Penn State College of Medicine Department of Pharmacology

The Department of Pharmacology at Penn State College of Medicine has interests in both basic and clinical areas of research, although its emphasis is on the basic sciences. The Department is constantly adding to its technical expertise by attracting new or affiliated members to its growing staff.


We are anxious to create an intellectual and scientific environment in which the business and academic communities can mutually benefit from the exchange of ideas and resources. The HCAR establishes the environment - our job is to populate it with the right people.

Kent E. Vrana, Ph.D., Elliot S. Vesell Professor and Chair of Pharmacology

How many students/faculty are in the department?

There are 100 people in the department, 30 graduate students, 50 Ph.D.s, and 20 technicians.

What is the department's mission?

The department's mission is to support the commonwealth of PA by training the next generation of physicians and scientists and to seek to discover new therapies for unmet medical needs.

Why locate to the Hershey Center for Applied Research (HCAR)?

HCAR provides a unique public and private partnership by providing an environment where academic scientists can develop solutions and be provided with the resources and knowledge necessary to take those discoveries to market.

What do you enjoy most about Hershey, PA?

My commute takes 2.5 minutes and involves one stop sign. I not only have the stimulation of working with great researchers and great scientists, but I also have the stimulation of being within a short drive of Washington D.C., New York and Philadelphia. When I travel, I am 12 minutes from an international airport. Today, in business and research time is money and in Hershey I waste neither.

How does HCAR accelerate your research and development?

HCAR places academic scientists in an environment where commercialization is the norm, not an exception. HCAR's culture encourages communication and the sharing of ideas. The environment facilitates discovery and bringing products to market.


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