December 15, 2000

Five decades of Pharmacology

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Seated left to right: Heidi E. Hamm, Ph.D., Dr. Allan D. Bass. Standing left to right: Elaine Sanders-Bush, Ph.D., Joel G. Hardman, Ph.D., Lee E. Limbird, Ph.D.

Five decades of Pharmacology leaders were on hand at a recent dinner to welcome the department’s new chair, Heidi E. Hamm, Ph.D. Hamm took the reins of the nationally recognized department on Oct. 1, 2000. The department of Pharmacology consistently ranks in the top group of the nation’s Pharmacology departments in National Institutes of Health funding-last year, it was number one.

Dr. Allan D. Bass, professor of Pharmacology, Emeritus, served as chair from 1953 to 1973. Bass advocated Pharmacology as an academic discipline with distinct research areas, and he wrote and received one of the first training grants in Pharmacology from the NIH. It was Bass who initiated the concept of Clinical Pharmacology and recruited Dr. John A. Oates, Thomas F. Frist Professor of Medicine, to lead the new initiative, which is now the leading such entity in the world.

Joel G. Hardman, Ph.D., professor of Pharmacology, Emeritus, was chair from 1974 to 1990. As president of the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, Hardman brought further national leadership and recognition to the department. He also increased the quality of the training expectations and research efforts in the department and secured funding of the training grant as the largest in Pharmacological Sciences, nationally.

Lee E. Limbird, Ph.D., associate vice chancellor for Research and professor of Pharmacology, led the department from 1991 to 1998. Limbird focused on recruiting faculty members with expertise in neuroscience and developmental biology as a way to increase the impact of Pharmacology on its multiple component disciplines. She also enhanced the training expectations and environment for students and postdoctoral fellows.

Elaine Sanders-Bush, Ph.D., professor of Pharmacology and Psychiatry, served as interim chair from 1999 to 2000 and continued the efforts of her predecessors. Sanders-Bush was instrumental in creating a Ph.D. granting program in Neuroscience.