The Department of Pharmacology was started in 1958 under Dr. Emilie Savini, a French Professor. Since then there is a gradual increase in research activities apart from the regular teaching activities. The focus of research is now at the molecular level in the area of pharmacogenomics besides clinical trials, development of hepatoprotective herbal drugs, pharmacokinetic and toxicology studies.
A state of the art pharmacogenomics lab was established by technical collaboration with INSERM, France. The department is also the WHO collaborating center for training and research in essential medicines and rational use of medicines. The pharmacogenomics lab was upgraded to “ICMR Centre for Advanced Research in Pharmacogenomics”. Since 2004, National workshops on “Basic Techniques in Molecular Biology and Bioinformatics in Pharmacogenomics” are being conducted every year to train researchers in the field of pharmacogenomics. The cell culture laboratory started functioning from 2008 onwards. A Drug Information Centre was established in 2007. The Adverse Drug Reaction Monitoring Centre, under the Pharmacovigilance Programme of India (PvPI), started functioning in the department from November 2010. Apart from these, therapeutic drug monitoring is routinely done as a part of patient care services.