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Chair’s Message


Ege T. Kavalali, Ph.D.
Professor & Acting Chair, Department of Pharmacology 
William Stokes Chair In Experimental Therapeutics




I am honored to welcome you to the Department of Pharmacology at Vanderbilt. We are one of the most distinguished Pharmacology departments in the country and one that has incredible potential to advance basic science and contribute to urgently-needed drug development in the coming years.

Our research interests include five major areas:

  • signal transduction
  • neuroscience
  • bioactive lipid metabolism
  • genetic basis of cardiovascular dysfunction
  • drug metabolism

Molecules under investigation include G-protein coupled receptors (rhodopsin, adrenergic, serotonin and receptors), heterotrimeric G-proteins, ion channels, transporters and regulatory proteins such as arrestins, protein kinases and protein phosphatases.  We provide training focused on critical thinking to promote innovation, scholarship and integrity.  To this end, we foster creativity, collegiality, and leadership.

Pharmacology in the News

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A probiotic treatment for obesity?

by Leigh MacMillan Alterations in the gut microbiota — the microorganisms residing in the gastrointestinal tract — have been ...

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Defective transporter linked to autism

by Bill Snyder Signaling by the neurotransmitter dopamine is a critical regulator of movement, attention and reward. Disrupte...

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Potassium balance and glaucoma

by Sanjay Mishra Retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) make up the optic nerve. When RGCs degenerate due to elevated intraocular pres...

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Yohn named Postdoc of the Year at annual symposium; Sappington named Mentor of the Year

By Irene McKirgan Samantha Yohn, 2019 Vanderbilt Postdoc of the Year. (Anne Rayner/Vanderbilt) Postdoctoral scholar Samantha Yoh...

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The arrestin-GPCR connection

G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) are the “inbox” of environmental messages in mammalian cells. Because of their central role ...

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Reprogramming cells for kidney repair

Chronic kidney disease is on the rise worldwide. Approaches to develop regenerative or cellular therapies are hindered by the co...

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New way to stimulate learning?

The vagus nerve connects the brain and organs throughout the body. Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) implants have been used for mor...

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Vanderbilt scientists report new modeling of brain signaling

The release of neurotransmitters and hormones in the body is tightly controlled by complex protein machinery embedded in cell me...

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Gene identified that increases risk of antibiotic reaction

Researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and colleagues have identified a gene that increases the risk for a severe a...

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Modulating stress circuits

Stress contributes to psychiatric diseases including depression, eating disorders and addiction. Neurons that express the stress...

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Lindsley named fellow of National Academy of Inventors

Craig Lindsley, PhD, co-director of the Vanderbilt Center for Neuroscience Drug Discovery (VCNDD), has been named a fellow of th...

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Cytokine-cognition connection

Schizophrenia and major depressive disorder are both caused by perturbations in dopamine signaling. They belong to a group of co...