Pharmacology and Neuroscience | Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center

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Chairman's Welcome


Welcome to the website for the Department of Pharmacology and Neuroscience at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC). Our department is dedicated to excellence in research, medical and graduate education and service by creating, advancing and disseminating knowledge about drug actions and nervous system functions and dysfunctions.

Great collegiality and collaborative work environment are hallmarks of our departmental culture. We are strengthening existing interactions with basic scientists at TTUHSC and TTU while building translational bridges with our clinical departments.

This has been a successful year in terms of integrating new faculty and obtaining extramural funding.  Our faculty are currently funded by several NIH and foundation grants for studies on clinically relevant disorders.  Our Department houses the Center of Excellence for Translational Neuroscience and Therapeutics (CTNT).  Our faculty continue to make valuable contributions to medical and graduate school education for example as Block Director of the Major Organ Systems SOM course and Directors of Graduate Programs/Concentrations.

Thank you for visiting our website. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or for more information.

Photo of Dr. Volker Neugebauer

Volker Neugebauer, M.D., Ph.D.

  • Professor and Chair, Pharmacology and Neuroscience
  • Giles C. McCrary Endowed Chair in Addiction Medicine
  • Executive Director and Chief Scientific Officer, Garrison Institute on Aging
  • Mildred and Shirley L. Garrison Chair in Aging
  • Director, Center of Excellence for Translational Neuroscience and Therapeutics                                        

Mission Statement

The Department of Pharmacology and Neursocience is strongly committed to contributing to the overall mission of TTUHSC to improve the health of people through excellence in research, education and service.
Our goal is to perform innovative translational research and support and promote such endeavors within the Department, the School of Medicine, and the University at large; to offer state-of-the-art education in medical pharmacology and neuroscience to medical and graduate students; and to provide a stimulating first-rate learning and training environment for doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows in the department.


Got Questions?

We're here to help. Contact us if you have questions.

Volker Neugebauer, M.D., Ph.D.
(806) 743 - 3880

Neugebauer appointed to President's Advisory Board

Congratulations to Dr. Volker Neugebauer who has been appointed to the President's Advisory Board for the 2020-2021 term.

New NIH Grant 

Department of Pharmacology and Neuroscience Faculty Member, Dr. Susan Bergeson, awarded a new NIH U01 Grant ”Medication Development for the Treatment of Alcohol Use Disorder”. Congratulations!

 Department of Pharmacology and Neuroscience Faculty Member, Dr. Khalid Benamar, awarded a new NIH R03 Grant "Beta-caryophyllene and cannabidiol combination: Chronic arthritis pain ". Congratulations!

 Department of Pharmacology and Neuroscience Faculty Member, Dr. Volker Neugebauer, was awarded a new collaborative NIH R01 Grant "Trans-synaptic signaling complex in amygdala pain mechanisms" with Dr. Shashank Dravid, Creighton University. Congratulations!  

Dr. Michael Blanton, re-appointed as Co-Block Director

Congratulations to Dr. Michael Blanton who has been re-appointed as Co-Block Director for the “Structure and Functions of Major Organ Systems” block for the 2020 - 2021 academic year.     

Dr. Michael Blanton Recognized by NSF and NIH

The National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) recognized the TTUHSC coordinators, Terri Loyd and Dr. Michael Blanton, for the 2019 Survey of Graduate Students and Postdoctorates in Science and Engineering (GSS). Congratulations on this well-deserved recognition.    

Dr. Susan Bergeson, Recepient of Dean's  Research Award 

The Department of Pharmacology and Neuroscience Faculty Member, Dr. Susan Bergeson, received Dean's "2020 Outstanding Research and Student Mentor" award. 

Dr. Bergeson, congratulations!  


Congratulations Translational Neuroscience and Pharmacology Graduate Students  

It is with great pleasure we announce the graduate students who have successfully passed the Translational Neuroscience and Pharmacology PhD Graduate Program Qualifying Examination.

All graduate students must pass this exam to continue in the PhD program, and it represents a major hurdle to advance to PhD candidacy.

Congratulations to Henry Blanton, Mariacristina Mazzitelli, Ismail Mohiuddin, Josh Willms, and Ryan Sweazey on your achievement.



Dr. Igor Ponomarev, Elected to Serve on the Faculty Council  Committee

The Department of Pharmacology and Neuroscience Faculty Member, Dr. Igor Ponomarev has been elected to serve  a three year term on the Faculty Research Committee. 

Congratulations Dr. Ponomarev. 

Faculty Members awarded the  TTUHSC School of Medicine collaborative seed grant   

Congratulations to         
Department of Pharmacology and Neuroscience Faculty Members, for a job well done on receiving the award of a CMPR Collaborative Research Grant.

Dr. Igor Ponomarev, "Synaptic Membrane Proteins in the Brain are Regulated by the CSTF2 Polyadenylation Protein" 

Dr. J. Josh Lawrence, "Models to Test Dominant-Negative and Gain-of-Function Mechanisms of ATPlAl Mutations"  


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