Woman using microscope


Areas of specialization:

  • Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology comprises all aspects of the scientific study of drugs in man. Its objective is to optimize drug therapy.
  • Environmental Toxicology is the study of how chemicals move within the environment and affect biological systems.
  • Genetic and Developmental Pharmacology and Toxicology is the study of interactions between drugs or toxins/toxicants and gene products.
  • Metabolic Fate and Pharmacokinetics is the study of the absorption, distribution, metabolism, and elimination of drugs.
  • Neuropharmacology and Toxicology is the study of how drugs affect cellular function in the nervous system.
  • Respiratory Pharmacology and Toxicology is the study of how both drug and toxin exposure affect the human respiratory system.
  • Molecular, Cellular and Biochemical Toxicology is the study of the molecular mechanisms through which toxicants produce adverse effects.

This tremendous breadth of areas represented by the faculty offers a wide choice of areas in which to specialize. In addition, formal programs termed Designated Emphasis in Reproductive BiologyDesignated Emphasis in BiotechnologyDesignated Emphasis in Translational Research are available to you if you wish to pursue subspecialty areas of Pharmacology and Toxicology in greater detail.


Additionally, students in our program are competitive for a number of training grants:

Predoctoral Training in Pharmacological Sciences

"This Program broadens the research perspectives and skills of trainees interested in pharmacological research. It leverages the multidisciplinary biomedical research environment at UC Davis with its highly successful programs in drug development. One goal is to provide trainees with a detailed “inside look” at and understanding of drug development from target identification into clinic. The second goal is to provide students from PhD programs outside the Pharmacology PhD program training in the core concepts of Pharmacology including Pharmacodynamics and Pharmacokinetics. The Program fosters interactions among investigators and predoctoral fellows from different departments and PhD programs that share an interest in pharmacological sciences. The Program increases understanding of and interest in the concepts, challenges, and opportunities in pharmacological research and therapeutics. It fosters collaborations between established research scientists in pharmacology and their future colleagues in basic and clinical research across academic, government and private sectors."

NIEHS T32: Advanced Training in Environmental Health Sciences

"The NIEHS training program at UC Davis offers interdisciplinary predoctoral training in environmental health science.  The objective of this predoctoral program is to train the next generation of environmental health scientists through interdisciplinary research and coursework that address issues of direct relevance to the NIEHS mission. Training faculty consist of 53 active researchers with substantial experience in mentoring predoctoral students. Areas of research focus in this training program are: (1) Cancer; (2) Endocrine and Metabolic Mechanisms of Toxicity; (3) Genotoxicity and Epigenetics; (4) Neurotoxicology; and (5) Respiratory Toxicology. Faculty interests and expertise overlap in these areas facilitating interaction among labs, which in turn promotes interdisciplinary approaches to studying the impact of environmental factors on human biology and disease. Trainees are recruited from several graduate groups that provide disciplinary training relevant to environmental health sciences: toxicology, exposure assessment, epidemiology, cell and molecular biology, neuroscience and pathophysiology."

NIEHS/UC Davis Superfund Research and Training Program

"The UC Davis Superfund Research Program conducts and translates research on hazardous substances in the environment and their impact on human health.

Our primary goals are:

1. Acquiring a better understanding of the human and ecological risks of hazardous substances; and

2. Advancing the development of new technologies for the cleanup of contaminated sites.

The UC Davis Superfund Research Program is in its 32nd year - making it the longest running program in the country!"

Comparative Lung Biology and Medicine

"The Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Lung Center has been awarded a National of Institutes of Health Training Grant in Comparative Lung Biology and Medicine. The Program is designed to provide opportunities for pre-doctoral and postdoctoral trainees to become independent investigators in lung biomedical-related research.

This training depends on a strong, in-depth program in a conventional discipline (i.e., biochemistry, molecular biology, cell and developmental biology, pathology, physiology, toxicology, epidemiology, etc.) coupled with a broad base in the other disciplines. Because the respiratory system is one of the most complex organ systems in the body, regardless of the perspective, all training is organized to ensure a broad, multidisciplinary base which will promote an understanding of the basic cellular and molecular mechanisms of disease and the physiological and pathobiologic basis of disease processes and the translation of research findings into applicable therapeutic approaches."

Training Program in Basic and Translational Cardiovascular Science

"The main goals of this training program include: connecting basic and clinical science trainees, integrating basic and translational research, and providing high caliber research training.  Quality training is made possible with a combination of outstanding and energetic faculty leadership and an exceptional pool of talented trainees (graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and clinical research fellows), who share a commitment to solving major issues in cardiovascular- and vascular-related diseases.

The overall objectives of the proposed training program are as follows:

  1. Select the most qualified predoctoral/graduate students interested in cardiovascular research from the participating graduate groups: Molecular and Cellular Integrative Physiology (MCIP), Biochemistry, Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology (GBCB), Pharmacology and Toxicology (PTX), Biomedical Engineering (BME) and other Graduate Programs
  2. Select the most qualified clinical fellows and residents, who demonstrate a commitment to basic and/or translational research and to becoming physician scientists
  3. Select the most qualified postdoctoral fellows, who demonstrate a commitment to cardiovascular research, from the faculty trainers’ laboratories."
UC Davis Comparative Medical Science Training Program

"The UC Davis Comparative Medical Science Training Program provides graduate research training, leading to the PhD degree, for veterinarians who seek careers in biomedical research. The training program is based in the Center for Immunology and Infectious Diseases, which is a research and graduate teaching center that is sponsored by the Schools of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine. The Center hosts faculty from both schools who are engaged in research utilizing animal models of human disease, with major areas of emphasis in infectious disease, cancer, and genomics. The Center interfaces with the campus laboratory animal medicine program and the adjacent California National Primate Research Center, and residency programs in veterinary pathology and laboratory animal medicine. Students who matriculate into the program are placed with mentors within the Center, or with mentors in various programs in the School of Medicine or Veterinary Medicine, allowing customization of training emphasis to the interests of the student. The program fosters an appreciation for membership within the broad professional community of comparative medicine."