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pharmacology

pharmacology, study of the changes produced in living animals by chemical substances, especially the actions of drugs, substances used to treat disease. Systematic investigation of the effects of drugs based on animal experimentation and the use of isolated and purified active substances developed in the mid-19th cent. Pharmacologists, emphasizing the mechanisms by which drugs act, draw on the disciplines of physiology, pathology, biochemistry, and bacteriology. Pharmacology embraces a number of sciences, including pharmacodynamics (the study of the action of drugs on a living body), therapeutics (use of drugs and method of administration in treatment for disease), materia medica (study of the source, composition, characteristics, and preparation of drugs), toxicology (the study of poisons and their action and of methods of treating poisoning), pharmaceutical chemistry (chemistry in relation to drugs), and pharmacy (the preparation and dispensing of drugs for medical use).

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pharmacology

pharmacology deals with all aspects of the actions of drugs on living tissues, particularly their effects on man. Drugs' actions, both at the molecular level (interaction of drug molecules with receptors) and also at the macroscopic or whole-body level (such as drug effects on the cardiovascular system), are considered. The subject can be divided into two main sections; pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics. The first is concerned with how the effects of a drug are generated, while the second is concerned with how drugs are distributed around the body, how they are metabolized, and how they are finally excreted or eliminated from the body. Discovery of new drugs proceeds by considering how chemical agents can be used to potentiate, inhibit, or modify some cellular or bodily process.

Alan W. Cuthbert


See drugs.

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pharmacology

phar·ma·col·o·gy / ˌfärməˈkäləjē/ • n. the branch of medicine concerned with the uses, effects, and modes of action of drugs. DERIVATIVES: phar·ma·co·log·ic / ˌfärməkəˈläjik/ adj. phar·ma·co·log·i·cal / -ˈläjikəl/ adj. phar·ma·co·log·i·cal·ly adv. phar·ma·col·o·gist / -ˈkäləjist/ n.

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pharmacology

pharmacology The study of the properties of drugs and their effects on living organisms. Clinical pharmacology is concerned with the effects of drugs in treating disease.

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pharmacology

pharmacology (farm-ă-kol-ŏji) n. the science of the properties of drugs and their effects on the body.
pharmacological adj. —pharmacologist n.

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pharmacology

pharmacology Study of the properties of drugs and their effects on the body. See also pharmacopoeia

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pharmacology

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Pharmacology

Pharmacology

Definition

Pharmacology is the study of how drugs act on biological systems.

Description

Pharmacology is the science of understanding how drugs act on the body and conversely, how the body acts on drugs. This is not to be confused with pharmacy, which deals with the preparation and dispensing of drugs. Drugs can be defined as chemical compounds with a specific therapeutic function, such as aspirin. Pharmacology focuses on how a drug gets into the body, where in the body the drug acts, and how the body gets rid of a drug. In addition, a pharmacologist will also study the therapeutic potential of a drug, the interaction of a drug with other drugs, and analyze adverse drug reactions, otherwise known as toxicities. There are several subdivisions and subdisciplines of pharmacology which use the basic principles of pharmacology in different ways.

Pharmacology can be divided into subdivisions based on the body organ being studied. These include, but are not limited to, neuropharmacology, cardiovascular pharmacology, endocrine pharmacology, and chemotherapy. Neuropharmacology deals with the effect of drugs on the nervous system, which includes the brain, spinal cord, and nerves. Neuropharmacology includes the study of drugs of abuse such as heroin and also drugs used to treat nervous system disorders such as L-dopa, which is given to Parkinson's disease patients. Cardiovascular pharmacology focuses on drugs that modify the heart and vascular system. Blood pressure medications would be studied under this category. Endocrine pharmacology focuses on the interaction of drugs with various hormones or hormonal systems. Birth control pills would fall under the division of endocrine pharmacology. Lastly, the division of chemotherapy studies the pharmacology of drugs used to treat cancer such as tamoxifen used in breast cancer.

In addition to dividing the field of pharmacology on the basis of the targeted organ system, pharmacology can also be divided into sub-disciplines. These sub-disciplines include, but are not limited to, molecular pharmacology, behavioral pharmacology, and clinical pharmacology. Molecular pharmacology studies the interaction of drugs at the cellular level. This includes studies on the interaction of drugs with protein receptors expressed on the surface of the cell. For example, the asthma drug, albuterol, interacts with beta receptors in the lung to increase airflow. The effect of drugs on behavior is the basis for the behavioral pharmacology discipline. Behavioral pharmacology includes addiction research which tries to understand why people become addicted to drugs like alcohol. The field of clinical pharmacology focuses more on the therapeutic use of drugs, the interactions of drugs with one another in the body, and the nature of adverse drug reactions.

The various subdivisions and disciplines of pharmacology pursue the discovery and understanding of drugs for the purpose of treating a disease or condition, such as high blood pressure. The basic principles of pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and efficacy are universal across the various areas of pharmacology. A significant amount of pharmacology research is spent on identifying new drugs to treat disease. In addition, it is important to predict drug toxicities or adverse reactions. This is accomplished by studying the pharmacokinetics of a drug. Pharmacokinetics is basically how drugs get into the body and how they get out. It describes the relationships between drug dosage and drug blood levels, which can be influenced by individual differences in drug absorption, distribution, metabolism, and elimination. This is important because if a drug is eliminated by the kidneys and a patient has damaged kidneys, then the drug could accumulate in the patient to fatal levels. Pharmacokinetic calculations can be used to determine the dose needed to give safe and effective blood levels in this situation. A significant amount of pharmacology research is also spent on understanding how drugs act on the body. This is important to understanding adverse reactions, drug interactions, and also for the design of better drugs. This area is known more specifically as pharmacodynamics. Pharmacodynamics is basically how drugs interact with the body. Many drugs bind to protein receptors on the surface of a cell. Pharmacodynamics strives to understand how tightly a drug binds to its receptor and what happens inside the cell upon drug binding. Lastly, the overall outcome of drugs on the human condition is studied and this is known as efficacy. Efficacy deals with analyzing how well a drug may correct a condition such as arthritis. All three principles, pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetics, and efficacy, play a pivotal role in pharmacology research.

Work settings

Many pharmacologists work in a laboratory research setting conducting experiments with various drugs. These experiments may be done in animal models of disease or at the biochemical level. Pharmacologists are employed by universities, commercial companies such as a pharmaceutical company, or by the government. University settings are often associated with medical centers and pharmacology research projects are largely funded by grants from outside resources. Many pharmacologists in academic settings study very focused areas in which they are interested. Academic labs are headed by a Ph.D. scientist who will lead a team of technicians and students. Academic pharmacology projects tend to focus on how different drugs work and why. Pharmaceutical settings usually have a basic pharmacology research division, a clinical trials division, a production area, and a quality assurance team. A pharmaceutical company may hire a pharmacologist to discover new drugs or to study existing ones for adverse reactions. Pharmaceutical companies conduct very detailed clinical trials in order to have drugs approved by the FDA (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Food and Drug Administration). Pharmaceutical companies spend a significant amount of money and employ many scientists in order to prove that a drug is safe and useful in treating a particular disease or condition. A pharmacologist may also be hired by a government agency such as the FDA to conduct research on drugs or to review drug approval applications. The FDA is also responsible for monitoring the safety of already approved drugs and therefore hires pharmacologists to monitor approved drugs as well as establish guidelines. All three settings, academic, commercial, and government, provide viable and exciting opportunities for a pharmacologist.

A typical workday for a pharmacologist depends on the sub-discipline the pharmacologist works in. A molecular pharmacologist may spend a significant portion of the day at the lab bench conducting experiments in test tubes. A behavioral pharmacologist may spend the day observing animals treated with certain drugs. A clinical pharmacologist is more likely to spend time evaluating data from patients taking certain medications. These workdays are typical of traditional research pharmacologists. Pharmacologists in more non-traditional careers may be involved in the business or legal side of science. In other words, pharmacologists are not limited to just experimental research in a laboratory setting.

Education and training

In order to become a pharmacologist, a college degree is required. High school students should take biology, chemistry, and math classes. Several undergraduate institutions now offer a bachelor of science degree in pharmacology. College level courses in biology, biochemistry, anatomy, and physiology are required. The field of pharmacology also requires the use of statistics and laboratory mathematics, and students should complete a statistics course. Undergraduate pharmacology majors should also take chemistry courses, including basic chemistry and organic chemistry. The undergraduate science courses should have a practical laboratory component to prepare students for careers in a laboratory research setting. Students should also pursue undergraduate research projects and look for internship opportunities at pharmaceutical or biotechnology companies. Research associate positions in industry are available for pharmacology college majors, but experience in a laboratory research setting is a must for many of these job opportunities. Universities also hire lab technicians with a college level pharmacology background.

KEY TERMS

Efficacy— The effectiveness of a drug in treating a disease or condition.

Pharmacodynamics— The way a drug acts on tissues and cells in the body.

Pharmacokinetics— The route and rate at which a drug gets in and out of the body.

Advanced education and training

Most pharmacologists have advanced degrees at the masters or Ph.D. level. Many universities offer graduate degree programs in pharmacology. Students pursuing a graduate degree should have a baccalaureate degree in biology, chemistry, or related field. Ph.D. students take in depth courses in physiology and pharmacology. In addition, a major requirement for a Ph.D. is a dissertation research project that is conducted over several years. The Ph.D. student is required to publish novel findings in peer-reviewed scientific journals. After completing a Ph.D. in pharmacology, many graduates go on to postdoctoral research training. Postdoctoral training may be in an academic or commercial setting. This training period has an indefinite time length. Many pharmacologists will then go on to become professors at universities or enter the commercial workforce as research scientists.

Future outlook

The field of pharmacology is experiencing rapid growth and prospects for pharmacologists continue to look good. The mapping of the human genome will provide new insights into designing better drugs and will create a need for more pharmacologists to make use of this new information. Many pharmaceutical companies are hiring pharmacologists for their drug discovery research projects. The pharmaceutical industry is a $300 billion dollar a year industry and this rapid growth is expected to continue.

Resources

BOOKS

The Insider Guide to Jobs in the Biotech and Pharmaceuticals Industry. Version 5.0. San Francisco: Wet Feet Press, 1999.

PERIODICALS

Kling, James. "Industry Seeks Classically Trained: Calling All Pharmacologists." The Scientist 13 (1999).

Wilson, Jennifer. "Working in Drug Discovery Research: Academia is Not the Only Route for Ph.D.s." The Scientist 15 (2001).

ORGANIZATIONS

American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. 9650 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD 20814. (301) 530-7060. 〈http://www.faseb.org/aspet/〉.

