New pharmacology and toxicology undergraduate minor program


By Hannah Dong [email protected]

Dr. Vlastislav Bracha, a professor in biomedical sciences talked with the Daily about the new pharmacology and toxicology undergraduate minor program.

Hannah Dong

As the increase of US population the development of US demographic population, a new undergraduate minor program starts this Fall for the increasing need of professionals in biomedical field.

Vlastislav Bracha, a professor in biomedical sciences talked with the Daily about the new pharmacology and toxicology undergraduate minor program.

With the development of society and increase of people into chemical, there is a need for biomedical professions. As there is no pharmacology and toxicology majors at Iowa State University, and students have few selections, Bracha and his colleagues noticed the gaps. Part of the reasons why they created this minor is to educate undergraduate students become potential candidates of pharmacology and toxicology fields.

“We foresee number of opportunities for employment. Knowledge in pharmacology and toxicology is important, and now it will be more important in the future.” Bracha said.

As some undergraduate students want to apply for veterinary school after graduation, so Department of Biomedical Sciences and Technology (BMS) offers this minor program to help the students prepare for very specific direction. They want to help them acquire appropriate knowledge for pharmacology and toxicology.

“The advantages of taking this minor can help undergraduate students get preparations for several career opportunities.” Bracha said. “Some students want to work either for the government or for industries, and there are many opportunities in pharmaceutical industries. Undergraduate students with that knowledge will be very valuable in companies.”

When asking about if they have plans to expand this minor to a major in the future, Bracha said, “We don’t know yet, not at this point. We decide we will start with a small minor, and we will try to create a system. We will see if we can grow in the future.”

Latham Hendrickson, a senior in biology, started this minor program this Fall. “I plan on being a pharmacist, and I figured that getting this minor will be a good start. Other than wanting to be a pharmacist, I studies a lot of biochemistry, drug and psychology. I plan to go to pharmacy graduate school. This also offers me a chance to get more in depth knowledge.” 

“We are starting to make a role in undergraduate education. We feel we need to prepare students for veterinary medicine and human medicine.” Bracha said. 

“Our overall plan, we would like to involve more in undergraduate education in biomedical sciences. But regarding this minor, we will see what the future will show.” Bracha said.

Students from any major can apply for this minor program. Courses will mainly focus on the effects of drugs and toxins on both animal and environmental systems. 15 credits is required. For additional information about this minor, please visit: