The University of Michigan, Pharmacological Sciences and Bio-related Chemistry Training Program (PSTP) provides pre-doctoral students with a strong foundation in basic pharmacological principles and a broad knowledge of other bio-related basic science disciplines (e.g., medicinal chemistry). All students will complete a core curriculum consisting of courses in pharmacology, medicinal chemistry, physiology, and biostatistics, with other elective courses designed to fit the programmatic needs of individual students. Students may follow one of two general tracks with emphasis on biological or chemical research. Areas of research concentration within the program include cardiovascular/renal pharmacology, neuropharmacology, xenobiotic metabolism, growth and metabolic regulation, receptor structure and function, synthesis and pharmacology of therapeutic and diagnostic agents, antibiotic discovery, enzymology, transport mechanisms, drug absorption, drug delivery, and pharmacokinetics. Students obtain laboratory experience in several types of pharmacological research and learn how to design experiments, evaluate experimental data, and use appropriate statistical methods. The training program includes graduate-level courses;training in the responsible conduct of research;seminar programs;a qualifying examination;career and professional development activities (new to this submission);required research presentations at an Annual Symposium;supervised laboratory investigation leading to the student's doctoral dissertation and a final oral examination during which the trainee defends his/her dissertation before their dissertation committee. Highly-qualified students, with an interest in obtaining advanced training in the pharmacological sciences that would not normally be available to them in their PhD programs, are nominated by their PhD program to the PSTP. Their faculty mentors must be members of the PSTP. Starting with the 2010-11 cohort, all students nominated to the PSTP will be reviewed by a pre-selection committee, which will assign the students to either the Biological or Chemical Track based on their research and specific training interests. Nominees will then be evaluated by the two track-specific sub-committees, which then recommend appointment to the PSTP Parent Committee which makes the final decisions. Selection criteria include: UG and graduate GPAs, GREs, research experience, letters of recommendation, performance in research rotations in graduate school, and personal interviews. Students enter the PSTP at the beginning of their second year of graduate school and generally are financially supported by the training grant for two years (Phase I). Rigorous policies of admissions, course grades, qualifying exams, laboratory experiences, and thesis work are enforced by both the trainees'PhD programs and the PSTP to maintain a high level of quality. In Phase II (after candidacy and PSTP support), the trainee's progress is monitored by their mentor and by additional PSTP faculty via a requisite annual dissertation committee meeting, with requisite written reports to the PSTP Directors. Support is requested for 16 trainees per year.

Public Health Relevance

The Pharmacological Sciences Training Program is designed to provide advanced training to students interested in pursuing research careers in the life sciences related to pharmacological research. An emphasis is placed on basic pharmacological principles and acquiring broad knowledge of related basic sciences like medicinal chemistry. The training provided to these future researchers will enable them to work on advances in medicine and human health related to drug therapy.

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 Michigan Ann Arbor
Schools of Pharmacy
Ann Arbor
United States
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