Pharmacology and Toxicology

The Pharmacology and Toxicology research track trains students to determine mechanisms of action for pharmaceuticals, identify potential drug targets, and define adverse effects of chemicals such as drugs, industrial chemicals and environmental pollutants.

Pharmacology and toxicology are allied scientific disciplines concerned with investigations of physiological and biochemical actions of endogenous compounds and xenobiotics on living tissues. These studies range in scope from investigations at the molecular level to clinical pharmacological and toxicological responses in humans. The ability of pharmacologists to explain basic mechanisms of drug action in living cells and biological systems has permitted the development of a rational approach to drug design and use. In addition, pharmacologists and toxicologists study compounds to gain a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms of toxicity.

The degree offered in this track is the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Pharmacology and Toxicology.


The goal of the program is to train students in state-of-the-art approaches in basic research in pharmacology, toxicology, environmental toxicology, chemical pharmacology, proteomics and closely related sub-disciplines. The programs prepare students for careers in independent research or related careers in academia, industry or government.




Application Requirements

Students applying to this program should have a bachelor's degree in pharmacy, chemistry or the biological sciences or a doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) degree with adequate preparation in mathematics. Applications are accepted through the Arizona Biological and Biomedical Sciences Program (ABBS).

Apply to ABBS



Catharine Smith, PhD
Associate Professor, Pharmacology and Toxicology
BIO5 Institute Member
Skaggs Building 136