The Department of Pharmacology of the Faculty of Medicine, University Of Kelaniya was founded in 1993. From its origins with two members of academic staff in a single room, the department has grown rapidly to comprise an academic roster of six : a professor ,four senior lecturers and a lecturer, as well as two non academic staff members, housed on the second floor of the para-clinical block.
The main teaching commitment of the department is to the 3rd and 4th year medical undergraduates.The department takes an active role in teaching and examining for phase II of the new integrated curriculum conducted on a modular system.The department is also involved with teaching pharmacology in BSc External Degree Programme in Occupational Therapy conducted by the faculty and to nursing students at the school of nursing, Kandana.
Members of the department also contribute to a wide range of faculty activities both academic and social including Senate representation, Curriculum development, Ethical committee review, Community health services and Faculty cricket and netball teams. In addition its members have been appointed to post of responsibility in academic colleges, Postgraduate institute of medicine and national level committees.
The Department has a strong research culture. The Clinical Trials Unit of the University is based in the Department and is widely involved with the conduct of a number of interdepartmental, national and multi-centre international clinical trials and more generally in raising the awareness of clinical trials on the national stage. It comprises a modern suite of rooms including conference facilities, in the new pre-clinical block. Special areas of research interest include clinical trials, tropical medicine, gastroenterology and hepatology, respiratory medicine, dementia, stroke and cardiovascular diseases and rheumatology and rehabilitation. A selection of recent publications from the Department is available here. Close international collaborations exist between the department and the University of Oxford Clinical Trials Service Unit, the Department of Respiratory Medicine at the Royal Brompton Hospital, Imperial College Department of Clinical Pharmacology at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and the Duke University.
Academic staff members are also involved in supervision of postgraduate research degrees with doctoral theses recently completed in gastro-oesophageal reflux and asthma, and in dementia and a MPhil thesis on clinical pharmacy services which is being completed.
Academic staff of the department provide teaching and clinical services in an honorary capacity in the Professorial Medical Unit of the Colombo North Teaching Hospital, situated adjacent to the faculty, conducting regular ward rounds, out-patient clinics and specialist investigations in the university endoscopy unit.