The major research strengths of the department are in the areas of neuroscience/neurophysiology and toxicology/pharmacology. Research in the neuroscience/neurophysiology area includes studies of traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury, neural control of respiration, cough, the cardiovascular system, and comparative neuroanatomy.

Research in the area of toxicology/pharmacology includes basic toxicology, drug residues in meat-producing animals, drug metabolism in racing horses, aquatic toxicology, toxicologic risk assessment, and the emerging field of nanotoxicology. The department also has faculty members working in the areas of bone metabolism, reproductive biology, stem cells and the molecular parasitology of humans and domestic species.

The department maintains a large and robust graduate program. Presently, over twenty students are pursuing graduate work leading to the MS or PhD degrees, and a number of postdoctoral fellows are also training in the department.

Grant funding to support faculty research is obtained from many intramural and extramural sources. The majority of departmental research support comes by way of competitive extramural grants from federal agencies including NIH, EPA, NSF and others.