Faculty in the Department of Biomedical & Pharmaceutical Sciences are affiliated with the four graduate programs described below. Pharmaceutical Sciences & Drug Design, Toxicology, and Medicinal Chemistry are administrated by the Department, while Neuroscience is administrated by the Division of Biological Sciences. All of these graduate programs are coordinated through the Molecular & Biomedical Sciences Umbrella.
The Graduate Program in Pharmaceutical Sciences and Drug Design provides advanced training in basic and translational research within the pharmaceutical sciences. Students receive training at the interfaces of medicinal chemistry, molecular pharmacology, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and toxicology. The program offers M.S. and Ph.D. degrees to develop pharmaceutical scientists for careers in the academia, pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, as well as governmental agencies. Active area of investigation include: designing and developing of novel therapeutics, exploiting small molecules to understand protein structure and function, identifying drug targets and biomarkers of disease pathogenesis and progression, and optimizing pharmaceutical therapies to improve efficacy and safety.
The Toxicology Graduate Program brings together faculty from across campus that share a common interest in improving human health through a better understanding of the impacts that environmental agents have in causing or exacerbating disease. The Center for Environmental Health Sciences plays an integral role in the Toxicology Graduate Program, which offers both M.S. and Ph.D. degrees. Research interests of the Toxicology faculty include investigating the role of environmental toxins on: mechanisms of pulmonary and cardiovascular disease, immune and autoimmune disorders, developmental defects, neurodegenerative diseases, and genetic susceptibility. Many of these projects share an interest in the role of acute and chronic inflammation as the driver for most human diseases.
The graduate program in Medicinal Chemistry serves to train students in the application of chemical research techniques (e.g., synthesis, analysis,) to the study of design, synthesis and characterization of pharmacologically active molecules. The program offers both PhD and MS degrees. Research among the Medicinal Chemistry faculty share an interest in using a combination of chemistry, biology, pharmacology, and computation to understand the relationships between chemical structure and biological activity. Some examples include: the investigation and elucidation of the mechanism of active molecules, the design, synthesis and optimization of potent and selective ligands, development of new biochemical probes, and pharmacokinetics, metabolism and toxicology of beneficial and toxicagents. Many of these efforts also include collaborative links with faculty and projects in the Toxicology and Neuroscience Centers.
Faculty from multiple departments and colleges have joined together to offer exciting opportunities for training and research that is relevant to understanding the structure and function of the central nervous system, as well as how it is altered in neurological and neurodegenerative diseases. Graduate students in the Neuroscience Graduate Program may obtain M.S. and Ph.D. degrees and work with faculty from a number of campus departments. Neuroscience faculty study the molecular physiology of transporters and receptors, signal transduction mechanisms in normal and injured neurons, neurodegenerative pathways, cellular mechanisms of secretion, cell differentiation, cancers of the CNS, and the neural basis of behavior.