The Graduate Institute of Pharmacology was officially established in 1962. During the early period, most of the colleagues were devoted to snake venom research under the leadership of Drs. Lee, C.Y., Ouyang, C., and Chang, C.C., thereby establishing a concrete academic foundation in the field of international snake venom research. Currently, we have twelve faculty members. Our major research fields include the following:
1. Cardiovascular system: (1) Utilizing conventional organ and electrophysiological and molecular cloning techniques in exploring the etiology of cardiac diseases and mechanism of action of drugs at a molecular level in order to find potential candidates for ischemic heart disease, heart failure and cardiac arrhythymia. (2) Systemic study of the mechanism of actions of the anti-thrombotic agents, especially antiplatelet ones. (3) Drug discovery in the field of anti-angiogenesis, and anti-tumor agents by investigating their effects on the proliferation and differentiation of vascular endothelial cells, smooth muscle and tumor cells. Most of the above-mentioned studies are performed with natural products, synthetic compounds, and snake venom polypeptides.
2. Nervous system: (1) Neuron degeneration diseases, including stroke, epilepsy, Parkinsonism, Alzheimer's disease, pain sensation, neuron plasticity, and ionic channels are actively explored by establishing the cell cultures of central neurons, electrophysiological recordings of brain slices, cloning of ionic channels, and in vivo models for the study of animal behaviors, motor activity, and memory, aiming to find out the potential candidates for treatment of central disorders. (2) Mode of action of centrally-acting drugs on snail central neurons.
3. Signal transduction in inflammatory and immunological cells.
4. Inflammation amd Cancer.
5. Stem Cells and drug screening
6. Ca2+ signaling in cell survival and apoptosis, toxicology of heavy metals, and the modulation of neuromuscular transmission of skeletal muscles.
Although each investigator has individual interest and specialty, we are open-minded and actively seeking the opportunity to cooperate with other researchers so as to synergistically achieve the integrated breakthrough in the future. Graduate students are required to attend many inspiring seminars of special topics twice a week. Experimental pharmacology is designed for the special introduction of the ideas and concepts and the basic experimental skills developed by our laboratories. An innovative thesis is the most critical task for graduation. Through intense training, graduate students are expected to be capable of continuing their career either as an independent-thinking, problem-solving, creative researcher or practitioner of pharmacological sciences.