The University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center (UCDHSC) Pharmacology Graduate Training Program, currently in its 30th year of NIGMS funding, requests annual support for nine predoctoral students during the next five years. This Graduate Training Program distinguishes itself by providing a highly interactive environment, on a new HSC campus, in which students can obtain a broadly-based integrative perspective of science, training in the foundation of knowledge that defines pharmacology, and sophistication in specialized, state-of-the-art research areas. The Training Program is directed by Nancy Zahniser, Ph.D., and co-directed by David Port, Ph.D., who also chairs the Graduate Training Committee, which provides the day-to-day oversightover this Training Program. The 38 members of the Training Program faculty are drawn both from within and from outside of the Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, and have been recruited to provide broad, multidisciplinary training opportunities in neuropharmacology, cell signaling and trafficking, molecular pharmacology, pharmacogenetics, cancer biology, genomics, proteomics, lipidomics, biomolecular structure, bioinformatics, as well as translational pharmacology. The Training Program faculty are all accomplished, committed researchers and mentors with significant extramural funding. The sources of students entering this Training Program include direct applicants to the Program, as well as students who transition from HSC 'feeder'programs (Biomedical Sciences Program and Medical Scientist Training Program). The Pharmacology Graduate Training Program has three curricular tracks: pharmacology (primary track), biomolecular structure and bioinformatics. Hallmarks of the Program are a comprehensive didactic component, three laboratory rotations, a strong emphasis on student presentations in seminar settings, and a wide choice of thesis research options. Career development in the pharmacological sciences and student initiative are also emphasized. Since its last review, 42 students (from a total of 58) have been supported by this Training Grant, of which 10% came from under-represented populations. The Training Program currently has 27 students. Twenty-three trainees have graduated with Ph.D. degrees, on average, in five years. The competitiveness of the students for individual national fellowships, high quality publications in peer-reviewed journals and invitationsto participate in national meetings are all measures by which the successful training of the students is gauged. Additionally,the retention of the graduates in academic, industry and government positions is another measure of the success of the Training Program. With renewal of funding, this Training Program will continue to thrive and meet the national demands for individuals, trained as pharmacologists, who are individually astute researchers, can be multidisciplinary research team members, and also have the breadth of knowledge to plan and communicate effectively across a spectrum of technologies.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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National Institute of General Medical Sciences Initial Review Group (BRT)
Program Officer
Okita, Richard T
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University of Colorado Denver
Schools of Medicine
United States
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Rorabaugh, Jacki M; Stratford, Jennifer M; Zahniser, Nancy R (2014) A relationship between reduced nucleus accumbens shell and enhanced lateral hypothalamic orexin neuronal activation in long-term fructose bingeing behavior. PLoS One 9:e95019
Barcomb, Kelsey; Buard, Isabelle; Coultrap, Steven J et al. (2014) Autonomous CaMKII requires further stimulation by Ca2+/calmodulin for enhancing synaptic strength. FASEB J 28:3810-9
Spiltoir, Jessica I; Stratton, Matthew S; Cavasin, Maria A et al. (2013) BET acetyl-lysine binding proteins control pathological cardiac hypertrophy. J Mol Cell Cardiol 63:175-9
Barcomb, Kelsey; Coultrap, Steven J; Bayer, K Ulrich (2013) Enzymatic activity of CaMKII is not required for its interaction with the glutamate receptor subunit GluN2B. Mol Pharmacol 84:834-43
Yamamoto, Dorothy J; Nelson, Anna M; Mandt, Bruce H et al. (2013) Rats classified as low or high cocaine locomotor responders: a unique model involving striatal dopamine transporters that predicts cocaine addiction-like behaviors. Neurosci Biobehav Rev 37:1738-53
O'Leary, Heather; Liu, Wallace H; Rorabaugh, Jacki M et al. (2011) Nucleotides and phosphorylation bi-directionally modulate Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) binding to the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor subunit GluN2B. J Biol Chem 286:31272-81
Coultrap, Steven J; Vest, Rebekah S; Ashpole, Nicole M et al. (2011) CaMKII in cerebral ischemia. Acta Pharmacol Sin 32:861-72
Mandt, Bruce H; Zahniser, Nancy R (2010) Low and high cocaine locomotor responding male Sprague-Dawley rats differ in rapid cocaine-induced regulation of striatal dopamine transporter function. Neuropharmacology 58:605-12
Stubblefield, Elizabeth A; Benke, Tim A (2010) Distinct AMPA-type glutamatergic synapses in developing rat CA1 hippocampus. J Neurophysiol 104:1899-912
Nelson, Anna M; Larson, Gaynor A; Zahniser, Nancy R (2009) Low or high cocaine responding rats differ in striatal extracellular dopamine levels and dopamine transporter number. J Pharmacol Exp Ther 331:985-97

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