History of Former Toxicology Program

1965 — Pharmacology faculty, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows begin studying the effects of chemical substances on living organisms in the Pharmacology-Toxicology Center, the first of its kind in the western hemisphere.
"Historical Highlights" of the University of Iowa

The study of toxicology at the UI in the 1960s and '70s was undertaken through the College of Medicine's Pharmacology program, in facilities on the 3rd floor of the Medical Laboratory Building. When Lauren Albert Woods succeeded Erwin Gross as Department Head in 1961, he built up the program with faculty members who were considered the giants of the field.

New courses were introduced through the 1960s and in 1972, JP Long became Department Head, launching a decade of notable scientific achievement. In 1974 the Center for Biochemical Pharmacology and Toxicology was established, and in 1976 the UI catalog promoted training available "in all areas of toxicology at the predoctoral and postdoctoral levels."

By the mid-1980s, changes in administration and funding support had shifted the focus of the Pharmacology Department away from toxicology, and the program had been discontinued. Now a new, interdisciplinary degree program has been reconstituted at the University of Iowa—an Interdisciplinary Master's and Ph.D. program in Human Toxicology—supported by the UI Graduate College, College of Medicine, and College of Public Health.

"In those days toxicology was thought of as high-dose pharmacology. Now pharmacology is low-dose toxicology."
Dr. Lawrence J. Fischer, Professor Emeritus
Center for Integrative Toxicology
Michigan State University