What it takes to become a professor of Pharmacology

Nikolas Dietis, Assistant Professor of Pharmacology at the Medical School, University of Cyprus, teaches the pharmacology module to undergraduate medical students and leads the Experimental Pharmacology Laboratory. Pharmacology is a biomedical science concentrating on drugs, drug action, composition, and design. A major challenge in the field is how to discover new drugs with the desirable effects, minimize their undesirable side-effects, and describe the interplay between physiological pathways and pharmacological modalities.


  • Preparing teaching materials for teaching, delivering lectures for undergraduate students
  • Undertaking lab experiments, reconsidering and revising experimental protocols, relaunching experiments
  • Devoting time in collaboration and consultation with colleagues and students
  • Reviewing the literature, developing and publishing manuscripts



  • Teaching skills (instructional skills and motivation, pedagogical content knowledge, etc.)
  • Research skills (designing and carrying out experiments, testing drugs, analysing and interpreting data, making recommendations based on findings from research and experiments, studying relevant literature, writing papers)


  • Communication and collaboration skills (presenting work, communicating with colleagues)
  • Managerial skills (time management, classroom management)
  • Organizational skills (complete tasks in a timely manner)


Which subjects´ knowledge is essential for a career?

Someone who wants to re-focus from academia to science needs to complete a bachelor’s degree, master degree and a PhD degree in pharmacology so he will have a lot of in-depth knowledge in pharmacology. Also, someone needs to have a lot of skills under the pharmacology area but in different methods, different scenario, different sub-areas.


Knowledge and skills provided in primary and secondary education, e.g., biology. Experience can also be gained through work in an academic department within universities as a member of a research team.


The digitalization will open up a lot of opportunities in the future both in terms of academia and research (digital tools for teaching or digital tools for research) but also in pharmacology per se in terms of biotechnology and nanotechnologies.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, positions in pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing are projected to grow 13% from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations.

Q: If you could start all over again, how you would change your career path?
A: “I believe one thing that I would change was to reduce the time that I spent away from academia for working. I think during my time in pharmaceutical industry, because of the fact that I wasn’t actually applying pharmacology skills per se … all that period was useful in terms of new skills etc. but drew me away from academia and the core of pharmacology research. I have found it a little bit hard to come back and catch up.”

Nikolas Dietis, Assistant Professor of Pharmacology at the Medical School, University of Cyprus

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