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Pharmacology

Pharmacology

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To provide financial assistance to women undergraduates from any state majoring in science, mathematics, or engineering at colleges and universities in western Washington.
Title of Award: AWIS Seattle Scholarships Area, Field, or Subject: Biochemistry; Biological and clinical sciences; Chemistry; Engineering; Environmental conservation; Environmental science; Geology; Mathematics and mathematical sciences; Pharmaceutical sciences; Physics Level of Education for which Award is Granted: Four Year College Number Awarded: Varies each year; recently, 11 of these scholarships were awarded. Funds Available: Stipends range from $1,000 to $1,500. Duration: 1 year.
Eligibility Requirements: This program is open to women from any state entering their junior or senior year at a 4-year college or university in western Washington. Applicants must have a declared major in science (e.g., biological sciences, environmental science, biochemistry, chemistry, pharmacy, geology, computer science, physics), mathematics, or engineering. Along with their application, they must submit essays on the events that led to their choice of a major, their current career plans and long-term goals, and their volunteer and community activities. Financial need is considered in the selection process. At least 1 scholarship is reserved for a woman from a group that is underrepresented in science, mathematics, and engineering careers, including Native American Indians and Alaska Natives, Black/African Americans, Mexican Americans/Chicanas/Latinas, Native Pacific Islanders (Polynesians, Melanesians, and Micronesians), and women with disabilities. Deadline for Receipt: March of each year. Additional Information: This program includes the following named awards: the Virginia Badger Scholarship, the Angela Paez Memorial Scholarship, and the Fran Solomon Scholarship. Support for the program is provided by several sponsors, including the American Chemical Society, Iota Sigma Pi, Rosetta Inpharmatics, and ZymoGenetics, Inc.

2974 ■ CANADIAN INSTITUTES OF HEALTH RESEARCH

Attn: Grants and Awards
160 Elgin Street, Ninth Floor
Address Locator 4809A
Ottawa, ON, Canada K1A 0W9
Tel: (613)954-1968; 888-603-4178
Fax: (613)954-1800
E-mail: [email protected]
Web Site: http://www.cihr-irsc.gc.ca
To provide research funding to undergraduate and graduate students interested in preparing for a career in health-related fields in Canada.
Title of Award: Health Professional Students Research Awards of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Area, Field, or Subject: Dentistry; Medicine; Nursing; Optometry; Pharmaceutical sciences Level of Education for which Award is Granted: Graduate, Undergraduate Number Awarded: Varies each year. Funds Available: The stipend for students registered in a health professional school is $C1,417 per month. The stipend for students enrolled in a combined degree program is $C1,987 per month. Duration: Up to 3 months.
Eligibility Requirements: This program is open to 1) undergraduate and graduate students enrolled at Canadian schools offered programs leading to licensure in medicine, dentistry, nursing, physiotherapy, or related fields; and 2) medical students working on a combined degree (e.g., M.D./M.Sc., M.D./Ph.D.). Applicants must have completed their first year of study and be interested in participating in a health research project. They must be citizens or permanent residents of Canada. Deadline for Receipt: February Additional Information: The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) was formerly the Medical Research Council (MRC) of Canada. This program was formerly designated the Burroughs Wellcome Fund Student Research Awards.

2975 ■ INDIAN HEALTH SERVICE

Attn: Scholarship Program
801 Thompson Avenue, Suite 120
Rockville, MD 20852
Tel: (301)443-6197
Fax: (301)443-6048
E-mail: [email protected]
Web Site: http://www.ihs.gov
To provide financial assistance to Native American students who need compensatory or preprofessional education to qualify for enrollment in a health professions school.
Title of Award: Health Professions Preparatory Scholarship Program Area, Field, or Subject: Engineering; Health care services; Medical technology; Nursing; Nutrition; Pharmaceutical sciences; Physical therapy; Social work Level of Education for which Award is Granted: Undergraduate Number Awarded: Varies each year. Funds Available:

Awards provide a payment directly to the school for tuition and required fees; a stipend for living expenses of approximately $1,160 per month for 10 months; a lump sum to cover the costs of books, travel, and other necessary educational expenses; and up to $400 for approved tutorial costs. Duration: Up to 2 years of full-time study or up to 4 years of part-time study.
Eligibility Requirements: Applicants must be American Indians or Alaska Natives; be high school graduates or the equivalent; have the capacity to complete a health professions course of study; and be enrolled or accepted for enrollment in a compensatory or preprofessional general education course or curriculum. The qualifying fields of study include premedical technology, pre-dietetics, pre-nursing, pre-pharmacy, pre-physical therapy, pre-social work, and pre-engineering. Recipients must intend to serve Indian people upon completion of professional health care education as a health care provider in the discipline for which they are enrolled at the pregraduate level. Deadline for Receipt: February of each year.

2976 ■ INDIAN HEALTH SERVICE

Attn: Scholarship Program
801 Thompson Avenue, Suite 120
Rockville, MD 20852
Tel: (301)443-6197
Fax: (301)443-6048
E-mail: [email protected]
Web Site: http://www.ihs.gov
To provide loans-for-service to American Indian and Alaska Native students enrolled in health professions and allied health professions programs.
Title of Award: Health Professions Scholarship Program Area, Field, or Subject: Counseling/Guidance; Dental hygiene; Dentistry; Health care services; Medical assisting; Medical technology; Medicine; Medicine, Osteopathic; Nursing; Nutrition; Optometry; Pharmaceutical sciences; Physical therapy; Podiatry; Psychology; Public health; Radiology; Respiratory therapy; Social work; Level of Education for which Award is Granted: Graduate, Undergraduate Number Awarded: Varies each year. Funds Available: Awards provide a payment directly to the school for tuition and required fees; a stipend for living expenses of approximately $1,160 per month for 12 months; a lump sum to cover the costs of books, travel, and other necessary educational expenses; and up to $400 for approved tutorial costs. Upon completion of their program of study, recipients are required to provide payback service of 1 year for each year of scholarship support at the Indian Health Service, a tribal health programs, an urban Indian health program, or in private practice in a designated health professional shortage area serving a substantial number of Indians. Recipients who fail to complete their service obligation must repay all funds received (although no interest is charged). Duration: 1 year; may be renewed for up to 3 additional years.
Eligibility Requirements: This program is open to American Indians and Alaska Natives who are at least high school graduates and enrolled in a full-time study program leading to a degree in a health-related professions school within the United States. Priority is given to upper-division and graduate students. Qualifying fields of study include chemical dependency counseling (bachelor's or master's degree), clinical psychology (Ph.D. only), coding specialist (certificate), counseling psychology (Ph.D. only), dental hygiene (B.S.), dentistry (D.D.S.), diagnostic radiology technology (certificate, associate, or B.S.), dietitian (B.S.), civil or environmental engineering (B.S.), environmental health (B.S.), health care administration (B.S. or M.S.), health education (B.S. or M.S.), health records (R.H.I.T. or R.H.I.A.), injury prevention specialist (certificate), medical technology (B.S.), allopathic and osteopathic medicine, nursing (A.D.N., B.S.N., or C.R.N.A), optometry, pharmacy (B.S. or Pharm.D.), physician assistant (B.S.), physical therapy (M.S. or D.P.T.), podiatry (D.P.M.), public health (M.P.H. only), public health nutrition (master's only), social work (master's only), respiratory therapy (associate), and ultrasonography. Deadline for Receipt: February of each year.

2977 ■ KOSTER INSURANCE AGENCY

Attn: Scholarship
500 Victory Road
Quincy, MA 02171
Tel: (617)770-9889
Free: 800-457-5599
Fax: (617)479-0860
E-mail: [email protected]
Web Site: http://www.kosterweb.com/about/scholarship_main.php
To provide financial assistance to undergraduate students working on a degree in a health-related field.
Title of Award: Koster Insurance Health Careers Scholarship Program Area, Field, or Subject: Biological and clinical sciences; Chemistry; Dentistry; Health care services; Nursing; Occupational therapy; Optometry; Pharmaceutical sciences; Physical therapy; Physiology; Public health; Social work Level of Education for which Award is Granted: Undergraduate Number Awarded: 5 each year. Funds Available: The stipend is $3,000 per year. Duration: 1 year; may be renewed 1 additional year.
Eligibility Requirements: This program is open to full-time undergraduates entering their second-to-last or final year of study in a health-related field, including (but not limited to) pre-medicine, nursing, public and community health, physical therapy, occupational therapy, pharmacy, biology, chemistry, physiology, social work, dentistry, and optometry. Applicants must have a GPA of 3.0 or higher and be able to demonstrate financial need. Along with their application, they must submit a 1-page essay describing their personal goals, including their reasons for preparing for a career in health care. Selection is based on motivation to pursue a career in health care, academic excellence, dedication to community service, and financial need. Deadline for Receipt: April of each year. Additional Information: This program began in 2001.

2978 ■ NORTHWEST PHARMACIST COALITION

P.O. Box 22975
Seattle, WA 98122
Tel: (425)746-9618
To provide financial assistance to Washington state residents of Black ethnic origin who are interested in becoming a pharmacist.
Title of Award: Northwest Pharmacist Coalition Scholarship in Honor of Russell S. Gideon Area, Field, or Subject: Pharmaceutical sciences Level of Education for which Award is Granted: Undergraduate Number Awarded: 2 each year. Funds Available: The amount of the stipend depends on the availability of funds. Duration: 1 year.
Eligibility Requirements: Eligible to apply for this scholarship are high school seniors or currently-enrolled college students who are or will be enrolled in a community college or university pre-pharmacy or pharmacy program. Applicants must have discussed the pharmacy profession with at least 1 practicing pharmacist (name must be provided) and must include copies of their high school/college transcripts as part of the application process. In addition, they must submit a written essay on why they wish to be a pharmacist and why they feel they should receive this scholarship. They must be Washington residents and available for an interview with the scholarship committee in the Seattle area. Deadline for Receipt: April of each year.

2979 ■ PACIFICARE FOUNDATION

3100 Lake Center Drive
P.O. Box 25186
Santa Ana, CA 92799
Tel: (714)825-5233
Web Site: http://www.pacificare.com
To provide financial assistance to Latino high school seniors in designated states planning to major in a health care field in college.
Title of Award: PacifiCare Latino Health Scholars Program Area, Field, or Subject: Health care services; Medical technology; Medicine; Nursing; Pharmaceutical sciences; Psychology; Public health Level of Education for which Award is Granted: Undergraduate Number Awarded: Approximately 50 each year. Funds Available: The stipend is $2,000. Duration: 1 year.
Eligibility Requirements: This program is open to seniors graduating from high schools in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, and Washington. Applicants must have a GPA of 3.0 or higher, be fluent in Spanish, and have been accepted as a full-time student at a university, community college, or accredited technical college. Their proposed field of study must relate to health care, including (but not limited to) nursing, medical interpretation, health claims examiner, health information technology programs, pharmacy technician, public health, psychology, or pre-medical studies. Along with their application, they must submit a 2-page essay (in both English and Spanish) on their personal and academic accomplishments, community involvement, volunteer and
leadership activities, academic plans, and the reason they want a career in the health care field. Deadline for Receipt: June of each year. Additional Information: This program was established in 2003.

