The Pharmaceutical Sciences and Pharmacogenomics (PSPG) Graduate Program is a unique, dynamic, contemporary program in pharmaceutical sciences and pharmacogenomics at the University of California San Francisco that attracts diverse faculty and students who share a common interest in applying basic sciences to challenging research topics in drug development and precision drug therapy. The graduate program reflects exciting scientific developments in the area of genomics, quantitative and systems pharmacology, and computation that have far-reaching implications to the pharmaceutical and pharmacological sciences. The goal of the PSPG graduate program is to educate and train Ph.D. students to conceptualize, design and execute innovative scientific research in the interdisciplinary scientific areas encompassed by modern pharmaceutical sciences. The program brings together 59 well- funded faculty members spanning 23 departments. This multidisciplinary and unique graduate program has a dual focus: 1) pharmaceutical sciences and drug development, including molecular and systems pharmacology, drug delivery and therapeutic bioengineering, and pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics and modeling; and 2) pharmacogenomics, the application of genetics and genomics for the development of novel therapeutics and the optimal use of drugs in individual patients for precision medicine. The training program includes a series of core courses providing an in-depth understanding of the principles of pharmaceutical sciences and pharmacogenomics, including an innovative new core course in systems pharmacology. Core courses are complemented by electives covering advanced drug delivery and pharmacokinetic principles, principles of genetics and cell biology, bioinformatics, tissue and organ biology, and computer programming. Students also participate in laboratory rotations that expose them to the diversity of potential projects available for their dissertation research and a university-wide course on responsible conduct of research. The program immerses trainees in the culture of science through a journal club with students across four basic science graduate programs that are focused on quantitative approaches to studying biology, a seminar program which brings in leading academic, regulatory and industrial scientists, student research presentations, and an annual retreat. The program goal is to recruit 8-10 outstanding Ph.D. students per year, plus at least one student for a combined Pharm.D./Ph.D. degree. Underrepresented minority students are actively recruited through a number of faculty activities and represent 16% of our students; 16% of our students also come from disadvantaged backgrounds. Upon graduation, the new PSPG Ph.D. scientist will have the ethics, knowledge and tools necessary to become independent researchers, and also the passion and enthusiasm to make impactful contributions to the pharmaceutical sciences and pharmacogenomics field throughout their career.
There is an increasing need for the development of new and effective drug therapies for the treatment of disease that can be tailored for individual patients. Students in the Pharmaceutical Sciences and Pharmacogenomics Graduate Program are trained to be future scientific leaders in this area. Their training will prepare them to develop effective treatment strategies for existing and newly developed drugs that consider the principles of pharmacology and our advancing knowledge of personal genetics.
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