School of Medicine

Civelli is named pharmacology chair

Dr. Olivier Civelli

Feb. 24, 2012 -- Olivier Civelli, PhD, has been appointed chair of the Department of Pharmacology in the UC Irvine School of Medicine.

Civelli joined UC Irvine in 1996 as a professor of pharmacology and as the Eric L. and Lila D. Nelson Chair in Neuropharmacology.

He is recognized as one of the world’s leading researchers for identifying and cloning dopamine receptors. These receptors are an important part of the brain’s pathway to process information and they are primary targets of drug therapies for treating such diseases as schizophrenia, Parkinson’s, Tourette’s syndrome and drug abuse.

Civelli also spearheaded the use of receptors to find new neurotransmitters, which led to the development of the reverse pharmaceutical research.

Among his many honors, he gave the 1992 presidential lecture at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience.

As chair, he plans to support efforts to apply systems biology methods to the discovery of new therapeutic approaches, particularly in the fields of neuro- and cardiovascular pharmacology.

Additionally, he will help develop a professional master’s program.