang Yao, Cynthia Kuhn, Donald McDonnell, Victor Nader, Chris Newgard, Anne Marie Pendergast, Xiao Fang Wang, John York, Sally York, Daniel Lew, Sally Kornbluth, David MacAlpine, Anthony Means, Rob Weschler-Reya, Tannishta Reya, Timothy Haystead, Chris Counter, Gerry Blobe, Ed Levin, Dennis Thiele, Jeffrey Rathmell, Chris Kontos, Richard Whorton, Michael Ehlers, Debora Muoio, Vasanth Rao, Victoria Seewaldt, David Kirsch, David Goldstein

 

Pre/Corequisites

Chemistry

  • CHEM 101DL Core Concepts in Chemistry OR
  • CHEM 110DL Honors Chemistry: Core Concepts in Context OR
  • CHEM 21 General Chemistry Credit

AND

  • CHEM 201DL Organic Chemistry

NOTE: CHEM 202L and CHEM 210DL are also recommended for pre-med, pre-vet, biochem and pharm students.

Math

  • MATH 111L Laboratory Calculus I OR
  • MATH 121 Introductory Calculus I OR
  • MATH 21 Introductory Calculus I OR
  • BOTH MATH 105L/106L Laboratory Calculus and Functions I and II

AND

  • MATH 112L Laboratory Calculus II OR
  • MATH 122L Introductory Calculus II OR
  • MATH 22 Introductory Calculus II OR
  • STA 102 Biostats OR STA 101 above OR
  • BIOLOGY 304 Biological Data Analysis (cannot also count as an elective)

Physics

  • PHYSICS 141L General Physics I OR
  • PHYSICS 151L Introductory Mechanics OR
  • PHYSICS 161L Introductory Experimental Physics I OR
  • PHYSICS 25 (AP credit)

NOTE: PHYSICS 142L is also recommended for students interested in pre-med, pre-vet, biochem and pharm.

Biology Major Requirements (10 Courses)

Gateway Courses

Biology Area Requirements

Select 1 course from EACH of the following three areas. Courses listed in more than one area may only be used to meet one area requirement.

Pharmacology Concentration Electives (5 Courses)

  • BIOLOGY 224 Fundamentals of Neuroscience (B) OR BCH 301 Introduction to Biochemistry
  • PHARM 393 / 493 Research Independent Study with a concentration area faculty member or approval of the concentration area advisor
  • PHARM 394 / 494 Research Independent Study with a concentration area faculty member or approval of the concentration area advisor
  • PHARM 350 Pharmacology: Drug Actions and Reactions
  • PHARM 360 Drugs, Brain, and Behavior or PHARM 370S Pharmacogenoimcs and Personalized Medicine

Additional Courses of Interest (not required)

  • PHR 471S  Reward and Addiction
  • PHR 293/294   Research Independent Study in Science Education (Service Learning)
  • PHR 533  Essentials of Pharmacology & Toxicology (permission only)
  • PHR 534  Interdisciplinary Approach to Pharmacology (prereq PHR 350)
  • PHR 535  Interdisciplinary Approach to Pharmacology II (prereq PHR 350)
  • PHR 554  Mammalian Toxicology

Lab Experience Requirement

Students are required to take 2 full lab courses in addition to the gateway courses BIOLOGY 201L/202L. For the Pharmacology Concentration, this requirement is fulfilled by taking PHARM 493 and BIOLOGY 329L. If taking Cell Bio 503 or BIo 329D in lieu of 329L, the second lab can be fulfilled via an organismal diversity or ecology course with lab or by completing an additional elective with lab.

Capstone Course Requirement

You must take at least 1 full 400-level or higher biology 'Capstone' course or other approved capstone course. Independent study can count towards this requirement if it is a second semester continuation.