New Minor in Pharmacology Available to Students

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 5, 2019) – The pharmaceutical industry is nearly a $1 trillion market, and new drugs are constantly streaming into the marketplace. To remain competitive with the trends, the University of Kentucky now offers an academic minor in pharmacology to study what drugs do and the mechanisms of their actions. This minor is designed to give students a foundation in pharmacology that they can carry into their professional training from medicine to business and beyond.

Michael Kilgore, Ph.D., associate professor of pharmacology and nutritional sciences in the UK College of Medicine, has led the initiative to create the undergraduate minor in pharmacology. “The minor was offered for the first time this spring semester,” Kilgore said. “This program complements a wide range of majors across the University including biology, chemistry, psychology, neuroscience, agricultural and medical biotechnology, nursing, health sciences, kinesiology and others.”

“Pharmacology is an exciting and growing field of study,” said Dr. Robert S. DiPaola, dean of the College of Medicine. “Work in pharmacology and nutritional sciences is a strength at UK, as evidenced by the department’s national ranking according to the Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research in 2018. This new minor provides an important new option for our students that is available at very few universities.”

Undergraduate students who are interested in discovering how therapeutic drugs work, what factors influence drug development and how side effects can limit drug utility should consider this distinctive educational program. “This is a unique educational opportunity for students interested in health-related fields on our campus,” said Nada M. Porter, Ph.D., associate professor and interim chair of pharmacology and nutritional sciences. When launched, UK was the first university in the state or in surrounding states to offer this type of minor.”

The curriculum consists of six core courses that are delivered by faculty in the departments of pharmacology and nutritional sciences and psychology. The minor is designed to prepare graduates for careers in multiple health-related professions including medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, nursing, and veterinary medicine, to name a few.

This new minor is a significant recruitment tool for UK and the College of Medicine. “Very few universities have pharmacology programs at the undergraduate level across the United States,” said Rebecca Dutch, Ph.D., associate dean for biomedical education. 

Visit the department of Pharmacology and Nutritional Sciences website for more information.