What is it?
Study of drug action in the human body. Pharmacologists’ research is
focused on discovering molecules or drugs that can prevent or better
manage different diseases. Pharmacology is multidisciplinary field that
uses techniques such as analytical chemistry, biochemistry, genetics,
immunology and medicinal chemistry in identifying molecules that cause a
biochemical change in the human body.
Depending on the institution or University, the
BSc degree is an Honors
degree which means that after one or two years of general sciences the
applicant has to be admitted to the degree program based on academic
MSc and Ph.D programs are also available.
Career and Academic Opportunities:
Cardiovascular pharmacologists’ research is focused on identifying drugs
for controlling or managing cardiovascular diseases such as myocardial
infarction or heart rhythm abnormalities. At a molecular level the drugs
work on receptors, channels or smooth muscle. If the drug is successful
in reaching a clinical trials stage it is then marketed after it passes
different clinical trial stages.
Clinical pharmacology is the branch of Medicine or Pharmacy that deals
with the effect of drugs in a real clinical setting. Clinical
pharmacologists are either physicians who complete a two year fellowship
after the internal medicine residency or are clinical pharmacists.
Many find human or clinical pharmacology a very exciting science as
taking medications is a daily ritual for many of us. However, many are
misled in thinking that undergraduate or even graduate degree in
pharmacology will expose one to clinical pharmacology (effect of drugs
in the human body). This is in fact is a misconception. The
undergraduate programs in pharmacology stress on basic and molecular
pharmacology and usually do not focus on clinical pharmacology. Those
who plan of pursuing a career in pharmacology in hope of becoming
clinical pharmacologists may be in for a big surprise. Interested
individuals may be pursue a career in Pharmacy.