department of pharmacology

Message from the Chair

Krzysztof Palczewski
Krzysztof Palczewski, Ph.D.

It is with great pleasure that I welcome you to one of the country's finest research organizations. Case Western Reserve University is well known for its excellence in research and teaching in multiple disciplines, including Pharmacology. I am honored to present to you a department that has a rich and distinguished history, and one that has incredible potential to advance basic science and contribute to urgently needed developments in therapeutic medicine in the coming years.

The basic science tradition of the Case Department of Pharmacology is highlighted by awards of the Nobel Prize recognizing the work of several of its previous members. Earl W. Sutherland, former professor of pharmacology here, won the Prize in 1971 for his discovery of the second messenger, cyclic AMP. Theodore W. Rall, another distinguished professor of the department, contributed to the discovery of cyclic AMP and also discovered the adenosine receptor. His student Alfred G. Gilman, who completed his Ph.D. and M.D. degrees at Case, was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1994 for his seminal work on the functions of G-Proteins. Ferid Murad, also a Ph.D./M.D. graduate of the Department of Pharmacology, won the Prize in 1998 for discovery of nitric oxide signaling.

Modern pharmacology bridges and integrates the once-diverse fields of genomics, biochemistry, molecular biology, endocrinology, immunology, neuroscience, and structural biology, bringing together detailed molecular knowledge of drugs and their cellular receptors to understand the mechanisms by which their interactions produce changes in the body. To make significant advances in any of these fields from a therapeutic perspective requires an integrated understanding of them all.

Our success in discovering and communicating this breadth of knowledge depends on the team efforts of our professors, research assistants, and administrative staff in conjunction with our post-doctoral, pre-doctoral and pre-baccalaureate students. Together we form a vibrant scientific learning community. Students at all levels are important members of these teams. Their energy and enthusiasm, penetrating questions, and contributions to generating and interpreting new data help to foster a continuous educational environment that sharpens and expands our knowledge base and piques our interest in pursuing new areas of investigation in the biological sciences. This contagious enthusiasm for understanding fundamental biology and translating it to novel therapeutic approaches remains vital to our mission as a modern Department of Pharmacology.

Krzysztof Palczewski, Ph.D.
Chair, Department of Pharmacology
Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
Cleveland, Ohio