Introduction to the Department
...of Pharmacology
Education and training courses
Prospects for the future

Introduction to the Department of Pharmacology
  Pharmacology is an area of studying functional changes in the body arising from the medication, and is indispensable to fields of clinical application. Although belonging to the category of basic medical science, pharmacology can be regarded as an area of playing a bridge role between the pure basic medical science and clinical medicine. Currently, our Department of Pharmacology is actively conducting researches on the areas including gastrointestinal system, central nervous system, pharmacogenomics and clinical pharmacology. According to the domestic and international research trends, these research areas focus on studying the mechanism of drug action from the molecular and cellular level to the behaviour level, and establishing theoretical backgrounds for new applications of the existing drugs. Various animal experiments and co-work studies in collaboration with clinical research teams are also conducted in order to apply the obtained results to the human body.

Education and training courses
  Details of the education and training courses vary depending on the research areas of each professor. Basically however, as these courses are included in the graduate degree program (4-5 years of combined MS-PhD program), no matter which professor is selected, the student will get to take basic graduate courses related to the majoring area (ex: neuroscience, cell biology) and to be trained in the full-time researcher course during the period of degree program. Also, as a basic medical-science instructor, the student will be trained to an educator by widely participating in pharmacology class for medical students. In particular, owing to the recent amendment of the relevant law, similarly to other basic-science departments, male students can both receive a doctoral degree and fulfill the military service simultaneously in 5-6 years, by enrolling in the special research personnel course.

Prospects for the future
  Along with the recent revitalization of bio-industry, the large investment is being made in drug development, and the era of the tailored medicine utilizing individual patient-based genetic information is expected to come. Accordingly, pharmacology is considered an area that can best integrate the basic science with the clinical science in accordance with this trend. Particularly agreeable with this perspective, our department is centralizing research activities on the areas of recently increased public attention such as incurable neurodegenerative disorders, gastrointestinal diseases, pharmacogenomics, and clinical trials for drug development.
And not only in prominent university hospitals and pharmaceutical companies, but in many biomedical industries and research institutes, a recent trend is that the need for specialists familiar with diseases and patient populations relevant to the above areas is getting increased. Therefore, it can be said that the future of pharmacology is very bright. The present main research areas of the Department of Pharmacology are as follows:

1) Neuropharmacology
- This area studies neuronal cell death and mind-body relationship using latest molecular biology and behavioral science methods. Through this, it develops the improvements of basic medical sciences related to strokes, dementia, cerebral palsy and mind-body relationship, and provides the basis for drug development.
2) Gastrointestinal pharmacology - This area investigates the development mechanism of gastrointestinal and hepatobiliary diseases and suggests the development of medical treatment methods. Also, it explores the transport mechanism across the gastrointestinal cell membrane to examine the mechanisms of absorption and excretion of drugs and ions in the body and identify the relationship to diseases with pharmacogenomics and genome editing studies.
3) Clinical pharmacology - This area participates in the drug development process by conducting clinical trials in human subjects and develops the basis of software tool for drug development and tailored-medicines therapy by applying Pharmacokinetic/Pharmacodynamic (PK/PD) to computer based modeling/simulation.
Department of Pharmaclogy Yonsei University College of Medicine
50-1 Yonsei-Ro, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul 03722, Korea Tel : +82(2)2228-1730, Fax : +82(2)313-1894