Our Research Let’s take a look.

Our department pursues research in pharmacology and therapeutics in a wide variety of ways. Delve into some of our various labs below:

Pharmacology research areas
  • Each of these areas is closely interwoven with the subject matter and experimental techniques of physiologybiochemistrycellular and molecular biologymicrobiologyimmunologygenetics, and pathology.
  • A significant number of faculty are actively involved in new drug development and discovery, while many others are vigorously involved in the development of biological therapies.
  • Extramural research support is provided from federal, private, and industrial sources to foster new discoveries in both molecular and systems pharmacology.
  • The department has a strong commitment to the education of students in order to understand and apply the principles of pharmacology and therapeutics to train them in multidisciplinary research.

The Bird Lab

The Bird Lab is interested in how myosin molecular motors generate force on actin filaments and how defects in this fundamental cytoskeletal mechanism cause human disease. Dr. Bird studies this question using hair cells, the neural receptors for hearing and balance that are found within the inner ear.


The Guryanova Lab

Meet Olga Guryanova, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor, and learn about her research on chromatin organization and epigenetic regulation on leukemia development.

Picture of Olga Guryanova

The Harrison Lab

Efforts in Dr. Harrison’s laboratory are directed toward understanding mechanisms by which immune cells contribute to tumor progression and resistance to immunotherapies. 


The Kopinke Lab

As stated on his website, Daniel Kopinke’s lab deals with defects in primary cilia can result in a wide range of diseases, referred to as “ciliopathies.”

Picture of Dr. Kopinke

The Law Lab

The Law Lab researches mechanisms by which CDCP1 Promotes Breast Cancer Metastasis: The CDCP1 protein functions as a scaffold to bring together and facilitate synergy between the oncoproteins Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) and the Src tyrosine kinase. 


The Levitt Lab

Research in the Levitt Lab is focused on understanding the mechanisms underlying opioid-induced respiratory depression, which is the cause of death from opioid overdose. It will also help us understand the circuitry that generates and controls breathing – one of our most fundamental behaviors.


The Martens Lab

Jeffrey Martens says, “Our work is devoted to understanding mechanisms of olfaction, pathogenesis of olfactory dysfunction, and the development of curative therapies for anosmia.”

picture of jeffrey martens

The Moehle Lab

The Moehle Lab is interested in understanding the physiological, circuitry, and behavioral changes that cause the motor and non-motor symptoms of movement disorders and then translate these findings into novel therapeutics for these disorders.

Mark Moehle

The Munger Lab

Steve Munger’s lab researches: mechanisms of alimentary chemosensation, extraoral chemoreceptors and the regulation of metabolism and olfactory detection of social cues.

Photo of Dr. Munger

The Papke Lab

Roger Papke says on his website, “We seek to revitalize these spirits and with our accumulating understanding of cellular function and disease identify specific ion channels and neurotransmitter receptors as therapeutic targets.”

Dr. Papke

The Urs Lab

 The goals of our lab are to identify and map neuronal circuits that regulate dopamine signaling, motivation, movement and reward, by using state of the art tools such as viral tracing, opto/chemogenetics, fiber photometry, and operant behavioral conditioning.


The Wesson Lab

On his website, Dan Wesson, Ph.D., says, “Here in the Wesson Lab, we explore the neural processing of sensory information in the context of behavior. ”

photo of dr. wesson