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Mission & Objectives

The mission of our program is to provide graduate training in the pharmacological sciences and prepare students for careers in academia, biotechnology, government, and the pharmaceutical industry. The objectives of the program are

  • To teach the principles of modern pharmacology and demonstrate the application of basic research to understand and treat disease,
  • To create a community of faculty trainers that encourages and facilitates innovative and interdisciplinary thesis research addressing important biological problems,
  • To train students to become effective scientific communicators through speech, writing, and teaching,
  • To promote career development, and
  • To guide students in the responsible conduct of research.


The mechanisms, regulation, and physiological consequences of signal transduction are fundamental concepts for understanding drug action and unifying research themes of faculty in the graduate field of pharmacology. The training program engages faculty throughout the Cornell campus. Although based in the College of Veterinary Medicine with members from the Departments of Molecular Medicine, Biomedical Sciences, and Microbiology and Immunology, the program also comprises faculty from the Departments of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Neurobiology and Behavior, and Applied and Engineering Physics on the Cornell campus. The program is uniquely positioned to train students in pharmacology through its integration of biomedical science expertise in a veterinary college with outstanding physical and biological science programs on a single campus.


Avery August
Avery August

mechanisms of signal transduction by non-receptor tyrosine Kinases; mechanisms of calcium signaling; regulation of actin cytoskeleton dynamics

Dr. Barbara Baird
Barbara Baird

structures and molecular mechanisms of cell surface immunoreceptors

Richard Cerione
Richard Cerione

mechanisms of signal transduction by growth factors

Josh Chappie
Structural biology, biophysics, protein biochemistry, bacterial pathogenesis and defense systems, infection/agent, intracellular trafficking, nucleotide-driven molecular machines, molecular membrane remodeling, protein-nucleic acid interactions

Ruth Collins
Ruth Collins

pharmacology; cancer cell biology; small GTPase regulation of intracellular traffic and cellular growth control

Scott Coonrod
Scott Coonrod

reproductive physiology; molecular and cellular physiology; epigenetic reprogramming during the egg-to-embryo transition; mechanisms by which specific histone modifications are dynamically regulated during hormone-dependent gene transcription in breast cancer cells

Dr. Brian Crane
Brian Crane

metalloenzym structure and catalysis; protein electron transfer; nitric oxide enzymology; bacterial chemotaxis; circadian clock photo sensors

Robin Dando
Robin Dando

behavioral physiology; molecular and cellular physiology; neural and sensory physiology; physiological genomics; neurotransmitter interactions and signaling events which occurring within the taste system; behavioral science; human sensory analysis
Dr. Joseph Fetcho
Joseph Fetcho

motor control; regeneration; sleep

Clare Fewtrell
Role of calcium in stimulus-response coupling
Maria Garcia-Garcia
Maria Garcia-Garcia

:developmental biology in mice and flies; genetics of developmental mechanisms that influence embryonic morphology

Gunther Hollopeter
:membrane trafficking in multicellular systems, molecular machinery, in vivo imaging, C.elegans genetics
Toshi Kawate
Toshi Kawate

:structures and mechanics of membrane proteins that regulate extracellular signaling

Dr. Michael Kotlikoff
Michael Kotlikoff

calcium signaling; molecular and cellular biology; gene targeting

Dr. Natasza Kurpios
Natasza Kurpios

signaling factors that shape gut morphology during development

Roy Levine
Roy Levine

cancer cell biology; lung development
Dr. David Lin
David Lin

axon guidance and target selection during development of mouse olfactory systems using genetics in vitro and genomic approaches; developmental biology; olfaction; azon guidance

Hening Lin
Hening Lin

protein post-translational modifications with a focus on nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) dependent modifications and diphthamide

Maurine Linder
Maurine Linder

regulation of cell signaling by protein lipidation. 

Dr. Linda Nowak
Linda Nowak

neuropharmacology; biophysical and molecular analysis of glutamate receptor channels

Robert Oswald
Robert Oswald

pharmacology and biophysics of neurotransmitter receptors; protein structure

Mark Roberson, PhD
Mark Roberson

molecular endocrinology in reproductive tissues

Picture of Dr. Brian Rudd
Brian Rudd

Developmental biology; mechanisms regulating the host response to infection
Carolyn Sevier
Carolyn Sevier

signaling of cellular oxidative stress; molecular mechanisms used by cellular pathways that sense and signal redox imbalances within the cell

Holger Sondermann
Holger Sondermann

structural biology; cell signaling; biochemistry; biophysics

Gregory Weiland
Gregory Weiland

neuropharmacology; receptor mechanisms
Dr. Gary Whittaker
Gary Whittaker

virology and cell biology

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