The Urdang Lab is dedicated to the study of medicine, pharmacy, and society using multiple lenses and methodologies.

While dedicated to transdisciplinarity, history and historical frameworks act as key anchors in the Lab’s research.

Richert, as the Urdang Chair in Pharmacy History, has pursued varied topics in the history of intoxicants, medicine, pharmacy, and the medical humanities.



Richert has studied cannabis policy and history for over a decade in three countries. He has authored chapters, organized conferences, given public lectures, as well as contributed to opinion-editorials and commentary for the media during that time. He has also developed grants and online exhibits over his career.

Contested Cannabis

Cannabis: Global Histories

Pharmacists and the Future of Cannabis Medicine

Cannabis Lecture Series 2020


Richert first began researching psychedelics in science and society during his postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Saskatchewan from 2010-2013. Since then, he has authored or co-authored multiple publications in this area, in addition to developing new historical collections, organizing lectures, and folding this work into the UW-Madison Psychoactive Pharmaceutical Investigation program.

Richert also created and co-led the Borghesi-Mellon “Psychedelic Pasts, Presents, and Futures” workshop for two years.

Psychedelics and Yoga

Psychedelic Crossings

Psychedelic Speaker Series, 2022

Psychiatry and Mental Health

Both the history of mental health and psychiatry have featured prominently in Richert’s academic career. His scholarship in this area has dealt with experimental and alternative forms of treatment. In particular, Richert has written about radical psychiatry and psychology. He has also edited an Open Access collection on mental health and socioeconomics.


Pharmaceuticals and Policy

In 2006, Richert began a PhD project that culminated in a monograph on the US pharmaceutical and FDA regulation. He has maintained an interest in these topics ever since. He now collaborates with scholars beyond the field of history and has sought to collaborate with social scientists and pharmacists in the pages of Journal of the American Pharmacists Association and elsewhere.

A few recent articles in this focus area include “The Introduction of Peyote into Pharmaceutical and Pharmacological Frameworks,” “The Misappropriation of Native and Indigenous Imagery in Pharmaceutical Advertising,” and “Developing, Revising, and Assessing the Use of an Infographic on Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) for Wisconsin Community Pharmacists.” All of these articles can be found on Richert’s CV.



Richert researches in the history of pharmacy field. The Urdang Lab supports PhD students and other types of scholars in this focus area. Richert, in partnership with the UW-Madison SoP and AIHP, works to develop historical collections for future researchers.

Please click through the gallery to explore different aspects of pharmacy history.


Visit the History of Pharmacy Collection

The American Institute of the History of Pharmacy and the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Pharmacy are excited to announce a partnership with the University of Wisconsin Digital Collections Center to digitize portions of the historical collections housed in Rennebohm Hall. The project will provide online access to important AIHP and UW–Madison School of Pharmacy historical sources that document changes in pharmacy practice, the pharmaceutical industry, public health, drug advertising, mass consumption, and many other late nineteenth-century and twentieth-century topics.

To get access to over 100 fun and informative history lectures that focus on health, medicine, and pharmacy, visit the official YouTube channel of the American Institute of the History of Pharmacy (AIHP). These lectures can be used for teaching in the classroom or to develop your own personal knowledge. Located at the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Pharmacy, AIHP’s mission is advancing knowledge and understanding of the history of pharmacy and medicines.

The AIHP is a nonprofit 501 c(3) organization.