Pharmacology & Toxicology Graduate Program

Program Director Welcome

Dr. Fernanda LaezzaWelcome to the Pharmacology & Toxicology Graduate Program!

The University of Texas Medical Branch offers unprecedented opportunities for training and career development in the area of Pharmacology & Toxicology. With the growing need for new therapeutics against human diseases, the discipline of Pharmacology & Toxicology is taking center stage among biomedical sciences. A PhD in Pharmacology & Toxicology offers an opportunity for advanced studies in the field of drug discovery ranging from identification of new targets for therapeutic development to clinical trials that precede new drug marketing. Because of its interdisciplinary nature and intimate connection with the industrial sector, training in Pharmacology & Toxicology will equip graduates with the most diverse technical skills and instill a rigorous approach to science while promoting independent thinking and an entrepreneurial spirit in students. 

With strengths in Addiction and Mental Health Research, Cancer Biology, Environmental Toxicology, Medicinal Chemistry, Neuropharmacology, Neuroimmunology and Structural Biology, our graduate program works closely with: i. the Center for Addiction Research (CAR, Dr. Kathryn Cunningham, director) ; ii. the Sealy Center for Cancer Cell Biology (Dr. Lawrence Sowers, director; iii. the Sealy Center for Environmental Health Sciences and Medicine (Dr. Cornelis Elferink, director); iv. the Chemical Biology Program (led by Dr. Jia Zhou); v. the Sealy Center for Structural Biology (Dr. Montgomery Pettitt, director); and vi. Sealy Center for Vaccine Development (Dr. Alan Barrett, director). We have two NIH funded T32 training grants: one in the area of addiction (Dr. Cunningham, Director) and another in the area of Environmental Toxicology (Dr. Ameredes, director) that are available to our students as specialized platforms for training and infrastructure for career development. In addition, UTMB is part of the Gulf Coast Consortia that offer additional intra-institutional T32 training grants in areas of research that span from computational biology to neuroscience, cancer pharmacology and bioinformatics.


Fernanda Laezza, M.D., Ph.D.

Professor & Graduate Program Director
Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology


Pharmacology & Toxicology Ambassador Awards

Nolan Dvorak, PhD Award Recipient

Mark Sowers, MD-PhD Award Recipient

                  News & Events                 

PhD and MS Application Portal for Fall 2022 - Summer 2023 admissions OPEN August 15th, 2021


Congratulations to PhD student, Justine Ortega-Mendez, on being selected as a 2021-2022 Graduate Student Organization (GSO) Executive Officer. Justine will serve as the Secretary for the GSO.

Congratulations to the new  Pharmacology & Toxicology Student Organization (PTSO) Officers for 2021-2022

President - Jacqueline Silva
Vice President - Madison Tanner
Secretary -
Leah Salinsky
Treasurer -
Joshua Zamora

Congratulations to our PhD student, Nolan Dvorak, for being selected for the George Sealy Research Award in Neurology.
Congratulations to our PhD student, Kenya Moore, for being selected for a Predoctoral Fellowship with the Sealy Institute for Vaccine Sciences starting January 2021.