The Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology (MCP) Graduate Training Program at the University of Wisconsin- Madison is entering its 21st year. Its main objectives are to provide training at the predoctoral level in interdisciplinary research at te forefront of Pharmacology, both at the molecular and cellular level, as well as provide a nucleus around which interdepartmental faculty, students, and scientists from across campus can meet and collaborate. The core curriculum is designed to provide graduate students with a foundational knowledge in Pharmacology and enable them to gain experience using cutting edge technologies in the laboratory that will prepare them for careers in academia, industry, government, science education, and public policy. We have identified a core group of 26 dedicated faculty trainers, representing ten departments, whose interests focus on understanding molecular, cellular, and physiological mechanisms by which drugs or natural ligands interact with cellular receptors and elicit effects in biological systems via signal transduction pathways. All trainers have robust research programs supported by extramural funding from the NIH and were selected based on a demonstrated commitment to training graduate students in Pharmacology. The MCP Program is administered by the Center for Training in Pharmacology and Drug Development, which leverages strong support from the School of Medicine and Public Health (SMPH) and the School of Pharmacy (SOP) to provide substantial resources to facilitate the professional development of MCP graduate students. Discovering mechanisms of drug action, defining new approaches to drug delivery, and developing novel drugs as therapeutics are cornerstones of the program, with a major emphasis on understanding pathways that are relevant to disease. MCP faculty members work in the interdisciplinary areas of neuropharmacology, cancer pharmacology, cardiovascular pharmacology, endocrine pharmacology, and antibiotic pharmacology, and collaborate extensively with one another to create a highly interactive network. Coursework for trainees include two semesters of Pharmacology, and one semester each of Cellular Signal Transduction Mechanisms, Molecular and Environmental Toxicology, Grant Writing and Responsible Conduct of Research for Biomedical Graduate Students. All didactic and discussion-based courses are team-taught by experts, focus on quantitative thinking, and involve multiple MCP faculty trainers. MCP students also take a Pharmacology seminar each semester during their graduate training, providing opportunities to develop excellent oral presentation skills, and host student-invited faculty speakers from top institutions across the country. An annual Signal Transduction Symposium offers an additional opportunity for students to host and interact with prominent members of the Pharmacology community and develop networking skills by inviting career panelists from academia, industry, government, patent law and science policy. Over that past 20 years, the MCP program has graduated 95 PhD students, who have gone on to successful careers in all of these areas, with an average time to degree of approximately 5.5 years. The program also boasts considerable trainee diversity, a high retention rate, and an excellent record of trainee publications. In this resubmission, we are requesting 9 training grant slots to support graduate students for 2 years of their early graduate education, a modest increase from the previous period of grant support. This request is based upon the growing demand for PhD level scientists trained in Pharmacology and the high quality of students that regularly apply to the MCP program.

Public Health Relevance

The Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology (MCP) Graduate Training Program at the University of Wisconsin (UW) - Madison trains students in the discipline of Pharmacology to prepare them for careers that focus on the development of new therapeutics to treat disease. Rigorous coursework combined with opportunities to conduct pioneering research provides trainees with a mechanistic understanding of drug action, how it relates to normal human physiology, and how to exploit this knowledge to ameliorate pathophysiological conditions.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
NIGMS Initial Review Group (TWD)
Program Officer
Koduri, Sailaja
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of Wisconsin Madison
Schools of Medicine
United States
Zip Code
Windsor, Ian W; Palte, Michael J; Lukesh 3rd, John C et al. (2018) Sub-picomolar Inhibition of HIV-1 Protease with a Boronic Acid. J Am Chem Soc 140:14015-14018
Hanna, Michael G; Peotter, Jennifer L; Frankel, E B et al. (2018) Membrane Transport at an Organelle Interface in the Early Secretory Pathway: Take Your Coat Off and Stay a While: Evolution of the metazoan early secretory pathway. Bioessays 40:e1800004
Tomko, Lucas A; Hill, Ryan C; Barrett, Alexander et al. (2018) Targeted matrisome analysis identifies thrombospondin-2 and tenascin-C in aligned collagen stroma from invasive breast carcinoma. Sci Rep 8:12941
Duellman, Tyler; Chen, Xi; Wakamiya, Rie et al. (2018) Nucleic acid-induced potentiation of matrix metalloproteinase-9 enzymatic activity. Biochem J 475:1597-1610
Romero-Masters, James C; Ohashi, Makoto; Djavadian, Reza et al. (2018) An EBNA3C-deleted Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) mutant causes B-cell lymphomas with delayed onset in a cord blood-humanized mouse model. PLoS Pathog 14:e1007221
Schenk, Noah A; Dahl, Peter J; Hanna 4th, Michael G et al. (2018) A simple supported tubulated bilayer system for evaluating protein-mediated membrane remodeling. Chem Phys Lipids 215:18-28
Kang, HyunJun; Mesquitta, Walatta-Tseyon; Jung, Ho Sun et al. (2018) GATA2 Is Dispensable for Specification of Hemogenic Endothelium but Promotes Endothelial-to-Hematopoietic Transition. Stem Cell Reports 11:197-211
Bruinsma, Stephen; James, Declan J; Quintana Serrano, Melanie et al. (2018) Small molecules that inhibit the late stage of Munc13-4-dependent secretory granule exocytosis in mast cells. J Biol Chem 293:8217-8229
Pantera, Harrison; Moran, John J; Hung, Holly A et al. (2018) Regulation of the neuropathy-associated Pmp22 gene by a distal super-enhancer. Hum Mol Genet 27:2830-2839
Huynh, Mailee; Pak, Chorom; Markovina, Stephanie et al. (2018) Hyaluronan and proteoglycan link protein 1 (HAPLN1) activates bortezomib-resistant NF-?B activity and increases drug resistance in multiple myeloma. J Biol Chem 293:2452-2465

Showing the most recent 10 out of 118 publications