PREDOCTORAL TRAINING IN PHARMACOLOGICAL SCIENCES ABSTRACT: The overarching goal of this predoctoral Pharmacological Sciences Training Program (PhTP) is to educate next generation of biomedical researchers in the concepts of drug discovery and development and to provide a clinical perspective. Trainees come mainly from 4 graduate programs (Pharmacology & Toxicology, Physiology, Biomedical Engineering and Neuroscience) developing expertise in diverse areas. This reaches from classic pharmacology and drug target identification with cutting edge methods in biochemistry, structural biology, genomics molecular and cell biology, high resolution imaging, electrophysiology and behavioral physiology, to medicinal chemistry, engineering of microfluidic and other devices, animal models of disease, novel in vivo whole animal imaging and translational therapeutics in clinical trials. The PhTP will provide focused and student-tailored small group training in the core principles of pharmacology for non-pharmacology trainees, and enmesh these students together with pharmacology students for more interdisciplinary group learning in the drug discovery and development. A second goal is to enable all trainees to communicate and collaborate across the large array of research disciplines they represent. This goal is mainly realized in a highly innovative student-driven, project-oriented course Problem Solving in Pharmacological Sciences, which reinvents itself every year based on student initiative and interest. In this way our PhTP produces experts with a variety of backgrounds that can effectively communicate and collaborate with experts from other related disciplines in the increasingly complex realm of drug development. UC Davis has an unusually strong multidisciplinary and collaborative environment related to this PhTP. UCD grants more bachelors and doctoral degrees in biological sciences than any other US university and ranks 12th in the country in extramural research funding awarded to public universities ($800 million annually). The 51 training faculty are from 22 departments in 6 colleges, where extensive collaborative interactions already exist. Trainers provide in depth expertise that ranges from identifying novel therapeutic molecular targets and development of therapeutic molecules to clinical drug and stem cell trials at the NIH-funded UCD Clinical and Translational Science Center (CTSC) and NIH-designated Cancer Center. Novel drugs for treatment of cardiovascular, neurological, and immunological diseases and cancer, the four focus areas of our PhTP, have been developed and are being brought to clinic by several faculty at UCD. The very rich and collaborative overall science environment at UCD, powerful and numerous state-of- the-art core facilities and centers will provide trainees with outstanding research opportunities spanning from Chemistry's emphasis on pharmaceutical chemistry, imaging molecules (from single molecule to in vivo), genomics, molecular/system modeling, stem cells, unique animal models (nationally recognized mouse center, Veterinary School and Primate Center) and CTSC.

Public Health Relevance

PREDOCTORAL TRAINING IN PHARMACOLOGICAL SCIENCES Project Narrative (Public Health Statement) The Predoctoral Training in Pharmacological Sciences at UC Davis provides unique training in drug discovery and development to educate future biomedical researchers, who will be involved in the creation of novel therapeutic treatments of diseases in various areas. It builds on the existing strengths in the interdisciplinary collaborative research and training environment at UC Davis, training program faculty have developed and clinically test new drugs and other therapeutics and diagnostics. It will train predoctoral PhD students in pharmacology and foster interdisciplinary training and research collaborations in drug discovery and development for graduate students in Pharmacology, Neuroscience, Physiology, and Biomedical Engineering graduate programs. A combination of formal and informal research training experiences will provide trainees with an understanding of how basic and clinical sciences are integrated to translate therapeutic target discovery to drug development, screening, mechanistic preclinical and clinical studies.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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Training and Workforce Development Subcommittee - D (TWD)
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Koduri, Sailaja
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University of California Davis
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