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 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. ”


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 Chapman Lab

chapman headshot

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 Hammers Lab

The Hammers Lab researches physiological and pathophysiological mechanisms of skeletal and cardiac muscle, particularly those associated with genetic diseases known as muscular dystrophies. The primary motivation of these efforts is to identify potential therapeutic targets that can be exploited to develop treatments for muscle and heart diseases using small molecules and/or adeno-associated virus (AAV)-based gene therapies.

Picture of Dave Hammers

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 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.


The Oliveira Lab

Oliveira headshot

The Raj Khanna Lab

Raj Khanna

The Russ Lab

The emphasis of the Russ lab is on developing innovative regenerative medicine approaches with a focus on understanding the underlying molecular and cellular mechanisms resulting in autoimmune type 1 diabetes (T1D) in humans.

Dr. Holger Russ

The Sweeney Lab

Much of the Sweeney Lab’s research program is translational in focus, and has produced highly cited research on inherited forms of cardiovascular disease, and on the skeletal and cardiac aspects of muscular dystrophy. Currently the lab is focused on AAV gene therapy for animal models of Duchenne muscular dystrophy and small molecule therapies to augment the gene therapy.

Lee Sweeney

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.

Nikhil Urs doing research

The May Khanna Lab

May Khanna Headshot