Mission and Philosophy

Employers now expect increased sophistication beyond the traditional disciplinary boundaries of PhD programs.  Academia is looking for translational scientists who can build interdisciplinary teams to produce cutting-edge research that rapidly translates to innovative new therapies that impact patient care outcomes, publish in high profile journals and successfully compete for funding as well as train outstanding graduate students and post-doctoral researchers.  This translational focus increasingly has shifted from in vitro to in vivo (preclinical), drug optimization and clinical investigations, and requires an increased understanding of intellectual property and regulatory processes as well as impact on health economics and policy.

In industry, basic R & D positions also have evolved to require mastery across a spectrum of scientific disciplines and practical knowledge of Good Laboratory Practice (GLP). Across the board, students are increasingly entrepreneurial in their interests, and expect opportunities that allow them to incorporate soft skills including training in business development, team science, communications, and job-specific knowledge with their traditional disciplinary skills. Our programs aim to accommodate sufficient practical and professional skill development without compromising the intense focus on disciplinary coursework and the thesis research that constitutes the core of a PhD.