History of the Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology

History of the Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology

Pharmacology and toxicology have been taught at the University of Louisville School of Medicine since its founding in 1837.  Professors of pharmacology and toxicology originally had titles such as "materia medica' or "medical chemistry".  The Department was identified as "Physiology and Pharmacology" in 1909; "Pharmacology" in 1941; and its current name "Pharmacology and Toxicology" in 1978.  The graduate program was established in 1954; an NIH training grant awarded in 2004; and a PhD partnership with Wenzhou Medical University approved in 2014. 

We mourn the passing away of William J. Waddell, MD, Professor and Chair Emeritus of Pharmacology and Toxicology on March 2, 2014.  Bill was a rare example of a premier scholar, academic and scientific leader, and gentleman. He recruited an outstanding faculty and staff to the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the University of Louisville. Bill was a wonderful colleague and an active and gracious professor and chair emeritus continuing to contribute significantly to department teaching and research activities following his retirement in 1997. Bill made enormous contributions to the University of Louisville and to the scientific and academic community. His legacy will continue and he will be deeply missed.  

Department Chairs [PDF]

Society of Toxicology's Department history [PDF]

Kee Chang Huang Lectureship and Awards [PDF], KC Huang Resolution [PDF]

Peter K. Knoefel Endowed Chair [PDF], Peter K. Knoefel Resolution [PDF]

William J. Waddell Seminar Series [PDF]

Henry G. Barbour Award [PDF]

Carlo H. Tamburro Resolution [PDF]

1950 Laboratory Course in Pharmacology and Toxicology [PDF]

Important dates in department history:

1798: Founding of the University of Louisville

1837: Founding of the School of Medicine; Pharmacology taught as "Materia Medica"

1909: Founding of the Department of Physiology & Pharmacology; Henry A. Cottell, MD appointed Department Chair

1914: Virgil E. Simpson, MD appointed Department Chair

1923: Henry G. Barbour, MD appointed Department Chair

1933: George E. Wakerlin, MD, PhD appointed Department Chair

1941: Founding of a separate Department of Pharmacology; Peter K. Knoefel, MD appointed Department Chair

1954: Founding of the pharmacology graduate program

1958: First PhD in pharmacology awarded to James W. Fisher

1969: Thomas C. Darby, PhD appointed Department Chair

1974: Edward A. Carr Jr., MD appointed Department Chair

1977: William J. Waddell, MD appointed Department Chair

1978: Department name and graduate program changed to Pharmacology and Toxicology

1982: Department hosts the joint fall meeting of the American Society for Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics and the Society of Toxicology.

1997: David W. Hein, PhD -  appointed Department Chair

1998: University of Louisville bicentennial

2001: One hundredth graduate of the pharmacology and toxicology program

2004: NIH predoctoral training grant awarded

2009: NIH training grant renewed and expanded to include both predoctoral and postdoctoral fellowships; Two hundredth graduate of the pharmacology and toxicology program

2011: NCI Cancer Education Program grant awarded

2014: PhD program partnership with Wenzhou Medical University approved