C H A I R ' S L E T T E R
ROBERT S. KASS, Ph.D.
Office: Presbyterian Hospital | 7th floor | Room 318
Welcome to the Department of Pharmacology Web site. We have designed this site to be used as a resource that provides a snapshot of our department, our institution, our home, and New York City. These are exciting times in biomedical research as molecular genetics and structural biology together are beginning to identify specific and novel targets that offer great potential to change the manner by which chemical agents can be used to modify the function of living systems. The spirit of the Department of Pharmacology is one of synergistic science with many opportunities to bridge basic and clinical science. As such, interests of the members of the Department span such diverse problems as the identification of molecular signals that determine whether a cell lives or dies to the discovery of new drugs that control cardiac rhythm in inherited and non-inherited heart disease; use of inducible pluripotent stems as drug screening platforms; the physiology and pharmacology of pain pathways; mechanistic studies of schizophrenia; x-ray crystallography of GABAB receptors and pharmacology and physiology of GABAA receptors.
We have designed a richly collaborative Ph.D. training program that offers a very broad spectrum of opportunities both at Columbia University Medical Center; the Morningside Heights Columbia campus and includes the departments of Chemistry and Biology; and one that includes several clinical departments at the medical center including but not limited to medicine and pediatrics. This training program has been designed to offer maximum flexibility to students so that they may identify research areas that will excite and inspire them and have opportunities to study mechanisms that range from those of fundamental cellular and structural issues to translational problems that bridge these basic mechanisms with human diseases.
Members of the Department of Pharmacology are proud to be an integral part of the intellectual and cultural life of New York City. In many ways the diversity of scientific interests within the Department reflect the diversity of the rich scientific environment of Columbia University and, in addition, the unique cultural and social environment of New York City. For example departmental graduate student softball team, "The Pharm Team," competes in a city-wide league in which games are scheduled in city parks ranging from Dyckman Fields in northern Manhattan to Riverside Park, near the Columbia Morningside Campus, to Central Park. An experience at Columbia is intertwined with life and the extraordinary wealth of cultural attractions available in New York City. I invite you to use this site to explore the research opportunities available in the Department of Pharmacology, to learn and read about our faculty, and also to explore the combinations of art, music, diverse cultures, and food that together constitute New York City. Please feel free to contact me or any other faculty member should you desire information that is not available on this site.
Robert S. Kass, Ph.D.
Chairman of Pharmacology