An Overview

A Little History

The University of Florida College of Medicine was started in 1955 under the leadership of its first Dean Dr. George Harrell. In that year, Thomas H. Maren, M.D. was recruited as the founding chair of the Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics and the first medical student class started in 1956. Over the next few years under Dr. Maren’s leadership, faculty were recruited, research programs initiated and the teaching curriculum developed and implemented.

Because pharmacology is a bridging discipline between basic and clinical science, the department throughout its history has strived to maintain a primary faculty that includes basic and clinical scientists. Dr. Maren’s own interests also set the example, which continues today, with faculty not only involved in fundamental research but also in translating basic knowledge in application. For example, Dr. Maren was instrumental in developing inhibitors for the enzyme carbonic anhydrase that culminated in a drug that is marketed for the treatment of glaucoma.

Over the past decade and a half, the pace of biomedical discovery has accelerated, and is becoming more multidisciplinary in nature. As a dynamic scientific discipline, the faculty in pharmacology are committed to a focus on cutting edge basic and translational research coupled with flexible education and training programs to help prepare young investigators to meet the exciting scientific challenges of the future.