Pharmacology and Biomedical Toxicology are complementary sciences, and the Pharmacology and Biomedical Toxicology Specialist combines the requirements of the two distinct specialist programs. The Specialist program integrates knowledge of pharmacology – the understanding of the therapeutic properties and clinical applications of externally administered chemical substances in the whole body and the mechanisms of their actions and interactions with their intended targets, while biomedical toxicology examines the harmful effects of exogenous chemicals on the health and behaviour of individuals and society, addressing drug safety and the adverse consequences of chemical exposure. Biomedical toxicology includes understanding the safety/toxicity of a wide array of chemicals (pharmaceutical preparations, herbal products, natural toxins and environmental contaminants) with a focus on their effects and adverse consequences on human health.
Both Pharmacology and Biomedical Toxicology are integrative life sciences which build on the core foundational disciplines of the basic life sciences and the prominent role each science plays in society. A comprehension of the biological mechanisms of action and potential uses of chemicals are key to career success in the fields of medicine, dentistry, pharmacy and nursing. The Specialist program prepares students for a variety of job opportunities following its completion as well as for further study in graduate research or professional programs such as Medicine, Dentistry, and Pharmacy. (Note: Students interested in professional programs should contact the respective faculties to inquire about specific transfer credits.) Graduates of this rigorous program will have access to an impressive variety of job opportunities in either research-based or non-research-based careers, including scientific research in research institutes and in universities, positions in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and chemical industries, forensic science, nutrition and food sciences, government or consulting agencies. Students learn about both basic and clinical pharmacology and biomedical toxicology through lectures, tutorials, small group sessions, laboratories and independent research projects. The senior research project course enables students to gain valuable research experience while working under the supervision of an individual faculty member in either a laboratory-based or a non-laboratory-based setting.