Click here to enable the accessibility widget for this website (Can also be opened using the Alt+9 Key)
Sullivan Logo 01
College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
Virtual Tour
Schedule a Visit
More Information

Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences

Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences

The pharmaceutical sciences are a group of interdisciplinary areas of study involved with the design, action, delivery, disposition, and use of drugs. These areas of expertise draw on many areas of basic and applied science such as chemistry, biology, mathematics, physics, and engineering. Students learn the common language of pharmaceutical sciences, helping them to better evaluate clinical literature and ensuring a thorough foundation of practical pharmacy.

The pharmaceutical sciences are generally divided into the following subdivisions that are of major importance to pharmacists and are subjects of study in pharmacy schools:

  • Pharmacology: the study of the biochemical and physiological effects of drugs on organisms. The mechanism of action of drugs is a particular area of pharmacology of concern for pharmacists.
  • Pharmacodynamics: the study of the cellular and molecular interactions of drugs with their receptors. 
  • Toxicology: the study of the harmful or toxic effects of drugs. This includes toxic effect arising from combinations of otherwise relatively nontoxic drugs.
  • Pharmacokinetics: the study of the factors that control the concentration of drugs at various sites in the body. How a drug travels between e.g., different organs and tissues of the body.
  • Pharmaceutics: the study and design of drug dosage forms for optimal delivery, stability, pharmacokinetics, and patient acceptance.
  • Medicinal Chemistry: the study of drug design to optimize the pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and synthesis of new drug candidates.
  • Pharmacogenomics: the study of the inheritance of characteristic patterns of interaction between drugs and organisms.

Pharmaceutical science topics begin at the start of the pharmacy program. The curriculum includes a foundation covering the basic concepts of pharmaceutical science. It quickly integrates these concepts with the practical application of pharmacy.


Faculty Research

Faculty in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, carry on diverse areas of research in their individual topics of expertise such as cancer, microbiology, aromatherapy, and the scholarship of teaching and learning. In addition, faculty are involved in research collaborations with other members of the department and College. These collaborations have included studies on the science behind more effective teaching and innovative methods in teaching.

Recent Publications and National Presentations


  •      Perpich JD, Yakoumatos L, Johns P, et al. Identification and characterization of a UbK family kinase in Porphyromonas gingivalis that phosphorylates the RprY response regulator. Mol Oral Microbiol. 2021;36(5):258-266. doi:10.1111/omi.12347
  • Qandil A, Darweesh R, Al-Ghananeem A. The case for authentic student assessment in distance digital pharmacy education. MedEdPublish. 2021;10(6).
  • Sumanasekera W, Zhao Y, Lozier S, Veldhi A. Design and evaluation of scholarship and research orientation sessions in academic pharmacy practice experiences. J Med Educ Curric Dev. 2021;8:23821205211014897. doi:10.1177/23821205211014897
  • Zhao Y, Fuller L, Daugherty K. Evaluating pharmacy faculty perceptions of empathy in education: A qualitative study. Curr Pharm Teach Learn. 2021;13(8):975-981.
  • Al-Ghananeem A, Kahaleh A, Mukhalalati B. Pharmacy education in sub-Saharan Africa: special focus area. In: International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP). FIP pharmacy education in sub-Saharan Africa. The Hague: International Pharmaceutical Federation; 2020.
  • Zhao Y, Elder K. Evaluating pharmacy student perceptions and effectiveness of procrastination prevention events. Curr Pharm Teach Learn. 2020;12(5): 570-576.
  • Esposito ER, Palmer EC, Shin M, Raake S, Malcom DR, Daugherty KK. Impact of Intersession Course Remediation on NAPLEX/PCOA scores in an accelerated Doctor of Pharmacy program. Am J Pharm Educ. 2020;84(9): Article 7827. 
  • Shen D, Perpich JD, Stocke KS, et al. Role of the RprY response regulator in P. gingivalis community development and virulence. Mol Oral Microbiol. 2020;35(6):231-239. doi:10.1111/omi.12311
  • Sumanasekera W, Duff A, Biela S, Wang A, Riggs K, Croley A, Cox A. Hemp extract with specific anti-cancer properties against ovarian cancer. Presented at Annual meeting of American Society of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. April 2021.
  • Sumanasekera W. Smoking and vaping lead to increased severity of COVID-19 and EVALI bedside compromised health. Poster session at the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy Annual Meeting. July 2021.
  • ·     Nash JD, Daugherty KK, English D, Jett A, Malcom D, Cox A, Hardy A, Stutz M. Big shots! The positive frontline impact of student pharmacists on COVID-19 immunizations. Poster session at the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy Annual Meeting. July 2021.