What is it like being a pharmacologist?

There are a wide range of potential careers in pharmacology. You can discover new medicines, improve our understanding of how they work, help ensure that medicines are safe, or advise on how they are used in hospitals. ​

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.​

Aisah Aubdool

Aisah Aubdool is a researching pharmacologist working to discover how Dr-Aisah-Aubdool.pngwe can treat heart and circulatory diseases. Her work involves looking at lots of images of the blood vessels in the lungs to see how they change when treated with different medicines. ​

"If you have a passion for science, like drug discovery and want to  understand how drugs work, pharmacology is a fascinating subject to study.’"


Aidan Seeley

Dr-Aidan-Seeley.pngAidan Seeley is a pharmacology researcher and teacher at Swansea University. He completed a degree at the University of Aberdeen and a PhD at Queen’s University Belfast.​

“My role is primarily focused around delivering the BSc Medical Pharmacology programme. I deliver lectures, practical classes and tutorials to students and meet with them regularly to help them achieve their career goals. 

As a lead scientist within the laboratory, I work with undergraduate and postgraduate students to investigate alternative to traditional animal models. I spend a lot of time helping design experiments, conducting them and then analysing the data. This work is regularly presented at national and international conferences.”​


Rachel Forfar

Rachel-Forfar-(1).pngRachel Forfar is a pharmacologist who discovers new drugs for diseases where there are very few available treatments. She studied biology, chemistry and maths for A levels, then chose Biochemistry for her undergraduate degree at Warwick University. During her degree she spent a year at the pharmaceutical company Pfizer.​

“We try to develop drugs for unmet medical needs that are often overlooked by the pharmaceutical industry, such as developing new antibiotics. I like the challenge of looking at a range of different potential drugs and tests. No day is ever the same and I am constantly learning new techniques and new biology.”​


James Fullerton

James-Fullerton.pngJames Fullerton is a researcher and doctor, training to be a clinical pharmacologist in the NHS. He works in a hospital treating patients. After studying medicine at unversity, he did a PhD and now spends about half of his time  carrying out research into how to diagnose, understand and treat people who are very unwell, alongside his work as a doctor.

"I am lucky enough to have a variety of roles! ...and as such no two weeks are the same. One week you may be doing night shifts leading a cardiac arrest team, another will be spent in a Clinical Research Facility undertaking  research, and the next I will be sat at a regional or national guideline committee helping determine what treatments should be made available and when."
Hear from Richmond Pharmacology members as they explain the variety of roles and training opportunities in early phase clinical trials and how they ensure their staff remain at the cutting edge of drug development.