This program will provide integrated pre-doctoral training in the pharmacological sciences for 13 students in the Division of Basic Sciences (DBS), the interdisciplinary graduate curriculum of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. Graduates of the program will be well-prepared to pursue postdoctoral training or other career paths that lead to independent research programs focused on molecular and cellular approaches to understanding the mechanism of action of drugs, hormones, and other regulatory molecules. Students with strong undergraduate training in physical and biological science will receive interdisciplinary instruction in pharmacology, biochemistry, molecular and cell biology, and physiology. Advanced didactic training, student seminars, journal clubs, research rotations, and dissertation research projects will complete the research experience. Students will also receive opportunities to present their work orally or in posters at national and international meetings. All students will be encouraged to finish their training within 4-5 years of matriculating. Trainees: Students who have completed the integrated first year curriculum of the DBS or within the first two years of our M.D. /Ph.D. training program will be considered for appointment as a trainee by the Steering Committee. Most students participate in the Cell Regulation graduate program of the DBS. Selection will be based on a student's undergraduate and graduate performance and on the commitment of the student and his/her mentor to pursue a course of training consistent with goals of the program. Particular emphasis will be placed on candidates that the Steering Committee feels are "diamonds-in-the-rough" and show potential beyond their didactic training credentials. Faculty: The 61 members of the training faculty come from 18 different Departments, 3 different Centers, and represent 9 interdisciplinary graduate programs of the DBS. These individuals bring a wealth of experience (many are Nobel laureates and National Academy members) and provide substantial diversity in their approaches to problems of pharmacological interest. Senior, mid-level, and junior faculty are represented, and the UT Southwestern Endowed Scholars program continues to provide a yearly influx of talented new junior faculty to the program.
Over the past decade there has been a paucity of new therapeutic agents to treat human diseases. With recent technological advances in DNA sequencing and the ability to map intra- and intercellular regulatory networks in great detail, the potential to discover and characterize novel therapeutics has never been more promising. This program seeks to train the next generation of scientists who will make these discoveries and insure that scientific research on human health remains vibrant and at the cutting edge.
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