Fields of research

Basic and translational research

Basic research is study directed toward acquiring new knowledge of fundamentals and observable facts. Basic research studies are usually designed to enhance knowledge of the physiology, mechanisms, and processes of illnesses and to understand how medications work.

Translational research is a bridge between basic research and clinical research. The focus is on improving clinical practice by applying what was learned in preclinical studies.

Related research themes

Discovery and characterization of therapeutic targets

This research theme is about biomarkers, the identification of new therapeutic targets, and the characterization of the pharmacological effects of substances with therapeutic potential. Various methods are used to validate these new targets and effects, ranging from molecular biology to in-vitro and in-vivo experiments in animals and humans.

Biopharmacy, chemistry, and pharmaceutical technology

Researchers in these areas develop knowledge to maximize medication efficacy while minimizing side effects. They study how organisms respond to and metabolize medications. In particular, research focuses on medications and their biological properties, how they work at the molecular level, and the connection between their structure and how they act.

This theme includes research on the synthesis, formulation, and preparation of medications according to various forms and drawing on a broad range of technologies.

Pharmacogenetics and pharmacogenomics

Pharmacogenetics is the study of how genetic makeup affects people’s response to medical treatment. Researchers study the genes that come into play in the metabolism, transport, and action of medications so a patient’s prescribed treatment can be tailored to their genetic profile.

Pharmacogenomics is the study of how a person’s inherited genes influence their response to medications. The goal is to find a way to administer the right medication to the right person at the right time. 

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Clinical pharmacy

Clinical research is one aspect of all health research conducted on humans or on data, samples, or other material specimens taken from individuals and populations.

From a pharmacy angle, clinical research aims to enhance the knowledge and skills of pharmacists and other healthcare professionals in relation to pharmacotherapy and the optimal and rational use of medications. This research theme also covers the assessment of health technology and services.

Related research themes

Pharmacotherapy and clinical trials

Pharmacotherapy and clinical trials are forms of research conducted on humans and on medications used to treat various health issues.


Pharmacovigilance, also known as drug safety, is about documenting and assessing the side effects, and particularly the adverse effects, of pharmaceutical products.

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Medical adherence

Medical adherence studies aim to identify the best methods for measuring medication use and adherence to  treatment; demonstrate how people adhere to their treatment; identify the characteristics of individuals, their family and social environment, and the health system that influence medical adherence; and measure the effects of non-adherence on a person, their environment, and society.

Pharmaceutical care and professional practices

The concept of “pharmaceutical care” has led pharmacists to create a patient-centred and results-driven pharmacy practice model. This theme covers all tasks and services required of pharmacists to improve their patients’ quality of life through the achievement of preventive, curative, or palliative pharmacotherapeutic objectives.

It also examines specialized pharmacy practice, frontline care, interprofessional collaboration, and health education.

Pharmacy and population health

This field of research looks at how medications are used among the population and particularly at the key factors, advantages, risks, and economic repercussions of medication use. Practices aimed at optimizing medication use are also addressed. Research looks at disciplines including pharmacoeconomics, pharmacoepidemiology, professional practices, and the healthcare system.

Related research themes

Epidemiology and pharmacoepidemiology

These two fields of science deal with the benefits and risks of medications used among the population and with the analysis of medical treatment outcomes. Pharmacoepidemiological data is taken from clinical trials and epidemiological studies that concentrate on things like methods for detecting and assessing the side effects of medications, on measuring the risk/benefit ratio, on medication use models, and on the cost/efficacy ratio of a specific medication.

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Medical adherence

The purpose of research on medical adherence is to help improve population health and well-being by identifying effective means to improve treatment adherence through outreach and information activities.

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Healthcare system policy and administration

This theme examines the healthcare system and its structure, management, and administrative policies.

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How do I find a research supervisor?

To find a research supervisor and see what our professors are working on, visit the Meet our research professors page.