This postdoctoral fellowship program in clinical pharmacology provides training in basic and applied human pharmacology for those committed to careers integrating basic and translational research and patient care. The objective of this program is to provide training across the continuum spanning mechanistic, translational, and clinical investigation, with an emphasis on pharmacology and experimental therapeutics, to replenish the dwindling national supply of clinician-investigators. The majority of fellows'time is focused on independent, hypothesis-driven research. The breadth of clinical pharmacology is delivered using a curriculum built upon the institutional NIH K30 Training Program in Human Investigation, including courses in basic and clinical pharmacology, study design, statistics, epidemiology, and ethics, as well as conferences including journal club, ethics, and research seminars. Experiential rotations include the editorial board of the Annals of Internal Medicine, pharmaceutical drug development at Merck Research Laboratories, and human clinical trials in the Jefferson Clinical Research Unit. Trainees customize their education by choosing a range of electives congruent with their career aspirations. These include Institutional Review Board membership, adult PK/PD modeling at Merck, pediatric pharmacometrics at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, or rotations at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Research opportunities are offered by 39 preceptors, representing 10 departments and 3 divisions within the Department of Medicine. These preceptors represent a broad spectrum of disciplines, approaches, and methodologies to ensure a wide selection of training opportunities. Preceptors are selected on the basis of their productive research programs in basic or translational pharmacology funded through extramural mechanisms, success in training competitive investigators, and commitment and ability to train postdoctoral fellows. Programs of these preceptors constitute 13 general areas that span drug discovery, development, utilization, and regulation. Trainees selected from candidates with M.D., Ph.D., or Pharm.D. degrees in areas related to discipline-specific objectives, spend a minimum of 2 years developing core expertise in clinical pharmacology. The program has an established track record of recruiting and retaining highly qualified, diverse trainees who have been uniformly successful in obtaining, and advancing in, academic appointments in clinical pharmacology, leadership positions in the pharmaceutical industry, and regulatory and policy positions as scientists at the FDA.

Public Health Relevance

Advances in the new biology are transforming drug therapy, the most cost-effective component of healthcare. Yet, at this time of scientific opportunity, shortages in specialized workforces limit the discovery and development of drugs and their safe use. To fill that gap, the Jefferson Clinical Pharmacology Fellowship Program is training clinician scientists to translate new discoveries into drugs that revolutionize patient care.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZGM1)
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Okita, Richard T
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Thomas Jefferson University
Internal Medicine/Medicine
Schools of Medicine
United States
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