2980 ■ TEXAS HIGHER EDUCATION COORDINATING BOARD

Attn: Hinson-Hazlewood College Student Loan Program
1200 East Anderson Lane
P.O. Box 12788, Capitol Station
Austin, TX 78711-2788
Tel: (512)427-6340
Free: 800-242-3062
Fax: (512)427-6423
E-mail: [email protected]
Web Site: http://www.hhloans.com
To provide educational loans to students in Texas in health-related degree programs.
Title of Award: Hinson-Hazlewood Health Education Loan Program Area, Field, or Subject: Dentistry; Health care services; Medicine; Medicine, Osteopathic; Nursing; Optometry; Pharmaceutical sciences; Podiatry; Public health; Veterinary science and medicine Level of Education for which Award is Granted: Four Year College, Graduate Number Awarded: Varies each year. Funds Available: The maximum annual loan is $12,500 for pharmacy, nursing, allied health, and public health students; or $20,000 for medicine, dentistry, optometry, osteopathy, podiatry, or veterinary medicine students. The origination fee is 3%. After a grace period of 9 months, repayment must be completed within 25 years at a minimum monthly payment of $50. The current interest rate is 5.25% which begins to accrue immediately, even while the student is in school. Duration: 1 year; may be renewed up to 3 additional years. The maximum total loan is $50,000 for pharmacy, nursing, allied health, and public health students or $80,000 for medicine, dentistry, optometry, osteopathy, podiatry, or veterinary medicine students.
Eligibility Requirements: This program is open to students who qualify as Texas residents and meet the academic requirements of a public or private college or university in the state. Applicants must be enrolled at least half time in a course of study leading to 1) a doctoral degree in medicine, dentistry, optometry, osteopathy, podiatry, or veterinary medicine; 2) a bachelor's or master's degree in pharmacy; 3) a graduate or equivalent degree in public health; or 4) an associate, bachelor's, or graduate degree in nursing or allied health fields. They must be able to demonstrate financial need and enroll full time. U.S. citizenship is required. Additional Information: Applications must be submitted through the financial aid office at the college or university attended. This program is part of the Hinton-Hazelwood College Student Loan Program (HHCSLP).

2981 ■ U.S. AIR FORCE

Attn: Headquarters AFROTC/RRUC
551 East Maxwell Boulevard
Maxwell AFB, AL 36112-5917
Tel: (334)953-2091; (866)423-7682
Fax: (334)953-6167
Web Site: http://www.afrotc.com/admissions/professional/biomed.php
To provide financial assistance to students who are interested in joining Air Force ROTC in college and preparing for a career as a physical therapist, optometrist, or pharmacist.
Title of Award: Air Force ROTC Biomedical Sciences Corps Area, Field, or Subject: Optometry; Pharmaceutical sciences; Physical therapy Level of Education for which Award is Granted: Undergraduate Funds Available: Awards are type 2 AFROTC scholarships that provide for payment of tuition and fees, to a maximum of $15,000 per year, plus an annual book allowance of $600. All recipients are also awarded a tax-free subsistence allowance for 10 months of each year that is $300 per month during their sophomore year, $350 during their junior year, and $400 during their senior year. Duration: 2 or 3 years, provided the recipient maintains a GPA of 2.0 or higher.
Eligibility Requirements: This program is open to U.S. citizens who are freshmen or sophomores in college and interested in a career as a physical therapist, optometrist, or pharmacist. Applicants must have a GPA of 2.0 or higher and meet all other academic and physical requirements for participation in AFROTC. At the time of their Air Force commissioning, they may be no more than 31 years of age. They must agree to serve for at least 4 years as nonline active-duty Air Force officers following graduation from college. Deadline for Receipt: June of each year. Additional Information: Recipients must also complete 4 years of aerospace studies courses at 1 of the 144 colleges and universities that have an Air Force ROTC unit on campus or 1 of the approximately 900 colleges that have cross-enrollment agreements with those institutions. They must also attend a 4-week summer training camp at an Air Force base, usually between their sophomore and junior years. Following completion of their bachelor's degree, scholarship recipients earn a commission as a second lieutenant in the Air Force and serve at least 4 years.

