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Research at the School of Pharmacy

The research interests of the graduate faculty of the School of Pharmacy span a wide variety of areas. There are over 25 faculty in the school who have active research programs in which M.S., Ph.D., and Post-doctoral students may receive mentoring.

Medicinal Chemistry

Medicinal chemistry, an amalgamation of chemistry and the life sciences, is a multidisciplinary field that applies chemical (i.e., synthetic, instrumental, analytical, computational, theoretical and/or physical chemistry) principles to investigations of biologically active substances that include therapeutically useful drugs, natural products, toxins and drugs of abuse.

Investigations are focused on identification of biological mechanisms of action, rational drug design and synthesis, structure-activity relationships, metabolism studies and identification of pharmacological tools, or the development of techniques necessary to perform such studies.


"VCU's Department of Pharmaceutics specializes in the science and technology associated with innovations in drug delivery and drug development."

Pharmaceutics is a multidisciplinary applied science concerned with delivering and maintaining appropriate drug concentrations at target sites in the body for appropriate times (thus, alleviating disease by optimizing drug effects over time).

The Department includes the internationally recognized Aerosol Research Group, which is responsible for the well-known "Respiratory Drug Delivery" conference series. Some faculty also specialize in drug studies in man and employ the department’s Bioanalytical Core Laboratory to conduct drug and metabolite analyses for innovative studies in drug absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion. Others are specialists in biomarker analysis (proteomics and metabolomics) and epithelial and endothelial transporters.

These research activities are characterized by the unique expertise of the individual faculty members in the department.

Pharmacotherapy and Outcomes Science

Research is one of the cornerstones of academic life. In 2004 the Department made a commitment to increase the collective scholarship of the Department. Every faculty member in the Department is expected to contribute and participate in scholarship, the extent depending on their other responsibilities and training. In addition, an increase in the number of research faculty, graduate students, residents and fellows will be instrumental in this effort.

Current Pharm.D. students and prospective graduate students will find a broad spectrum of activities in the links below and are encouraged to contact the responsible faculty to learn more about the opportunities to work with this outstanding faculty.

Research Areas

Medicinal Chemistry
  • Allosteric Interactive Drugs
  • Anti-cancer and Anti-HIV Drug Development
  • Anticoagulants and Enzyme Mechanism
  • Behavioral Effects of Drugs
  • Bioinformatics
  • Centrally-acting Agents
  • Drugs of Abuse
  • Molecular Modeling and Drug Design
  • QSAR Technology Development
  • RNA-Drug Interactions
  • Structural Biology
  • X-Ray Crystallography
  • Aerosol Drug Delivery
  • Biopharmaceutical Analysis
  • Pharmacokinetics / Pharmacodynamics
  • Drug Transporters
  • Proteomics and Metabolomics
Pharmacotherapy & Outcomes Science
  • Research in Infectious Diseases
  • Research in Pharmacy Administration
  • Research in Nephrology Pharmacotherapy
  • Research in Women's Health
  • Geriatric Pharmacotherapy Research
  • Research on Personalized Medicine