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Chair’s Message

Ege T. Kavalali, Ph.D.


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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Single mutation causes seizure disorder

by Leigh MacMillan Lennox-Gastaut syndrome is a severe early-onset seizure disorder that includes cognitive and behavioral ab...

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Robotic technology speeds arrhythmia gene classification

  by Leigh MacMillan Vanderbilt University Medical Center investigators have used high-throughput robotic technology ...

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Blocking stress-induced relapse

by Bill Snyder Stress is a precipitating factor for craving and relapse in cocaine use disorder. A part of the brain known as...

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A new contributor to atherosclerosis

by Leigh MacMillan Free radicals produced during oxidative stress react with membrane fatty acids to yield highly reactive li...

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Kavalali receives Humboldt Research Award

Ege T. Kavalali, PhD, professor and acting chair of the Department of Pharmacology in the Vanderbilt University School of Medici...

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Cell fate signaling

by Leigh MacMillan The protein kinase MELK is thought to affect cell cycle regulation, proliferation and mitosis. Overexpress...

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Study explores potential new class of antidepressants

Max Joffe, PhD, left, P. Jeffrey Conn, PhD, and colleagues are studying a new class of antidepressants that may relieve symptoms...

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Team discovers one more piece to the autism puzzle

by Bill Snyder Mutations in a subunit of a receptor that binds the major inhibitory neurotransmitter GABAA in the brain have ...

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Guengerich, Sanders-Bush named ASPET fellows

  by Bill Snyder Vanderbilt University’s F. Peter (Fred) Guengerich, PhD, and Elaine Sanders-Bush, PhD, are among 22 ...

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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...