The department of pharmaceutical sciences offers a PhD program in Biomedical Science that focuses on the cross-disciplinary integration of human biology and pathology with drug action, invention, and clinical utility. The biomedical sciences curriculum involves coursework and original research in areas including drug design and profiling; toxicology; and pharmaceutical biochemistry/cell biology aimed at increasing our understanding of how unsolved medical needs may be addressed by novel therapeutic approaches. The biomedical sciences program is appropriate for those entering the field as well as persons currently employed as research technicians, clinical laboratory workers, science teachers, and science administrators. The flexibility of the biomedical science program and its interdisciplinary nature can enhance job performance in a present position or invite new employment opportunities.
The PhD program in Medicinal Chemistry and Drug Discovery educates and trains students in the design and synthesis of novel, biologically active compounds and in delineating their mechanisms of action using biochemical, biophysical, and pharmacological approaches. Research specializations are available in synthetic, biochemical/pharmacological, and biophysical aspects of medicinal chemistry. Doctoral research in these specializations will relate to faculty areas of research, which currently include: substance use disorders and addiction; neuropathic pain; obesity and metabolic disorders; neuropsychiatric disorders (psychoses, ADHD, depression, anxiety, eating disorders); and neurodegenerative diseases.
Students studying pharmaceutical sciences will be thoroughly exposed to the fundamentals of physical pharmacy and pharmaceutics and trained in several specialized areas, including:
With exposure to these facets of the pharmaceutical sciences, successful graduates are poised to understand and assimilate the field of modern pharmaceutics. A PhD degree in Pharmaceutics and Drug Delivery is a research degree. While coursework plays an important role, students become active participants in the science of pharmaceutics in the laboratory. Faculty research in pharmaceutical sciences covers a broad range of scientific interests, including: pharmacokinetic toxicodynamics of anticancer agents; use of novel biomaterials and synthetic polymeric systems in designing small-molecule drug delivery systems for small molecules, proteins, and nucleic acids; passive and active targeting of therapeutic agents for cancer and cardiovascular diseases; novel delivery systems for immuno-stimulating purposes; and mathematical modeling of endogenous compounds.
The pharmacology PhD enables students to specialize in the study of the actions of drugs and their effects in living systems. In addition to developing a sound knowledge base through coursework and seminars, the program is designed to strengthen students’ ability to understand and critically evaluate current pharmacology literature, informing the students’ independent laboratory research that advances our understanding of drugs, their actions, and their pharmacotherapeutic applications. Recent graduates with a PhD in pharmacology have found employment in academic and industrial research positions.
Curriculum subject to change.