This is a continuing application for a Ph.D. (only) program in the Pharmacological Sciences. Graduate student trainees from Vanderbilt University or Meharry Medical College may be supported for up to two years of graduate training, generally years 2 and 3 of training. The first year of training in biomedical sciences at Vanderbilt University Medical Center is Interdisciplinary, and involves participation in an academic year long core curriculum. Students who select preceptors in the Pharmacological Sciences Training Program in May of their first year then begin the required course work for this graduate program. Program specific curriculum includes: Systems, Targets, and Drug Action (includes in vivo physiology, drug disposition, and principles of drug action);Receptors and Signal Transduction;Scientific Communications;and Biostatistics. In addition, students take at least six additional hours of elective courses to accommodate individual interests and needs. The curriculum for Meharry trainees is similar and cross registration agreements between Vanderbilt and Meharry results in Meharry trainees completing at least some of the above courses with Vanderbilt trainees. Research opportunities are available in several areas at both institutions: Receptor Mechanisms and Signal Transduction, Molecular mechanisms for Cellular Regulation, Neuropharmacology, Cardiovascular Pharmacology, Pharmacology of Arachidonic Acid Metabolites, and Drug Disposition and Pharmacokinetics. Course work is complemented by other important didactic experiences: weekly Journal Club;a student-invited annual Pharmacology Forum;an annual Department of Pharmacology Retreat for presenting upcoming research goals;and exchange programs between Vanderbilt and Meharry Medical College to strengthen the broad-based education of our students as well as to foster the careers of under-represented minorities in research. The training environment is further strengthened by emerging partnerships with the Lipscomb College of Pharmacy, the ability of trainees to participate in a Howard Hughes Medical Institute-funded Program in Molecular Medicine, and the presence of a highly successful, in-house Drug Discovery Program. Comprehensive qualifying examinations and defense of the dissertation proposal precedes dissertation research. After admission to candidacy for degree, dissertation committee meetings occur frequently to facilitate mentoring. The breadth of interest of the faculty, their international recognition and success in acquiring extramural peer-reviewed support, their understanding of the scientific process and an emphasis on scientific integrity make our program an outstanding environment for the training of independent scientists in the area of pharmacological sciences.

Public Health Relevance

Students are funded to provide training in the discipline of Pharmacology;the science of drug development and testing. Training includes coursework and original research in a laboratory. Scientists trained in this area perform important jobs in drug development in universities and industries, product safety, and regulatory affairs.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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Okita, Richard T
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Vanderbilt University Medical Center
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