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Chair’s Message


Joey V. Barnett, Ph.D.
Professor & Acting Chair, Department of Pharmacology 
Assistant Dean, Physician-Researcher Training 
Director, Office of Medical Student Research



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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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...