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.

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 initiated with Wenzhou Medical University
  • 2015: PhD program partnership initiated with Cairo University
  • 2015: PhD program partnership initiated with Jilin University