2982 ■ U.S. NAVY

Attn: Naval Medical Education
Code OG3
8901 Wisconsin Avenue, 16th Floor, Tower 1
Bethesda, MD 20889-5611
Tel: (301)319-4520
E-mail: [email protected]
Web Site: http://nshs.med.navy.mil/mscipp/mscipp.htm
To provide funding to Navy and Marine enlisted personnel who wish to earn an undergraduate or graduate degree in selected health care specialties while continuing to receive their regular pay and allowances.
Title of Award: Medical Service Corps Inservice Procurement Program (MSC-IPP) Area, Field, or Subject: Entomology; Environmental conservation; Environmental science; Health care services; Industrial hygiene; Medical assisting; Pharmaceutical sciences Level of Education for which Award is Granted: Four Year College, Graduate Number Awarded: Varies each year. Recently, 36 of these positions were available: 20 in health care administration, 10 in physician assistant, 2 in pharmacy, 2 in environmental health, 1 in industrial hygiene, and 1 in entomology. Funds Available: Participants receive payment of tuition, mandatory fees, a book allowance, and full pay and allowances for their enlisted pay grade. They are eligible for advancement while in college. Duration: 24 to 48 months of full-time, year-round study, until completion of a relevant degree.
Eligibility Requirements: This program is open to enlisted personnel who are serving on active duty in pay grades E-5 through E-9 of the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, Naval Reserve (including the Training and Administration of the Reserve Program), and the Marine Corps Reserve (including the Active Reserve Program). Applicants must be interested in working on a degree to become commissioned in the following medical specialties: health care administration, physician assistant, pharmacy, environmental health, industrial hygiene, or entomology. If they plan to work on a graduate degree, they must have scores of at least 900 on the GRE or 470 on the GMAT; if they plan to work on a bachelor's or physician assistant degree, they must have scores of at least 1000 on the SAT (including 460 on the mathematics portion) or 42 on the ACT. They must be U.S. citizens who can be commissioned before they reach their 42nd birthday. Deadline for Receipt: August of each year. Additional Information: Following graduation, participants are commissioned in the Medical Service Corps and attend Officer Indoctrination School.

2983 ■ WASHINGTON HIGHER EDUCATION COORDINATING BOARD

917 Lakeridge Way
P.O. Box 43430
Olympia, WA 98504-3430
Tel: (360)753-7844
Fax: (360)753-7808
E-mail: [email protected]
Web Site: http://www.hecb.wa.gov/financialaid/other/health.asp
To provide scholarship/loans for primary care health professional education to students who agree to work in designated areas of Washington.
Title of Award: Washington State Health Professional Scholarship Program Area, Field, or Subject: Dental hygiene; Dentistry; Medicine; Medicine, Osteopathic; Midwifery; Nursing; Pharmaceutical sciences Level of Education for which Award is Granted: Graduate, Undergraduate Number Awarded: Varies each year. Funds Available: The stipend is intended to cover eligible expenses: tuition, books, equipment, fees, and room and board. This is a scholarship/loan program. Recipients who fail to complete the course of study are required to repay the amount received, plus a penalty and interest. Scholars who fail to serve in health professional shortage areas in Washington are required to repay the scholarship, with penalty plus interest. The interest rate on the repayments
is 8% for the first 4 years and 10% for the fifth year. Duration: Up to 5 years.
Eligibility Requirements: Applicants must be enrolled or accepted for enrollment in an accredited program leading to eligibility for licensure in Washington State in a designated health profession. They must agree to practice in Washington for 3 to 5 years following graduation, but they do not need to be Washington residents or to attend an educational institution in the state. Currently, there are no geographic restrictions for registered nurses or practical nurses. For other primary care health professionals (M.D., D.O., N.D., P.A., N.P., C.N.M., L.M.), dental care professionals (D.D.S., R.D.H.), and pharmacists, service must be in designated areas of the state. State correctional facilities, state mental health facilities, community and migrant health centers, and any other facility with more than 40% of its caseload consisting of Medicaid and sliding fee patients also qualify. Deadline for Receipt: April of each year.

2984 ■ WESTERN INTERSTATE COMMISSION FOR HIGHER EDUCATION

Attn: Student Exchange Programs
3035 Center Green Drive
P.O. Box 9752
Boulder, CO 80301-9752
Tel: (303)541-0210
Fax: (303)541-0291
E-mail: [email protected]
Web Site: http://www.wiche.edu/sep/psep
To underwrite some of the cost of out-of-state professional schooling for students in selected western states.
Title of Award: Professional Student Exchange Program Area, Field, or Subject: Architecture; Dentistry; Library and archival sciences; Medical assisting; Medicine; Medicine, Osteopathic; Nursing; Occupational therapy; Optometry; Pharmaceutical sciences; Physical therapy; Podiatry; Public health; Veterinary science and medicine Level of Education for which Award is Granted: Graduate, Undergraduate Number Awarded: Varies each year. Funds Available: The assistance consists of reduced levels of tuition, usually resident tuition in public institutions or reduced standard tuition at private schools. The home state pays a support fee to the admitting school to help cover the cost of the recipient's education. Duration: 1 year; may be renewed.
Eligibility Requirements: This program is open to residents of 13 western states who are interested in pursuing professional study at selected out-of-state institutions, usually because those fields of study are not available in their home states. The eligible programs, and the states whose residents are eligible, presently include: 1) architecture (master's degree), for residents of Wyoming, to study at designated institutions in Arizona. California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, or Washington); 2) dentistry, for residents of Alaska, Arizona, Hawaii, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, and Wyoming, to study at designated institutions in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, Oregon, or Washington; 3) library studies (master's degree), for residents of New Mexico and Wyoming, to study at designated institutions in Arizona, California, Hawaii, or Washington; 4) medicine, for residents of Montana and Wyoming, to study at designated institutions in Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, or Utah; 5) nursing (graduate degree), for residents of Wyoming, to study at designated institutions in California, Hawaii, North Dakota, or Oregon; 6) occupational therapy (bachelors' or master's degree), for residents of Alaska, Arizona, Hawaii, Montana, and Wyoming, to study at designated institutions in Arizona, California, Idaho, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, Utah, or Washington; 7) optometry, for residents of Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming, to study at designated institutions in California or Oregon; 8) osteopathic medicine, for residents of Arizona, Montana, New Mexico, Washington, and Wyoming, to study at designated institutions in Arizona or California; 9) pharmacy, for residents of Alaska, Hawaii, and Nevada, to study at designated institutions in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, Utah, Washington, or Wyoming; 10) physical therapy (master's or doctoral degree), for residents of Alaska, Hawaii, and Wyoming, to study at designated institutions in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, Utah, or Washington; 11) physician assistant, for residents of Alaska, Arizona, Nevada, and Wyoming, to study at designated institutions in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Oregon, Utah, or Washington; 12) podiatry, for residents of Alaska, Montana, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming, to study at a designated institution in California; 13) public health, for residents of Montana and New Mexico, to study at designated institutions in California, Colorado, or Washington; and 14) veterinary medicine, for residents of Arizona, Hawaii, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming, to study at designated institutions in California, Colorado, Oregon, or Washington. The financial status of the applicants is not considered. Interested students must apply for admission and for PSEP assistance directly from the institution of their choice. They must be certified by their state of residence to become an exchange student and be seeking enrollment at the first professional degree level. Deadline for Receipt: In most states, the deadline for receiving completed applications for certification is in October. After obtaining certification, students must still apply to the school of their choice, which also sets its own deadline.

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Pharmacology

Pharmacology

Definition

Pharmacology is the study of how drugs act on biological systems.

Description

Pharmacology is the science of understanding how drugs act on the body and conversely, how the

Ways your pharmacist can help
source: Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and
Drug Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human
Services
(Illustration by GGS Information Services. Cengage Learning,
Gale)
  • Many pharmacists keep track of medicines on their computer. If you
    buy your medicines at one store and tell your pharmacist all the
    over-the-counter and prescription medicines or dietary supplements
    you take, your pharmacist can help make sure your medicines don't
    interact harmfully with one another.
  • Ask your pharmacist to place your prescription medicines in
    easy-to-open containers if you have a hard time taking off child-proof
    caps and do not have young children living in or visiting your home.
    (Remember to keep all medicines out of the sight and reach of
    children.)
  • Your pharmacist may be able to print labels on prescription medicine
    containers in larger type, if reading the medicine label is hard for you.
  • Your pharmacist may be able to give you written information to help
    you learn more about your medicines. This information may be
    available in large type or in a language other than English. Your
    pharmacist can help keep track of your medicines.

body acts on drugs. This is not to be confused with pharmacy, which deals with the preparation and dispensing of drugs. Drugs can be defined as chemical compounds with a specific therapeutic function, such as aspirin . Pharmacology focuses on how a drug gets into the body, where in the body the drug acts, and how the body gets rid of a drug. In addition, a pharmacologist will also study the therapeutic potential of a drug, the interaction of a drug with other drugs, and analyze adverse drug reactions, otherwise known as toxicities. There are several subdivisions and sub-disciplines of pharmacology which use the basic principles of pharmacology in different ways.

Pharmacology can be divided into subdivisions based on the body organ being studied. These include, but are not limited to, neuropharmacology, cardiovascular pharmacology, endocrine pharmacology, and chemotherapy . Neuropharmacology deals with the effect of drugs on the nervous system, which includes the brain, spinal cord, and nerves. Neuro-pharmacology includes the study of drugs of abuse such as heroin and also drugs used to treat nervous system disorders such as L-dopa, which is given to Parkinson's disease patients. Cardiovascular pharmacology focuses on drugs that modify the heart and vascular system. Blood pressure medications would be studied under this category. Endocrine pharmacology focuses on the interaction of drugs with various hormones or hormonal systems. Birth control pills would fall under the division of endocrine pharmacology. Lastly, the division of chemotherapy

studies the pharmacology of drugs used to treat cancer such as tamoxifen used in breast cancer .

In addition to dividing the field of pharmacology on the basis of the targeted organ system, pharmacology can also be divided into sub-disciplines. These sub-disciplines include, but are not limited to, molecular pharmacology, behavioral pharmacology, and clinical pharmacology. Molecular pharmacology studies the interaction of drugs at the cellular level. This includes studies on the interaction of drugs with protein receptors expressed on the surface of the cell. For example, the asthma drug, albuterol, interacts with beta receptors in the lung to increase airflow. The effect of drugs on behavior is the basis for the behavioral pharmacology discipline. Behavioral pharmacology includes addiction research which tries to understand why people become addicted to drugs like alcohol. The field of clinical pharmacology focuses more on the therapeutic use of drugs, the interactions of drugs with one another in the body, and the nature of adverse drug reactions.

