Pharmacology

Pharmacology is the branch of biology concerned with the study of drug action, where a drug can be broadly defined as any man-made, natural, or endogenous (from within the body) molecule which exerts a biochemical or physiological effect on the cell, tissue, organ, or organism (sometimes the word pharmacon is used as a term to encompass these endogenous and exogenous bioactive species). More specifically, it is the study of the interactions that occur between a living organism and chemicals that affect normal or abnormal biochemical function. If substances have medicinal properties, they are considered pharmaceuticals.

The field encompasses drug composition and properties, synthesis and drug design, molecular and cellular mechanisms, organ/systems mechanisms, signal transduction/cellular communication, molecular diagnostics, interactions, toxicology, chemical biology, therapy, and medical applications and antipathogenic capabilities. The two main areas of pharmacology are pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics. Pharmacodynamics studies the effects of a drug on biological systems, and Pharmacokinetics studies the effects of biological systems on a drug. In broad terms, pharmacodynamics discusses the chemicals with biological receptors, and pharmacokinetics discusses the absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion (ADME) of chemicals from the biological systems. Pharmacology is not synonymous with pharmacy and the two terms are frequently confused. Pharmacology, a biomedical science, deals with the research, discovery, and characterization of chemicals which show biological effects and the elucidation of cellular and organismal function in relation to these chemicals. In contrast, pharmacy, a health services profession, is concerned with application of the principles learned from pharmacology in its clinical settings; whether it be in a dispensing or clinical care role. In either field, the primary contrast between the two are their distinctions between direct-patient care, for pharmacy practice, and the science-oriented research field, driven by pharmacology.

The origins of clinical pharmacology date back to the Middle Ages in Avicenna's The Canon of Medicine, Peter of Spain's Commentary on Isaac, and John of St Amand's Commentary on the Antedotary of Nicholas. Clinical pharmacology owes much of its foundation to the work of William Withering. Pharmacology as a scientific discipline did not further advance until the mid-19th century amid the great biomedical resurgence of that period. Before the second half of the nineteenth century, the remarkable potency and specificity of the actions of drugs such as morphine, quinine and digitalis were explained vaguely and with reference to extraordinary chemical powers and affinities to certain organs or tissues. The first pharmacology department was set up by Rudolf Buchheim in 1847, in recognition of the need to understand how therapeutic drugs and poisons produced their effects.

Early pharmacologists focused on natural substances, mainly plant extracts. Pharmacology developed in the 19th century as a biomedical science that applied the principles of scientific experimentation to therapeutic contexts. Today pharmacologists use genetics, molecular biology, biochemistry, and other advanced tools to transform information about molecular mechanisms and targets into therapies directed against disease, defects or pathogens, and create methods for preventative care, diagnostics, and ultimately personalized medicine.

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Matching Pharmacology Colleges

University of California-Santa Barbara

Four or more years; Public; $39,516 average out-state tuition; $11,502 average in-state tuition

Tulane University of Louisiana

Four or more years; Private not for profit; $48,920 average out-state tuition; $48,920 average in-state tuition

Northeastern University

Four or more years; Private not for profit; $48,560 average out-state tuition; $48,560 average in-state tuition

Stony Brook University

Four or more years; Public; $24,180 average out-state tuition; $6,670 average in-state tuition

Georgetown University

Four or more years; Private not for profit; $51,720 average out-state tuition; $51,720 average in-state tuition

The University of Tennessee-Health Science Center

Four or more years; Public; $27,989 average out-state tuition; $8,961 average in-state tuition

CUNY York College

Four or more years; Public; $13,920 average out-state tuition; $6,530 average in-state tuition

Scholarships for Pharmacology Majors

Bullet name award deadline Link
 

Churchill Scholarship

Winston Churchill Foundation of the United States

Up to $60,000 November 02, 2020 See Details
 

Churchill Scholarship

Winston Churchill Foundation of the United States

award

Up to $60,000

deadline

November 02, 2020
See Details
 

SMART Scholarship

Department of Defense

Up to $38,000 December 01, 2020 See Details
 

SMART Scholarship

Department of Defense

award

Up to $38,000

deadline

December 01, 2020
See Details
 

Bess Heflin Fellowship

University of Texas at Austin, Office of Graduate Studies

$19,000 Varies See Details
 

Bess Heflin Fellowship

University of Texas at Austin, Office of Graduate Studies

award

$19,000

deadline

Varies
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President's Scholarship - Texas Wesleyan University

Texas Wesleyan University

Up to $12,000 Varies See Details
 

President's Scholarship - Texas Wesleyan University

Texas Wesleyan University

award

Up to $12,000

deadline

Varies
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Keynote Scholarship

National Space Club

$10,000 December 02, 2020 See Details
 

Keynote Scholarship

National Space Club

award

$10,000

deadline

December 02, 2020
See Details
 

Barry Goldwater Scholarship

Idaho State University

Up to $7,000 Varies See Details
 

Barry Goldwater Scholarship

Idaho State University

award

Up to $7,000

deadline

Varies
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Biology Advantage Scholarship - University of Montana, Montana Tech

University of Montana at Montana Tech

$6,700 Varies See Details
 

Biology Advantage Scholarship - University of Montana, Montana Tech

University of Montana at Montana Tech

award

$6,700

deadline

Varies
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Marjorie Skiff Rose Scholarship

University of Colorado Boulder

$6,640 March 13, 2021 See Details
 

Marjorie Skiff Rose Scholarship

University of Colorado Boulder

award

$6,640

deadline

March 13, 2021
See Details
 

Montana Minds Scholarship - University of Montana, Montana Tech

University of Montana at Montana Tech

$6,000 Varies See Details
 

Montana Minds Scholarship - University of Montana, Montana Tech

University of Montana at Montana Tech

award

$6,000

deadline

Varies
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Titmus Foundation Scholarship

Averett University

$5,000 Varies See Details
 

Titmus Foundation Scholarship

Averett University

award

$5,000

deadline

Varies
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