UC Davis scenery


The Graduate Group in Pharmacology and Toxicology (PTX) at the University of California, Davis, is an interdisciplinary program that combines coursework and experimental training in modern approaches to pharmacological and toxicological problems. The group is comprised of more than 80 faculty members from the School of Veterinary Medicine, School of Medicine, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, and the College of Biological Sciences. Areas of research span fundamental and translational research in a broad spectrum of areas within pharmacology and toxicology, including cardiovascular pharmacology, cancer therapeutics, neuropharmacology, drug discovery and design, neurotoxicology, pulmonary toxicology and environmental toxicology. Students complete core courses in pharmacology and toxicology and carry out research rotations during their first year of study. The program offers both M.S. and Ph.D. degrees, and all Ph.D. students receive financial support.

What is special about UC Davis PTX?

Life at UC Davis

Here's what UC Davis PTX students had to say when asked what their favorite aspects of the PTX program are:


Bruce Hammock receives first McGiff award for pioneering research

Distinguished professor of entomology Bruce Hammock is the first recipient of the John C. McGiff Memorial Award for his pioneering contributions to eicosanoid research.

Eicosanoids are a class of fats that are regulatory rather than being nutritional or structural. They regulate blood pressure, childbirth, pain, inflammation, tissue repair, and other phenomena. More than 75 percent of the world's medications work on the eicosanoid pathway. These include such familiar drugs as aspirin and ibuprofen.

Hammock, who holds a joint appointment with the Department of Entomology and Nematology and the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center, received the award during the International Winter Eicosanoid (WEC) Conference, held March 13–16 in Baltimore. Hammock delivered the McGiff Memorial Lecture on “Epoxide Hydrolase Inhibitors as Biochemical Probes and Drug Candidates.”

"Jack McGiff's generation told us how aspirin worked and provided humanity with a collection of new pharmaceuticals, which has greatly improved the health of man and his companion animals," Hammock told his fellow scientists. “Jack himself was an inspiring scientist explaining regulation of the renal and cardiovascular systems. He not only founded this international conference but for decades he has been its inspiration, encouraging collegiality and collaboration while demanding uncompromising science."

About Bruce Hammock

Bruce Hammock, distinguished professor of entomology and recipient of the first-ever John C. McGiff Memorial Award. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

(Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Bruce Hammock, who received his doctorate in entomology/toxicology from UC Berkeley in 1973, joined the UC Davis entomology faculty in 1980. With Sarjeet Gill (now at UC Riverside) he discovered that the enzyme, soluble epoxide hydrolase (sEH), degrades fatty acid epoxides and plays an important role in human diseases. He and his lab have developed inhibitors of  sEH that are anti-inflammatory, anti-hypertensive, analgesic and organ-protective. Recently he founded the company, Eicosis LLC,  to target diabetic neuropathic pain. The company just received two large federal grants for translational drug development and aims to move one of the sEH inhibitors to human clinical trials

Read more in this blog post.


Check out the PTX calendar to see seminars for PTX, T32 trainee grants, pharmacology and more!

Incoming students:  you can receive credit for attending PTX seminar series.  Ask about getting credit when you sign up for classes! Contact Judy Erwin for info gjerwin@ucdavis.edu

(Back to top)

The Pharmacology and Toxicology (PTX) graduate group is dedicated to promoting diversity by actively encouraging membership of students and faculty of diverse cultural backgrounds, identities and experiences. PTX promotes mentorship, leadership, teaching and research that integrates diverse experiences and philosophies to enrich and expand the educational experience and research accomplishments of its members. Collaboration between faculty and students across departmental boundaries not only creates equal opportunities in Pharmacology and Toxicology, but also engages a diverse scientific community.