This Integrative Pharmacological Sciences Training Program (IPSTP) is designed for 2nd and 3rd year Ph.D. students pursuing dissertation research projects in the pharmacological sciences. Trainees and training faculty (n=36) are drawn from 4 Ph.D. programs (Biochemistry &Molecular Biology, Cell &Molecular Biology, Neuroscience and Pharmacology &Toxicology). The unique focus of the IPSTP is training with in vivo pharmacological approaches and concepts. The research expertise of IPSTP training faculty is clustered into three overlapping themes: 1) cell growth, differentiation, injury and repair;2) intra and intercellular signaling and, 3) integrative pharmacology and physiology. Funds are requested to support 3 students in year 1 and 6 students in years 2-5 (each student receives 2 years of support). The training program will be administered by a Program Director (Galligan) and an Executive Committee composed of a representative of each program and a student trainee. The program is also guided by an Internal Advisory Committee composed of the Chairs or Directors of the participating Ph.D. programs. There are 7 core elements to the training plan: 1) a research project whose results lead to a Ph.D. dissertation and a contribution to knowledge in the pharmacological sciences;2) a two week short course in pharmacological methods ("Boot camp");3) a three course curriculum in pharmacology and biostatistics;4) a weekly Communications Skills and Professional Development Workshop (trainee participation is required during the two years of program support and for two years after support has ended);5) a mentored teaching experience;6) participation in a quantitative systems biology workshop and;7) participation in an annual program retreat. Trainees are also required to attend the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) workshop series provided by the Graduate School and program specific RCR activities. Supplemental activities that are available to trainees include: 1) opportunities to participate in development and delivery of online classes;2) participation in an internship (4-6 week) in an on-campus In Vivo Pharmacology facility which functions as a contract research organization. Trainees would be exposed to issues related to contract work (Good Laboratory Practice protocols, budget and contract development, data security, delivering outcomes on schedule). The IPSTP has developed a comprehensive plan to recruit highly qualified students including under-represented minority students. The IPSTP will provide trainees with excellent research and professional training and will prepare them for research careers in academia, industry and government.

Public Health Relevance

The proposed training program will prepare students for leadership careers in pharmacological research. The trainees completing this program will make important contributions to our understanding of the causes and treatments of human illness.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
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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Michigan State University
Schools of Medicine
East Lansing
United States
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