The various subdivisions and disciplines of pharmacology pursue the discovery and understanding of drugs for the purpose of treating a disease or condition, such as high blood pressure. The basic

principles of pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and efficacy are universal across the various areas of pharmacology. A significant amount of pharmacology research is spent on identifying new drugs to treat disease. In addition, it is important to predict drug toxicities or adverse reactions. This is accomplished by studying the pharmacokinetics of a drug. Pharmacokinetics is basically how drugs get into the body and how they get out. It describes the relationships between drug dosage and drug blood levels, which can be influenced by individual differences in drug absorption, distribution, metabolism, and elimination. This is important because if a drug is eliminated by the kidneys and a patient has damaged kidneys, then the drug could accumulate in the patient to fatal levels. Pharmacokinetic calculations can be used to determine the dose needed to give safe and effective blood levels in this situation. A significant amount of pharmacology research is also spent on understanding how drugs act on the body. This is important to understanding adverse reactions, drug interactions , and also for the design of better drugs. This area is known more specifically as pharmacodynamics. Pharmacodynamics is basically how drugs interact with the body. Many drugs bind to protein receptors on the surface of a cell. Pharmacodynamics strives to understand how tightly a drug binds to its receptor and what happens inside the cell upon drug binding. Lastly, the overall outcome of drugs on the human condition is studied and this is known as efficacy. Efficacy deals with analyzing how well a drug may correct a condition such as arthritis. All three principles, pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetics, and efficacy, play a pivotal role in pharmacology research.

Work settings

Many pharmacologists work in a laboratory research setting conducting experiments with various drugs. These experiments may be done in animal models of disease or at the biochemical level. Pharmacologists are employed by universities, commercial companies such as a pharmaceutical company, or by the government. University settings are often associated with medical centers and pharmacology research projects are largely funded by grants from outside resources. Many pharmacologists in academic settings study very focused areas in which they are interested. Academic labs are headed by a Ph.D. scientist who will lead a team of technicians and students. Academic pharmacology projects tend to focus on how different drugs work and why. Pharmaceutical settings usually have a basic pharmacology research division, a clinical trials division, a production area, and a quality assurance team. A pharmaceutical company may hire a pharmacologist to discover new drugs or to study existing ones for adverse reactions. Pharmaceutical companies conduct very detailed clinical trials in order to have drugs approved by the FDA (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Food and Drug Ad-ministration). Pharmaceutical companies spend a significant amount of money and employ many scientists in order to prove that a drug is safe and useful in treating a particular disease or condition. A pharmacologist may also be hired by a government agency such as the FDA to conduct research on drugs or to review drug approval applications. The FDA is also responsible for monitoring the safety of already approved drugs and therefore hires pharmacologists to monitor approved drugs as well as establish guidelines. All three settings, academic, commercial, and government, provide viable and exciting opportunities for a pharmacologist.

A typical workday for a pharmacologist depends on the sub-discipline the pharmacologist works in. A molecular pharmacologist may spend a significant portion of the day at the lab bench conducting experiments in test tubes. A behavioral pharmacologist may spend the day observing animals treated with certain drugs. A clinical pharmacologist is more likely to spend time evaluating data from patients taking certain medications. These workdays are typical of traditional research pharmacologists. Pharmacologists in more non-traditional careers may be involved in the business or legal side of science. In other words, pharmacologists are not limited to just experimental research in a laboratory setting.

KEY TERMS

Efficacy —The effectiveness of a drug in treating a disease or condition.

Pharmacodynamics —The way a drug acts on tissues and cells in the body.

Pharmacokinetics —The route and rate at which a drug gets in and out of the body.

Education and training

In order to become a pharmacologist, a college degree is required. High school students should take biology, chemistry, and math classes. Several undergraduate institutions now offer a bachelor of science degree in pharmacology. College level courses in biology, biochemistry, anatomy, and physiology are required. The field of pharmacology also requires the use of statistics and laboratory mathematics, and students should complete a statistics course. Undergraduate pharmacology majors should also take chemistry courses, including basic chemistry and organic chemistry. The undergraduate science courses should have a practical laboratory component to prepare students for careers in a laboratory research setting. Students should also pursue undergraduate research projects and look for internship opportunities at pharmaceutical or biotechnology companies. Research associate positions in industry are available for pharmacology college majors, but experience in a laboratory research setting is a must for many of these job opportunities. Universities also hire lab technicians with a college level pharmacology background.

Most pharmacologists have advanced degrees at the masters or Ph.D. level. Many universities offer graduate degree programs in pharmacology. Students pursuing a graduate degree should have a baccalaureate degree in biology, chemistry, or related field. Ph.D. students take in depth courses in physiology and pharmacology. In addition, a major requirement for a Ph.D. is a dissertation research project that is conducted over several years. The Ph.D. student is required to publish novel findings in peer-reviewed scientific journals. After completing a Ph.D. in pharmacology, many graduates go on to postdoctoral research training. Postdoctoral training may be in an academic or commercial setting. This training period has an indefinite time length. Many pharmacologists will then go on to become professors at universities or enter the commercial workforce as research scientists.

Future outlook

The field of pharmacology is experiencing rapid growth and prospects for pharmacologists continue to look good. The mapping of the human genome will provide new insights into designing better drugs and will create a need for more pharmacologists to make use of this new information. Many pharmaceutical companies are hiring pharmacologists for their drug discovery research projects. The pharmaceutical industry is a $300 billion dollar a year industry and this rapid growth is expected to continue.

Resources

BOOKS

The Insider Guide to Jobs in the Biotech and Pharmaceuticals Industry. Version 5.0. San Francisco: Wet Feet Press, 1999.

PERIODICALS

Kling, James. “Industry Seeks Classically Trained: Calling All Pharmacologists.” The Scientist 13 (1999).

Wilson, Jennifer. “Working in Drug Discovery Research: Academia is Not the Only Route for Ph.D.s.” The Scientist 15 (2001).

ORGANIZATIONS

American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. 9650 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD 20814. (301) 530-7060. http://www.faseb.org/aspet/.

Susan M. Mockus Ph.D.

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