Department of Pharmacology

Background History

When the faculty of Medicine was reopened in 1946 in Lanmadaw campus, Yangon. Pharmacology department functioned with one part time lecturer, one assistant lecturer and one demonstrator. One full time lecturer, one assistant lecturer and three demonstrators were appointed later. In 1951, Dr. Robert G. Page was appointed as advisor in pharmacology and worked here for two years. Dr. William Law, lecturer and head of department became the first pharmacologist in the field of medicine in Myanmar in 1955 after obtaining a Ph.D. degree from the University of Edinburgh. In 1956, a WHO advisor in Pharmacology, Dr. Roger A. Lewis, A.B., M.D., helped him for a year. Dr William Law served as lecturer and head of the department till his sudden death on Christmas day 1964. His duties were taken up by Dr. U Myint Than, B.Sc., M.B.,B.S., Ph.D., Director (Medical Division), Burma Pharmaceutical Industry, who was appointed as part-time head of the department. From 1965 to 1967, he was helped by Dr. S.E. Smith, M.A., B.M., B.Ch., D.A., a Columbo Plan advisor in Pharmacology. In 1967, Dr. Daw Khin Kyi Kyi (1), M.B.,B.S.(Rgn), Ph.D.(Canada) became the head of the department. Then, a professor post had been created and total strength of the teaching staff had been increased to fourteen. Dr. Daw Khin Kyi Kyi, a role model in the field of pharmacology, worked energetically and was one of the leading members of Medical Education Unit. Prior to 1967, teaching of pharmacology was concentrated on knowledge of the Materia Medica- therapeutic action, clinical use, doses, and side effects of the known medicinal compounds. Pharmacy and dispensing were also taught, as ready-made patent medicines were less available and most clinics had to make up their own prescriptions – cough mixtures, antacids, diaphoretics, diuretics etc. Anti- infectives were confined to the sulphonamides, penicillins, tetracycline and chloramphenicol. In the late 60s, the heads of the department of the three institutes, with their experience during their training for the Ph.D., felt the need to change in the pharmacology curriculum in the three institutes to keep up with the changing trends and curriculum of the Medical Institutes of other countries. With the discovery of newer drugs with action on receptors, enzymes etc., it became necessary to teach actions and effects at the molecular level for more effective use of the drugs. This necessity became more apparent with the discovery of newer generations of the antibiotics and other drugs like anti cancer agents.
As patent medicines for most conditions became available and dispensing at clinics was no more done, and pharmacy practical were deleted from the curriculum to reduce the heavy and increasing load of the pharmacology curriculum.
In 1974, a post graduate course in pharmacology which confers the degree of Master of Medical Science was introduced. The first candidate obtained her master degree in 1980. In 1998, another post graduate course conferring the degree of Ph.D. (Pharmacology) was introduced. The candidates are limited only to M.Med.Sc. (Pharmacology) degree holders. The first candidate gained his doctorate in the year 2005.
In 2016, a postgraduate diploma course which confer the degree of diploma in clinical pharmacology has been started to open. The purpose of this course is to produce doctors as clinical pharmacologists who can support clinicians for better therapeutic managements at tertiary hospitals. Those who have M.Med.Sc. (Pharmacology) are eligible to sit entrance exam of the course.

Department Heads

No Name Graduate From – To
1 Dr. William Law Ph.D. (University of Edinburgh) 1955-9164
2 Dr. Myint Than B.Sc., M.B.,B.S., Ph.D. 1965-1967
3 Dr. Daw Khin Kyi Kyi (1) M.B.,B.S.(Rgn), Ph.D. (Canada) 1967-1988
4 Dr. Daw Kin Ma Gyi M.B.,B.S.(Rgn), Ph.D. (London) 1988-1990
5 Dr. U Win Maw M.B.,B.S.(Rgn),
M.Med.Sc. ( Pharmacology),
Ph.D. (London)
1990-2003
6 Dr. Nang Hla Hla Win M.B.,B.S.(Rgn), Ph.D. (Nagoya, Japan),
Dip.Med.Ed.
2003-2017

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