Research

Pharmacology and physiology deal with the physical and chemical nature of living organisms and the mechanisms of drug actions on these organisms. These disciplines are interactive and very quantitative, applying math, physics, chemistry, and computer science to the study of biological systems. They cover numerous fields, including neuroscience, cardiovascular and other organ systems, endocrinology, biophysics, protein structure and drug design, signal transduction, neurodegenerative diseases, cancer, drug and gene therapy and drug abuse. Research in pharmacology and physiology often is "translational," linking basic science with medicine and the treatment of disease.


Areas of Research

Research in MPP involves collaborative efforts within and between departments at Brown, with universities and research institutes throughout the world, as well as with hospitals, pharmaceutical companies and the National Institutes of Health. Some examples of current MPP research topics include:

  • Mechanisms of synaptic plasticity, learning and memory
  • Stem cell differentiation and regulation
  • UV light signal transduction in human skin
  • NMR and X-ray structures of interacting proteins
  • Mechanisms of circadian biorhythms
  • Bacteria in biofuel development and antibiotic resistance
  • Genetic basis of autism and other cognitive disorders
  • Development of drug and gene delivery methods
  • Mechanisms of sudden cardiac death
  • Development of artificial organ systems
  • Function and regulation of neurotransmitter receptors
  • Structure, function and biophysics of ion channels
  • Mechanisms of cell death and cancer development
  • Receptors of psychoactive drugs
  • Mechanisms of sensory transduction
  • Nerve degeneration in alcoholism, fetal alcohol syndrome and Alzheimer's disease
  • Biological consequences of DNA damage
  • Mechanisms of drug addiction
  • Brain wiring during embryonic development
  • Nanoscale mechanical properties of cells

Research Facilities

All graduate student research is carried out in faculty research laboratories. In addition to all the basic research equipment, tools, and facilities, we have numerous modern shared facilities, including:

  • confocal and electron microscopy facilities
  • a professionally staffed animal-care facility
  • an artificial-organ laboratory
  • a structural biology facility for NMR and X-ray crystallography
  • a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) facility
  • a nanomedicine facility
  • a mouse transgenic and knockout core facility
  • a proteomics core facility
  • a 3D imaging facility
  • a mass spectrometry facility
  • a bioinformatics facility
  • a genomics core facility with the capacity to analyze gene-chips.

Find Core Facilities