PhD Program

The Pharmaceutical & Translational Sciences (PHTS) Program brings together – under one umbrella – the School’s three laboratory-based PhD programs, allowing a more cohesive interdisciplinary experience advancing education and innovative research.

This doctoral training program prepares students for careers in the pharmaceutical industry, academia and advanced scientific research in a broad range of settings. The training encompasses a unique scientific framework from drug discovery, delivery and development to application of genetics and genomics to experimental and clinical translational research.

PhD umbrella program-PHTS figure

The umbrella structure allows students to attend courses and seminars together, and rotate through laboratories across programs during their first year. This fosters interdisciplinary crosstalk among students and faculty, helping students find an ideal laboratory and faculty mentor as well as a specialized track of study they want to pursue. Upon successful completion of training, students will be conferred the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in one of the following areas of study:

Molecular Pharmacology and Toxicology Track (MPTX)

The MPTX track provides training in molecular mechanisms of disease as well as disease and drug interaction. Coursework emphasizes cell biology and molecular pharmacology. Research areas are laboratory based and include molecular and neuro-pharmacology, receptor pharmacology, cancer biology and pharmacology, metabolism and biochemistry, and oxidant toxicology.

Pharmaceutical Sciences Track (PSCI)

The PSCI track provides training that emphasizes basic as well as applied research through advanced coursework in contemporary pharmaceutical sciences. Independent laboratory research areas include drug design, development, targeting, and delivery, medicinal chemistry, computational chemistry, pharmaceutics, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, immunology, and molecular and cell biology.

Clinical and Experimental Therapeutics Track (CXPT)

The CXPT track provides cross-training between clinical and basic sciences—focusing on the investigation of disease processes, drug development and the efficacy and toxicity of therapeutic regimens. Course requirements and research opportunities offer both experimental (basic) and disease-focused experiences. The emphasis in this track is clinical translational, using molecular and translational science techniques to address clinically-relevant research questions.