Welcome to the Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics at NUI Galway. This Department was established in 1974. We are primarily affiliated with the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, but also play an active role in the Science Faculty. At present, the Department has six academic staff members, four technical staff and two administrative assistants. We are involved in the delivery of undergraduate teaching to medical, nursing and science students and to postgraduate teaching in a taught Masters in Neuropharmocology and many students are also gaining their PhDs through research in our Department. The Department is spread across three locations on the NUI Galway campus. Offices and teaching areas are located inside the Newcastle Road gate, teaching and research laboratories are off Distillery Road and Clinical Pharmacology research takes place in the Clinical Science Institute on the grounds of University College Hospital Galway.

Pharmacology is a field of study that seeks to understand how chemical substances in the environment, such as drugs, interact with the body. Substances that are found in the environment other than drugs, for example poisons and toxins are also studied by pharmacologists to try to understand how those substances can harm the body. Pharmacology as a discipline has been in existence for approximately the past 100 years, having developed out of the closely related disciplines of physiology and chemistry. In the past, most drugs were isolated from plants, but most new drugs nowadays are synthesised in the laboratory.

Pharmacologists study all aspects of how drugs affect living organisms with the objective of understanding disease better, developing new drugs to treat diseases, and ensuring the safest and best use of existing drugs. In this way, pharmacology can be thought of as spanning a spectrum of activity all the way from the discovery of new drug targets, the development of new drugs, and the regulation and safe use of medicines.

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