The Pharmacological Sciences Training Program provides training through the Pharmacology Track of the UCSD Biomedical Sciences (BMS) Graduate Program and seeks to provide trainees with a contemporary education in Pharmacology and state-of-the-art research training in Pharmacological Sciences. Didactic and experiential efforts prepare graduates for a wide range of career opportunities in academia and industry, where their broad scope of training in pharmacology, integrated with sister disciplines of physiology and molecular sciences, will be valued. Faculty interests and training areas emphasize understanding signaling pathways that are relevant to disease, elucidating new targets for drug action and using novel approaches to identify chemicals that modulate drug targets. The Training Faculty work in interdigitating areas, the largest of which is Signal Transduction. This category encompasses work on receptors and G-proteins, kinases and phosphatases, intracellular signaling pathways, cancer and growth regulation. Other major areas include Cardiovascular Science, Neuroscience, Drug Discovery and Protein Structure, Pharmacogenomics and Genetics, Drug Metabolism and Transport, and Endocrinology and Metabolism. Trainees take the Molecules to Organisms core course and Seminar course together with other BMS students in the fall of year one. Subsequent courses given by the Pharmacology Track are required for all students in the Training Program (and encouraged for Trainees associated with the Program). Requirements are: Two quarters of the Drugs and Disease course, Seminars in Pharmacology, and three elective courses: one in a quantitative area, one an organ systems lab course and one dealing with pharmacokinetics or drug disposition. All Trainees participate in weekly Department of Pharmacology Research Discussions and host luncheons with seminar speakers. Two yearly Retreats provide Trainees with opportunities to interact with faculty and present their research progress. The Training Grant is in its 29th year and supports 15 trainees (approved for 16). Trainees are supported by the Training Grant for 2-3 years and obtain their Ph.D. in an average 5.6 years. We request an increase to 19 stipends based on continuously increasing faculty and graduate student growth at UCSD, the high quality of students we attract, and the opening and expansion of the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. Relevance: We train students in pharmacology so they will find better drugs to treat disease. Trainees learn basic science and do cutting edge research leading to an understanding of how the body works, what happens when diseases develop, how to intervene so that these changes might be prevented or blocked, and how to develop improved therapeutic agents to correct the dysfunction.

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)
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Okita, Richard T
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University of California San Diego
Schools of Medicine
La Jolla
United States
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