Ph.D. Program in Biomedical Sciences, Pharmacology & Toxicology Concentration

Program Description

The concentration in Pharmacology and Toxicology, as part of the doctoral program in Biomedical Sciences, offers a PhD program that represents a flexible, research-oriented approach designed to develop the interests, capabilities and potential of all participants. The program is individually adapted to provide students with a diversified background in the pharmacological and toxicological sciences with a heavy emphasis on research that begins at the earliest possible opportunity for each student. The main objective of any concentration in Pharmacology and Toxicology is to train skilled pharmacologists and toxicologists who can pursue any career path available to this discipline as well as equip students with life-long learning skills that enable them to succeed in alternative careers. Pharmacology is a science that involves all aspects of the action of drugs on living systems and their constituent parts from the intermolecular reactions of chemical compounds within a cell to the evaluation of a drug in the treatment of human disease. Toxicology is a science that involves the study of the adverse or toxic effects of drugs and other chemical agents. It is concerned not only with drugs used in the treatment of disease, but also with chemicals that may present household, environmental, or industrial hazards. Thus, the Doctoral Program prepares graduates to effectively compete as independent scientists in a global economy in various science careers including academia, government, pharmaceutical companies and regulatory agencies.

East Carolina University is committed to social justice. The Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology concurs with that commitment and expects to maintain a positive learning environment based upon open communication, mutual respect, and non-discrimination. We do not discriminate due to race, gender identity and expression, age, disability, veteran’s status, religion, sexual orientation, color, creed, genetic information, political affiliation, or national origin.

Degrees Offered

  • Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences, Pharmacology & Toxicology Concentration
  • The department participates in the Brody School of Medicine, MS degree in Biomedical Science

Areas of Research

  • Neuropharmacology
    • Drugs of abuse
  • Cardiovascular Pharmacology
  • Environmental Toxicology
  • Pulmonary Pharmacology and Toxicology
  • Immunotoxicology
  • Metabolic Disease
    • Diabetes
  • Cancer
    • Drug discovery and development
  • Cell Signaling


Minimum requirements for consideration of admission are:

  • Grade Point Average of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) at an accredited college or university.
  • Three letters of recommendation. Recommendations written on the recommender’s letterhead are expected for competitive candidates

International Students:

  • Test Of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL); 550 (written) & 213 (computer)
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS); 6.5

Prerequisites: A minimum of one year each of biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry and mathematics or equivalent courses.

Application Deadline

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Applications received by the priority date of January 15th will receive for full consideration of assistantship funding, tuition waivers, health insurance, and other incentives. Applications will still be considered after the priority deadline but funding of assistantships, tuition, health insurance, and other incentives will be subject to remaining availability.

Students must receive approval from the Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology Graduate Studies Committee to begin studies in semesters other than the Fall.

Academic Stipends

Full-time doctoral students (U.S. citizens) are eligible for annual graduate fellowships of $25,000 plus tuition and individual health care insurance. All students are responsible for paying student fees. Guidelines of the program preclude students from holding part-time employment outside the department.

Apply Online

ECU Grad School

For more information contact:

Dr. Rukiyah Van Dross-Anderson
Graduate Program Director, Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences, Pharmacology & Toxicology Concentration
Phone: 252-744-2744