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Relationship with industry

Training in pharmacology prepares you for a career within the pharmaceutical or biotechnology industries.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for 2010 show the mean annual salary for medical scientists to be over $76,000. Industries with the highest employment are scientific research and development services, colleges and universities and pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing, with around 36,000 scientists employed in these fields in the United States.


  • More than 6 out of 10 workers in the field have a bachelor's, master's, professional or PhD degree—more than twice the proportion for all industries combined
  • Nearly 47 percent of all jobs are in large establishments employing more than 1,000 workers
  • Earnings are much higher than those in other manufacturing industries
  • This industry ranks among the fastest growing manufacturing industries

Strong demand is anticipated for professional occupations—especially for the biological and medical scientists engaged in research and development, the backbone of the pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing industry. Unlike many other manufacturing industries, the pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing industry is not highly sensitive to changes in economic conditions. Even during periods of high unemployment, work is likely to be relatively stable in this industry.

Faculty members in UC Irvine's pharmacology department have close ties with industry, both locally and internationally. These include: Dr. Danielle Piomelli, who had a three-year contract with Taisho Pharmaceuticals of Japan and Dr. Olivier Civelli, who was head of a department at F. Hoffmann-La Roche, Basel and has now close ties with Pfizer, Inc.

Others with ties include:

  • Kadmus - Dr. Gee and Dr. Piomelli
  • Kinexis - Dr. Zhou
  • Merck - Dr. Civelli
  • Organon, Inc. - Dr. Civelli
  • Perkin Elmer - Dr. Civelli
  • Pfizer - Dr. Ehlert
  • Remergent - Dr. Gee
  • Xytis - Dr. Gee


  • F.Hoffmann-La Roche - Dr. Civelli
  • Neo Gene - Dr. Civelli
  • NeoTherapeutics - Dr. Civelli
  • Pharmacia - Dr. Ehlert

Of the approximately $7 million in annual research funds currently held by the UC Irvine pharmacology department faculty, $3 million is from industry.

In addition, some UC Irvine Pharmacology department faculty have established their own pharmaceutical companies. These include Drs. Civelli, Gee, Piomelli and Zhou. 

Some faculty members are advisers to companies. These include Dr. Civelli, who is an adviser to Pfizer, Nura and Acadia.

The University Research Park was built on UC Irvine property directly adjacent to the UC Irvine campus to promote greater interaction between researchers and industry. Companies that locate within University Research Park have the benefit of partnering with UC Irvine through internship programs, executive extension programs and dedicated research collaboration.