February 24, 2012 5:00 p.m.
Olivier Civelli has been appointed chair of the School of Medicine's Department of Pharmacology. He joined UCI in 1996 as a professor of pharmacology and the Eric L. & Lila D. Nelson Chair in Neuropharmacology and is recognized as one of the world's leading researchers in identifying and cloning dopamine receptors. An important part of the brain's information processing pathway, these receptors are primary targets of drug therapies for such problems as schizophrenia, Parkinson's disease, Tourette's syndrome and drug abuse. Civelli also spearheaded the use of receptors to find new neurotransmitters, which led to reverse pharmaceutical research. Among his many honors, he gave the 1992 Presidential Lecture at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience. As chair, Civelli plans to support efforts to apply systems biology methods to the discovery of new therapeutic approaches, particularly in the fields of neuro- and cardiovascular pharmacology. Additionally, he will help develop a professional master's program.
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