Pills, Potions, and Poisons

Katie Summers, PhD

141N Parks Hall
500 W. 12th Ave.
Columbus, OH 43210


Program Overview

Summer course student The Pills, Potions and Poisons program provides students with an overview of pharmacology and its relationship to health, disease and society. In the field of pharmacology, scientists study the interactions between drugs and the body and then apply what they have learned to the development of new drugs.

A wide variety of drug topics will be addressed in the course, including:

  • Can we find a “perfect” drug, and if so, what properties would that drug have?
  • What are the similarities and differences between therapeutic drugs that cure disease and street drugs used recreationally?
  • How do drugs cause addiction?
  • Why do only some drugs work in the brain?
  • How do our genes play a role in the success or failure of a drug treatment?
  • How do we discover new drugs?
  • What types of careers are available in the pharmaceutical sciences?

Students will learn through a variety of approaches including lecture, discussion, debate, games, laboratory visits, field trips and hands-on experiments. On the final day of the course, students will present their findings in a showcase day.  The final day will also overview the College of Pharmacy's Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences (BSPS) undergraduate program.  All parents and teachers are invited to attend.

The course is not designed strictly for students with an interest in pharmacy. In fact, any student with an interest in biomedical science (including careers in pharmacy, medicine, dentistry, laboratory research, etc.) is encouraged to apply.  However, we do primarily explore careers in the pharmaceutical sciences (both clinical and research careers).  Please note that this program does not explore careers related to forensic science, engineering, or the physical sciences.