Department History


Jaehyung (Gus) Cho, PhD

Associate Professor

Director of Graduate Studies


Yulia Komarova, PhD

Associate Professor

Co-Director of Graduate Studies


Department History

The University of Illinois at Chicago has a long and rich history of providing outstanding training in the pharmacological sciences.  The Chicago campus of the University of Illinois is home to the University's professional schools in the health sciences, including the Colleges of Medicine, Pharmacy, Dentistry, Nursing, Public Health, and Allied Health Sciences.  The College of Pharmacy is the oldest of the University's professional schools.  The College of Medicine of the University of Illinois started as the Chicago College of Physicians and Surgeons, in 1881.  The College of Physicians and Surgeons was incorporated into the University of Illinois system, as its College of Medicine, in 1914.  Although study of the basic science of pharmacology was offered as early as 1900, the discipline was given departmental status in 1917 under the leadership of Dr. Hugh McGuigan. The Department of Pharmacology has been engaged in graduate and postdoctoral training programs since 1945 and has awarded around 250 PhD degrees.


Over the past decade, research productivity and funding in the pharmacological sciences at UIC has demonstrated a substantial rate of growth. UIC now ranks among the top 50 universities in the U.S. for both federal research expenditures and total research expenditures.  External research funding for the pharmacological sciences at UIC has also grown significantly during this period.  Funding to the Department of Pharmacology alone now places it in the top 10% among departments of pharmacology in the US.  When combined NIH-sponsored grants and contracts for the pharmacological sciences are considered, the Department of Pharmacology at UIC ranks in the top ten in the US, with over $13,280,000 in total funding.


In 2005, the $145 million College of Medicine Research Building (CoMRB) was completed and currently houses many of the Department's laboratories and faculty offices.   The facility's state-of-the-art design fosters collaboration among departments of the Graduate Education in Medical Sciences program and clinical sciences program addressing cardiovascular disease, immunology/transplantation, stem cell therapy, neurosciences, women's health and cancer.