students in lab using microscope

The Sokol Institute

The Margaret and Herman Sokol Institute for Pharmaceutical Life Sciences was established by Montclair State University’s College of Science and Mathematics in 2007. It was created to rapidly advance the critical skills, approaches and research in developing solutions to global health issues. The Institute supports transdisciplinary research bringing CSAM faculty and students and academic and industry collaborators. Projects are in the areas of medicinal chemistry, pharmacology, biochemistry, natural products chemistry, molecular biology, computational sciences, and environmental toxicology. Research also takes place in emerging technologies such as biomaterials and nanotechnology.

Institute Mission

The Sokol Institute of Pharmaceutical Life Sciences is focused on research that impacts human health. Institute faculty, students and research staff are engaged in an extensive array of multidisciplinary research in chemistry and biology. Through this research, the Institute aims to advance our respective disciplines and provide young scientists with skills and experience needed to go on to impactful careers where their discoveries will benefit society.


The Sokol Institute is uniquely positioned to expand and extend the University’s traditional role in preparing scientists, researchers and technicians for the state’s multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical life sciences industry and rapidly growing biotechnology sector. We promote a diversity of research programs in the Pharmaceutical Life Sciences that impact human health in general. Via the Institute’s mission, we strive to bring a global perspective to researching disease mechanisms and therapeutic approaches. Diseases being researched include AIDS, malaria, and other important global issues. The Institute creates advanced experimentation and discovery approaches such as high throughput screening, proteomics, biomaterial platforms and drug analysis technologies accessible to both the College and outside industry community.

The Institute is equipped to help develop advanced graduate and post-doctoral programs in pharmaceutical disciplines such as medicinal chemistry, biochemistry and pharmacology with CSAM. In addition, the Institute establishes technology incubators with various business partners to promote the development of new life sciences technologies and products.

The University has significantly increased enrollments of students majoring in key drug development fields like chemistry, biochemistry and molecular biology. The University has recruited faculty from top academic and industrial institutions around the world. The department actively pursues significant research into areas including: neglected diseases, oncology, medicinal chemistry, and computational technologies. The Sokol Institute is poised to provide a skilled, highly educated workforce. They are prepared to maintain New Jersey as the pre-eminent location for the global pharmaceutical and medical technology industry.


Institute Director

David Rotella profile photo

David Rotella

Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry