research in the

Department of Pharmacodynamics

“We discover novel therapeutic approaches through preclinical scientific investigation of how molecules interact with disease processes”

Guangrong Zheng, Ph.D., left, an associate professor of medicinal chemistry, and Daohong Zhou, M.D., right, a professor of pharmacodynamics and the Henry E. Innes Professorship of Cancer Research at the UF Health Cancer Center, bring their complementary expertise together under the same roof at the University of Florida College of Pharmacy.

We are a highly collaborative department engaged in preclinical research that encompasses molecular analysis, integrated pharmacology and physiology, behavioral models, and drug development. Our faculty members study organ function and drug action across normal and disease states, with interests in aging, cancer, stress, anxiety, addiction, pain, neuroinflammation, cardiovascular disease, feeding and metabolic dysfunction.

 

 

Collaboration is fundamental to our research mission

Our success stems from strong research collaborations within the department, with the other 4 college of pharmacy departments, and across the entire campus of University of Florida. UF is currently ranked #6 nationally among public universities (US News and World Report). The UF College of Pharmacy belongs to a world-class academic health center which includes 5 additional colleges: medicine, dentistry, nursing, public health and health professions, and veterinary medicine. Our collaborations extend beyond the academic health center and include many other UF units, e.g., Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Psychology, Chemistry, Health and Human Performance, and Agriculture and Life Sciences. With this scientific diversity grouped together within easy walking distance on a single campus, our students have convenient, un paralleled access to a breadth and depth of biomedical research expertise and knowledge.

Centers of Excellence and Institutes

The rich research environment at UF is greatly enhanced by offering its faculty opportunities to participate in UF designated research centers of excellence and institutes. These centers and institutes bring faculty together from different departments and colleges and align them based on their shared focus on scientific disciplines and disease categories.

Our department is the home of one research center of excellence: the Center for Integrative Cardiovascular and Metabolic Diseases. This center supports a diverse group of faculty across UF whose research interests include Type 2 diabetes, obesity, chronic kidney disease, stroke and atherosclerosis.

UF Research Centers of Excellence and Institutes to which our faculty belong

Center for Integrative Cardiovascular and Metabolic Diseases

Eric Krause

Center for Addiction Research and Education

CARE poster session

McKnight Brain Institute

McKnight Brain Institute

Center for Natural Products, Drug Discovery and Development

Center for Natural Products, Drug Discovery and Development

UF Health Cancer Center

UF Health Cancer Center

UF Genetics Institute

UF Health Genetics Institute

Center for Pharmacometrics and Systems Pharmacology

Center for Pharmacometrics and Systems Pharmacology

Research approaches and core faculty areas

  • Faculty Research Techniques and Approaches
  • Genomics, Transcriptomics, Proteomics and Metabolomics
  • Electrophysiology
  • Behavioral Pharmacology
  • In vitro Cell-Based Binding Affinity and Efficacy
  • In vivo and In vitro Microdialysis
  • Optogenetics
  • Genome Editing
  • Chemogenetics
  • Chemical biology
  • Viral-Based Circuit Mapping
  • In vivo High-Resolution, Real-Time Imaging
  • Flow Cytometry, Fluorescent Activated Cell Sorting

Faculty core research areas

Stress and Endocrinology

Oxytocin and stress responsiveness, limbic system physiology and mood disorders, neurological regulation of cardiovascular function, and systemic responses to chronic stress Eric Krause, Joanna Peris NEURON

Stress

Cardiovascular and Metabolic Signaling

Small molecule positive modulators targeting natriuretic peptide receptors and chemokine receptors as novel therapeutics for hypertension, cardiac fibrosis and diabetic wound healing, and development of microphysiological systems to study muscle degeneration Siobhan Malany

Heart

Peripheral Nervous System

Molecular mechanisms of vagal sensing from peripheral organs to the brain, defining neural subpopulations based on visceral, molecular and genetic patterns, and viral tract tracing to map neural circuitry of peripheral nerve signaling Guillaume de Lartigue

Nerve

Addiction and Pain

Drug addiction, reward signaling, novel therapeutics for the treatment of substance use disorders, pain neurobiology and novel pain treatments

Addiction

Neurodegeneration, Inflammation, Toxicity

Aging, neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV, HIV-1 Tat protein and HIV-associated neurologic disease and alcohol neurotoxicity

Brain

Cancer Drug Discovery

Novel drug targets and development of new senolytic agents and anti-tumor agents, including proteolysis targeting chimeras, or PROTACs, for aging, age-related diseases and cancer Daohong Zhou

Cancer

Departmental Rankings and Funding Metrics

Our department is one of five in the College of Pharmacy. Our college’s overall national rank is #5 (US News & World Report) and its NIH funding rank is #3 (American Association of the Colleges of Pharmacy). Our department has $10,500,000 in NIH funding, which is remarkable given our relatively small size of 12 graduate faculty. This ranks us nationally within the top 20 of all pharmacology and physiology departments in medical schools (Blue Ridge Institute).

Our faculty currently hold 23 NIH awards

1 R00 Award Pathway to Independence

17 R01 Awards Investigator Initiated

2 R21/R33 Awards Innovation Awards

1 R35 Award Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award

2 U Awards Cooperative Agreements

Funding

Our faculty are currently funded from these federal agencies:

NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH

National Institute of Mental Health

NIH Institute of Mental Health

NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH

National Institute on Drug Abuse

NIH Drug Abuse

national institutes of health

National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute

NIH Heart, lung and blood institute

NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH

National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

NIH Child health and human development

NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

NIH Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH

National Cancer Institute

NIH Cancer Institute

NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

NIH Diabetes, Kidney and Digestive Diseases

NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH

National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences

NIH Center for Advancing Translational Sciences

American Heart Association

American Heart Association logo

United states

Department of Defense

Department of Defense