The objective of this program is to train pharmaceutical scientists to handle the development of products arising from biotechnology research. Due to the difficulty and complex nature of developing biotechnology- derived drugs, it is necessary to train a new "breed" of pharmaceutical scientists who can respond to the needs of interdisciplinary approaches for the advancements of biological, chemical, and pharmaceutical sciences by integrating mathematics, physics, biology, molecular biology, and chemistry to solve difficult problems in designing therapeutic agents of the future. This new type of scientist could also be placed in academic institutions to expand the educational training of pharmaceutical biotechnology scientists of the future. This training program has been in existence for 20 years with 8 students per year and 34 faculty mentors. There are two major areas of research in this training program: (1) the traditional"Pharmaceutics" area that includes formation, analysis, and delivery and (2) the protein structure and bioinformatics area. The 34 faculty mentors are from four different departments, including Chemistry, Medicinal Chemistry, Molecular Biosciences, and Pharmaceutical Chemistry. The faculty mentors are also involved in several other programs within The University of Kansas, including the Adams Institute for Bioanalytical Chemistry, the Bioengineering Program, the Bioinformatics Center, and the Center of Excellence for Protein Structure and Function. The Steering Committee oversees all aspects of the training program and Dr. Siahaan (PI) serves as the committee chair. The students will be selected from a pool of applicants that are nominated by the faculty mentors from the participating departments. The Steering Committee will select the trainees from the nominated students each year. The students'progress will be monitored in quarterly meetings and annual symposia organized by the trainees under the supervision of a member of the Steering Committee. The trainees will be supported by the training program for a maximum of two years and the past trainees who are not yet graduated are expected to participate in all activities administered by the training program. The alumni of this program who have been working for five years in industry and academia will be invited to present their research at the yearly symposium. The alumni will provide feedback on the training program and the feedback will be used to improve the quality of the training program in the future.

Public Health Relevance

The objective of this program is to train pharmaceutical scientists to handle the development of products arising from biotechnology research. This training program is fulfilling the need to produce a new "breed" of future scientists that can respond to the complex nature of discovering and developing therapeutic agents derived from biotechnology research. The hope is that these future scientists will improve the probability of success in developing these future therapeutic agents from the bench to the bedside.

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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Gerratana, Barbara
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University of Kansas Lawrence
Schools of Pharmacy
United States
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