The 35-year old Pharmacology Graduate Program at Johns Hopkins is aimed at recruiting and training future research leaders at the intersection of chemistry, biology and medicine. Funding is requested for years 36-41 to continue the highly successful Ph.D. program. The program fosters the development of independent investigators with expertise in the design and characterization of therapeutic agents and the study of their effects on living systems. Interdisciplinary training includes rigorous didactic teaching and intensive research training. Core courses in bioorganic chemistry, structural biology, biochemistry, molecular biology, cell biology, organ physiology, and bioinformatics/computational biology provide the fundamental concepts of biomedical science. Our Graduate Pharmacology course teaches the quantitative foundations of pharmacology and the mechanisms of drug actions with substantial exposure to pharmacometrics. Small group tutorials provide in-depth exploration of specific interest areas, and elective courses support focused training in areas ranging from epigenetics to clinical pharmacology. Students initiate research upon entering the program, performing laboratory research rotations in their first year in advance of selecting a thesis research advisor. Under the guidance of their thesis advisory committee, students execute significant research in the laboratory of one of 46 program faculty, each of whom direct vigorous research programs. Doctoral research areas include drug discovery and design, protein structure and function, glycobiology and lipid function, molecular imaging, virology, microbiology and anti-infective agents, oncology, neuropharmacology and pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics/pharmacogenetics. Students participate as speakers in pharmacology research seminars, journal clubs, and at national and international meetings. After completing their thesis research, students write a doctoral thesis, prior to presenting their doctoral studies at a public seminar. Since its inception, the program has awarded 224 PhD degrees. There are 53 trainees currently in the program. Students typically obtain their Ph.D. degrees within 4-6 years. The training facilities include departmental and institutional classrooms, well-equipped labs, and outstanding core facilities. Students receive substantial quantitative training and follow individual development plans that allow them to maximize their professional potential. