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Pharmacology and Toxicology was established as a department at the Medical College of Georgia in 1943.


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-assisted drug design; genetic screens; protein engineering; and new drug-delivery vehicles like viruses and artificial cells.

 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).

β adrenergic receptors (blue) clustered into artificial microdomains on the surface of a living COS7 cell (red).  

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Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology

Health Sciences Campus

Carl T. Sanders R & E Building


Ashley Davis

RM 3530

Pharmacology & Toxicology News

Man wearing glasses and a lab coat stands in a medical lab

MCG researcher secures prestigious grant for research to prevent blindness in premature infants

Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is among the most common illnesses that affect premature or low birth-weight infants and is a major cause of long-term vision impairment and blindness.

Two men in white coats sit in front of lab

Long molecule of RNA essential to our GI tract’s ability to contract and move food along

Without CARMN, a long, noncoding RNA, the 30-foot-long GI tract doesn’t contract as it should.

Three people in white coats stand in lab

Medical College of Georgia scientists work to protect the vision of premature babies

With preterm birth, the still-immature retina can develop a potentially blinding eye disorder known as retinopathy of prematurity.

Woman on left with blonde hair and man on right., both wearing white lab jackets, face the camera

Powerful enzyme that tamps down inflammation holds promise for protecting eyes in diabetes, premature birth

Making more of enzyme A1, which tamps down inflammation, available could help treat diabetic retinopathy and retinopathy of prematurity.