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Pharmacology and Therapeutics (Structured PhD)
The Pharmacology Discipline is actively engaged in a vigorous research programme which is centred around the areas of neuropharmacology (the study of the effects of drugs on the central nervous system), immunopharmacology (the study of the effects of drugs on the immune system), and signalling in vertebrate development.
The Discipline has research links with other national and international centres, including Biochemistry, Anatomy, Physiology, the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science, the Regenerative Medicine Institute, and the Network of Excellence for Functional Biomaterials at NUI Galway, Trinity College Dublin, the University of Nottingham, University College London, Cardiff University, Lund University, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, the University of Pennsylvania, and H/S Lundbeck, Denmark. The research activities of the Discipline are funded from a variety of competitive sources.
Structured PhD (full-time, four years). Applications are made online via the NUI Galway Postgraduate Applications System.
Candidates should normally have a high honours standard in a relevant academic discipline at primary degree level or equivalent, together with the support of an academic staff member who is approved by the College to supervise the research in terms of its nature and scope.
Additional entry requirements
Candidates may be required to submit a research proposal for consideration by the School as part of their application.
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- Molecular and cellular biology of vertebrate embryo development
- Antidepressants; novel targets; modulating immune responses
- Non-animal alternatives for toxicological assessment of drugs
- Novel cell, gene and pharmacological therapies for Parkinson's disease
- Molecular mechanisms of intestinal injury, repair and carcinogenesis; inflammatory bowel disease, colon cancer and radiation injury to the intestinal tract
- Caspases, cell death and differentiation;, chemotherapy-induced apoptosis and cancer
- Neurochemical, neuroendocrine and molecular mechanisms underlying pain, anxiety and depression
- Neuropharmacology of cannabinoid and opioid receptors; The endocannabinoid system in pain, anxiety, Parkinson’s disease and neuroimmune function
- Toll-like receptors and the brain-gut axis
Prof. Laurence Egan
Molecular mechanisms of intestinal injury, repair and carcinogenesis; focus on biological functions of transcription factor NF-kappaB; identification and characterization of novel therapeutic targets for inflammatory bowel disease, colon cancer and radiation injury to the intestinal tract.
Dr. John Kelly
Investigation of the mechanism of action of antidepressants and the development of novel targets using animal models; the effects of antidepressants on modulating immune responses; development of non-animal alternatives for toxicological assessment of drugs.
Dr. Maura Grealy
Developmental biology using the zebrafish as a model for cardiovascular development and disease; the role of signalling, via cell-cell adhesion molecules, in heart development; effects of neuroactive drugs on embryo development.
Dr. David Finn
Neurochemical, neuroendocrine and molecular mechanisms underlying pain, anxiety and depression; neuropharmacology of cannabinoid and opioid receptors; imidazoline binding sites, brain monoamines and the stress response; neuroimmune mechanisms of relevance to pain, inflammation and mood disorders.
Dr. Eilís Dowd
Development and functional validation of novel therapies for Parkinson’s disease including novel pharmacological, gene, and cell therapies.
Dr. Howard Fearnhead
The role of caspases in apoptosis and cellular differentiation, investigating how caspases are activated, the downstream effects of activation and the consequences of a failure of the apoptotic program; a particular focus is the role of apoptosis and caspases in cancer chemotherapy.
Dr. Declan McKernan
The role of Toll-like receptors in brain-gut signalling particularly in visceral hypersensitivity, the effects of stress on intestinal inflammation with focus on TLR expression/activity in distinct regions of the gut as well as the role of Toll-like receptors in psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia and depression.
Fees: Non EU
EU Part time: Year 1 €4,250 p.a. (€4,390 including levy) 2024/25
All students, irrespective of funding, must pay the student levy of €140.
Ms. Una Ryan
T +353 91 492 246