The formal establishment of the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Minnesota was preceded by the founding of the College of Medicine and Surgery in 1888. At that time, Dr. H. M. Bracken was appointed Professor of Materia Medica and Therapeutics, the disciplinary predecessor of pharmacology in medical schools worldwide. A Department of Pharmacology at the University of Minnesota was approved in 1906, but not established until 1913. In 1913, the Department of Pharmacology was established with Dr. Arthur Hirschfelder appointed as inaugural Head. In the 100+ year history of our department, there have been six Department Heads: Dr. Arthur Hirschfelder (1913-1942), Dr. Raymond Bieter (1942-1962), Dr. Frederick E. Shideman (1962-1989), Dr. Horace H. Loh (1989-2012), and Dr. Jill M. Siegfried (2013-2020), and Dr. Kevin Wickman (2020-present).


Nils Hasselmo Hall - home to most of the Department of Pharmacology research labs


The Department of Pharmacology was initially housed in the "old" Millard Hall. The "new" Millard Hall and the Institute of Anatomy (now Jackson Hall) were built in 1912. The Department of Pharmacology was located in the "new" Millard Hall for many years. In 1996, Nils Hasselmo Hall (originally called Basic Sciences/Biomedical Engineering Building) was built and most Pharmacology faculty moved into offices and laboratories in that building. In 1998, Millard Hall was demolished and Jackson Hall was renovated. The Department of Pharmacology administrative offices moved into the 6th floor of Jackson Hall in 1999, where they remain today. Currently, Pharmacology faculty labs are located across the Medical School footprint on the East Bank of the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus, including the newest buildings of the Biomedical Discovery District north of TCF Bank Stadium.