Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology

Pharmacology and Toxicology Graduate Programs

The Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology has research strengths in neuropharmacology — especially in neurodegeneration, psychiatric disorders, and addiction — and the effects of diabetes on the nervous system. The research program is founded on strong Ph.D. and M.S. graduate programs.

Doctoral students are prepared to teach and do research in a university, pharmaceutical, biotechnology, or government laboratory setting. New Ph.D. students can look forward to personal development in an atmosphere that fosters strong collaborative activities as well as independent scholarship. The department recruits 4 to 5 Ph.D. students each year and offers stipends and tuition coverage.

The major aim of the MS degree program is to provide qualified graduates to institutions in academia, industry, and government. The Master of Science in Pharmacology and Toxicology program emphasizes student’s research skills in molecular and neuro-pharmacology and toxicology.  In addition to the didactic component of our training, we view hands-on training in laboratory research critical to the master’s thesis experience.

The Distance Master of Science degree in Pharmacology and Toxicology is a program designed to train individuals in molecular, cellular and organ systems pharmacology and toxicology.  The program provides advanced scientific knowledge in pharmacology and toxicology and is designed for individuals who are seeking additional academic qualifications that will facilitate their advancement at their place of employment, or will increase their competitiveness for admission to other graduate or professional degree programs.

The department’s research programs and faculty place it at the leading edge of research in the pharmacological and toxicological neurosciences.

Neurosciences Graduate Programs

The graduate program in neurosciences at the University of Kansas is a degree-granting program. Students are admitted directly into the program. The program is coordinated by the Lawrence campus of the university - with strengths in the behavioral, biological, chemical, and pharmaceutical sciences - and the Medical Center campus in Kansas City - with strengths in all the biomedical and clinical sciences. Each student is asked to indicate the campus on which he or she would like to be considered for admission. Students in this program should expect to be admitted to and receive a Ph.D. degree in neurosciences.

The program appeals to students who want to teach and/or do research in a university or do research in a pharmaceutical/ biotechnology company or government laboratory. Students who are interested in this field wish to work out individual programs spanning a great breadth from molecular and cellular neurobiology to organism-based neurophysiology, behavioral neurobiology, and cognitive neuroscience. Students take advantage of the many research and training opportunities available at two campuses of a major research university. Our students can look forward to personal development in an atmosphere that fosters strong collaborative activities as well as independent scholarship. If this type of program fits your professional training expectations, we invite you to join us.


Research facilities offer a range of modern instrumentation and many research support services. Major instruments include tissue culture rooms, ultracentrifuges, scintillation counters, high-pressure liquid chromatography systems, a patch-clamp electrophysiology system with Nikon fluorescent microscope, microprocessor-controlled spectrophotometers and fluorometers including a dual excitation wavelength instrument for intracellular measurements and a time-resolved luminescence and fluorescence microplate reader with dual dispensing capabilities, a Seahorse Extracellular Flux Analyzer for measuring cell metabolism and major energy-producing pathways of the cell, a dark room with a film processor, and real-time PCR equipment.

University research support facilities also contribute to the high quality of research and training for graduate students. These facilities are fully staffed by professionals and include the Electron Microscopy Lab with transmission and scanning scopes; the Biochemical Research Services Lab for Illumina RNAseq, protein and DNA sequencing, amino acid analysis, and oligonucleotide and peptide syntheses; a High Throughput Laboratory for screening compounds as potential tools and drug development, and the Molecular Graphics and Modeling Lab with VAX computers, extensive databases for protein structures, and multiple molecular modeling programs an NMR facility; an X-ray Crystallography Laboratory; a Mass Spectrometry Laboratory; and an Instrumentation Design Laboratory. All labs have current computer technology, including hardware and extensive software for imaging, data analysis, data reduction, protein and gene analysis, and statistical tests.