University of Dundee

Dr Stephen Kelley

D'Arcy Thompson Unit, Biological and Biomedical Sciences Education, School of Life Sciences, University of Dundee, Dundee
Full Telephone: 
+44 (0) 1382 388324, int ext 88324


The main topic that I love to teach my students is pharmacology, which is the science of how drugs work. My research experience has significantly informed my teaching expertise, but it has been my direct experience with undergraduate teaching that has greatly expanded my view of pharmacology, from the action of drugs at the molecular level through to the positive (and negative!) effects of drugs in the clinic. Prior to coming to teach at Dundee, I had been actively teaching both pharmacology and physiology to undergraduate pharmacy students on the MPharm programme at the Medway School of Pharmacy, Universities of Kent and Greenwich, for 12 years.  I led the design and implementation of the BSc (Hons) in Pharmacology and Physiology, serving as the Programme Leader and industrial placements coordinator, in addition to managing several modules before becoming the Director of Education for the School, with a focus on quality assurance across the undergraduate programmes.


Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, 2013

Fellow of the British Pharmacological Society, 2018.

I am an active member of the Education and Skills Affinity Group for the British Pharmacological Society and participated with others in the Society in creating the Undergraduate Pharmacology Core Curriculum to ensure common themes and subject benchmarks specific for pharmacology: (

I also have a particular interest in increasing graduate employability, with a focus on helping students apply and secure industrial placements.  

What I Teach

School of Life Sciences

BS11106: Poison Pen

BS12005: Science and Society

BS21002: Cellular Communication

BS31016: Practical Techniques in Biomedical Sciences

BS32012: Quantitative Pharmacology

BS32024: Neuropsychopharmacology

BS32028: Molecular Pharmacology

BS42019: Cardiovascular Pharmacology

BS41004/07: Research Project

BS52009 Therapeutics


School of Medicine

Level 1 MBChB (Principles)

Level 2 MBChB (Systems)

Where I Come From

I had a strong interest in psychopharmacology whilst obtaining my Bachelor’s degree at Rhode Island College. My research interests then carried into neuropharmacology at the University of Memphis for my Master’s degree, focusing on how specific brain areas can modulate the effects of psychostimulants. At the Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Center in San Francisco, my research focused on how drugs acting at GABAA and 5-HT3 receptors can produce behavioural and neurochemical changes influencing addiction and anxiety. I then completed my PhD in Pharmacology at the University of Dundee in 2005, under the supervision of Professors John Peters and Jeremy Lambert, focusing on biophysical properties of 5-HT3 and nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. I then travelled to UNC Chapel Hill, North Carolina to engage in post-doctoral research looking at drugs which reduce the sedative effects of neurosteroids. I then returned to the UK, becoming a lecturer, then senior lecturer at the Medway School of Pharmacy where I taught undergraduate MPharm (pharmacy) students then later BSc (Hons) pharmacology and physiology students over my 12 years at Medway. In 2019, I was delighted come back to Dundee and I am now teaching in both the Schools of Life Sciences and Medicine.