The science of pharmacology deals with the properties and effects of drugs and chemical compounds of living systems. Medical pharmacology focuses on the mechanisms of action, toxicities, and therapeutic uses of biologically active substances in humans. Physicians must be able to utilize basic knowledge of pharmacology to treat and prevent disease in their patients. At CCOM, medical students are shown the correlation between pharmacology and related medical sciences, taught how to interpret the actions and uses of major classes of drugs, and instructed in the application of pharmacodynamics to the therapeutic management of patients. Students are also instructed on various aspects of the toxicology of common drugs and environmental agents. The 10 credit pharmacology course spans the Fall, Winter and Spring quarters of the OMS-II curriculum. In addition, the Pharmacology Department offers elective courses in the areas of Cardiovascular Pharmacology and Medical Spanish. Pharmacology Faculty maintain active research programs in the areas of metal (cadmium) toxicology, diabetes, cancer biology, vascular smooth muscle biology, endocrinology and molecular biology. Medical students interested in participating in these research programs may do so through Research Electives or the CCOM Summer Research Fellowship program. Students interested in research should contact individual faculty or the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs.