Originally developed to discover how remedies and poisons effected man, modern pharmacology lays the groundwork to discover and develop future generations of therapeutics. Pharmacology's scope has broadened to include: computer-assited drug design; genetic screens; protein engineering; and new drug-delivery vehicles like viruses and artificial cells.
Pharmacology and Toxicology was established as a department at the Medical College of Georgia in 1943. The department's history of accomplishments include the discovery of the adrenergic receptor subtypes-alpha and beta which led to developing several drugs used to treat cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular and neuroscience studies are the focuses of the department's research programs.
Raymond P. Ahlquist, working in this Department, first defined α and β adrenergic receptors in 1948. This discovery eventually led to the development of “β blocker” drugs for hypertension and heart disease.
β adrenergic receptors (blue) clustered into artificial microdomains on the surface
of a living COS7 cell (red).