What is it like being a pharmacologist?

All different types of people are pharmacologists. And they were once aspiring scientists just like you.  ​ 

There are lots of different jobs in pharmacology that you can do. You can discover new medicines, work to improve our understanding of how they work, help ensure that medicines are safe, or advise on how medicines are used in hospital. ​

The stories below are from people who, just like you, had an interest in science at school and are now making a difference in medicine.

Rachel Forfar​

Rachel-Forfar.pngRachel Forfar is a pharmacologist who works for a charity discovering new medicines. Her love of science began from a young age when she had fun in the kitchen completing messy science experiments. Her work involves making new medicines for diseases where there are not many treatments available. ​

“I like the challenge of looking at a range of different potential medicines and tests. No day is ever the same and I am constantly learning new things.”


Manasi Nandi

Dr-Manasi-Nandi.jpgManasi Nandi is a teacher and  pharmacology researcher. Her research involves working with other scientists, as well as mathematicians, engineers, and medical doctors to find answers and clues in medical information like blood pressure measurements. She is also an expert in designing experiments and teaches  pharmacology  students at university. 

"I really enjoy my role as an academic teacher and researcher ... It’s been really enjoyable and I’ve learned a huge amount as I’ve had to leave my comfort zone. We’re now translating our findings to clinical data which is very exciting."


Daniel Marks

Daniel-Marks-Case-Study-(1).jpgDaniel Marks is a doctor, a teacher and a researcher. He spends his time working in a laboratory carrying out research to understand diseases and how they progress. He also uses this knowledge to design and test new medicines for patients, treat patients in hospital, and teach new doctors about using medicines safely.

“Developing new medicines is complex and challenging, and clinical pharmacologists are uniquely positioned to combine an understanding of patients with knowledge of chemistry and biology"


Oliver Bell

Oliver-Bell.jpgOliver Bell is a student studying for a PhD in pharmacology, he is carrying out research into how the immune system in our eyes responds to damage or infection.

"As a PhD student, my primary job is to undertake research in a topic and ultimately write a large book called a thesis detailing my findings ... I really enjoy the ability to learn and discover new things, as well as develop new hypotheses and test them. As our understanding is continually changing, it makes for very interesting work that will have a positive impact on society in the future.


Emma Morrison​

Emma-Morrison.pngEmma Morrison is a doctor who treats patients in a busy hospital and also works as a researcher in a laboratory – a scientific explorer!​

No week is the same for Emma: her job not only involves treating patients, but she also provides telephone advice to the National Poisons Information Centre, teaches  new doctors about medicines, and carries out research into kidney diseases.​

“Clinical pharmacology is the best job in the NHS. I can answer my own research questions while improving patient care! There is room for all interests in clinical pharmacology; from treating people who have been poisoned, to ensuring patients are on the right treatments, through to laboratory research; there is no reason why you can’t try it all!”