Pharmacology and Toxicology
The pharmacology and toxicology disciplines explore the mechanisms underlying the action of drugs, chemicals, and environmental toxicants. The study of both pharmacology and toxicology integrates the principles and skills of biology and chemistry in an effort to understand the molecular, cellular and organismal effects of chemicals on biological systems.
Pharmacology is the study of biological effects of drugs. Pharmacologists pursue the discovery of therapeutic agents to treat cancer, heart disease, AIDS, mental disorders and other illnesses; identify the cellular mechanisms by which existing drugs work; and investigate the biologic basis of diseases.
Toxicology is the study of the harmful effects of chemical agents found in our environment. Toxicologists examine health risks from environmental agents; chemical involvement with chronic diseases such as cancer, pulmonary disease, immune deficiency; and the safety of new drugs and industrial chemicals as alternatives to existing agents.