Program Director Dr. John Johnson

Earn a PhDDoctor of Philosophy in the biomedical science of Pharmacology. Participate in cardiovascular and neuroscience research which integrates a range of techniques from whole animal to cellular, and collaborate with faculty inside and outside of Augusta University. The department's labs' disease studies include: Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, schizophrenia, diabetes, and vascular dysfunction heart failure.

MCG Pharmacology & Toxicology graduates are employed world-wide and have a high rate of placement in academic, industrial, and governmental research and teaching programs.

For more information contact:

Dan Rudic, PhD
Graduate Program Director
Phone: (706) 721-7649

Coursework and Requirements


Prospective students must apply to the Graduate School's Biomedical Sciences program. After completion of the 1st year, students may choose to work with a faculty mentor in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology.

Pharmacology students in their 2nd year and beyond must register for Pharmacology & Therapeutics one time and Seminar in Pharmacology each semester. You will also conduct thesis research during these years. Required advisory committee meetings will annually assess your research and academic progress.

Every student works with their mentor to select a minimum of 8 hours of thesis project-specific elective courses. These courses include: Scientific Grant Writing, Neuropharmacology and Cardiovascular Pharmacology & Physiology.

Awards for Graduate Students

The Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology and The Graduate School of Augusta University each provide annual awards to outstanding graduate students studying pharmacology.  Financial support for these awards is based on philanthropic donations on behalf of prominent former faculty members in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology. The awards are listed and described below.

Raymond P. Ahlquist Travel Award
Jerry J. Buccafusco Travel Award
Armand M. Karow, Jr. Pharmacology Scholarship Award

These competitive annual awards are granted to students for:

  • Outstanding academic performance.
  • Excellence in Pharmacology-related research and potential for a highly successful career in the health-related sciences as indicated by publications in peer-reviewed journals, abstracts, and presentations at regional, national and/or international meetings, and other academic/research-related awards and honors.
  • Service to the institution and community.

Ahlquist Presentation Award

  • Awarded at the annual Pharmacology and Toxicology Graduate Research Symposium for the top oral presentations.

Lowell M. Greenbaum Award in Recognition of Research Excellence in Pharmacology.

  • Awarded by The Graduate School of Augusta University for the top graduate student Pharmacology poster presentation at the Annual Graduate Research Day.


Raymond P. Ahlquist, Ph.D. Ahlquist
Dr. Raymond Ahlquist was a pharmacist and pharmacologist who is internationally recognized as the originator of the alpha- and beta-receptor concept of the adrenergic system. His investigations led the way of the development of beta-blocking drugs used to treat blood pressure as well as a variety of other conditions. In 1976 Dr. Ahlquist was honored with the Albert Lasker Clinical Medical Research Award and the Ciba Award for Hypertension Research.  From 1948 to 1963, Dr. Ahlquist served as the chair of Pharmacology at the Medical College of Georgia (MCG) and in 1963 he was appointed associate dean for basic sciences and research coordinator for the medical college. Between 1970 and 1977 he again served as chair of pharmacology and in 1977 he was appointed Charbonnier Professor of Pharmacology, a post he held until his death in 1983.   

Lowell M Greenbaum, Ph.D.  Lowell Greenbaum
Dr. Lowell Greenbaum was a pharmacologist who is recognized internationally as a pioneer and leader in kinin research.  He joined the faculty of the Medical College of Georgia (MCG) in 1979 as Professor and successor of Dr. Raymond Ahlquist as Chairman of the Department of Pharmacology at MCG.  He was later appointed as Vice President for Research and Dean of the School of Graduate Studies in 1986 and served in those roles until 1995.  He was instrumental in the growth of MCG as a major research institution during his tenure at our university.  Dr. Greenbaum also founded the Southeastern Pharmacology Society, implemented MCG’s Ph.D. program in nursing, and developed and taught a research ethics course.

Armand M. Karow, Ph.D.  Armond Karow
Dr. Armand Karow was recognized internationally as one of the world’s pioneers in the field of cryopreservation of transplantable cells and tissues and published over 100 research articles in this area.  He joined the faculty of the Medical College of Georgia (MCG) in 1968 in the Schools of Medicine and Graduate Studies and rose the ranks to Professor of Pharmacology and Research Associate Professor of Surgery and was given the title of Professor Emeritus when he retired in 1997.  He was also the Founder and Chairman Emeritus in Perpetuity of Xytex International Ltd, a fertility-based company that specializes cryopreservation of donor sperm.


Jerry J. Buccafusco, Ph.D.
Jerry B.
Dr. Jerry Buccafusco is internationally recognized for his pioneering work in cholinergic neuropharmacology and drug discovery and contributions to multiple fields including hypertension, drug abuse, Gulf War Illness, Alzheimer's Disease and schizophrenia research.  He became Assistant Professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the Medical College of Georgia in 1979 and rapidly rose the ranks to Associate and later, full professor. Over the course of his career, Dr. Buccafusco received numerous accolades including Regents’ Professor of the University of Georgia System, the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Research Career Scientist Award, Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics – ASPET Award for Experimental Therapeutics.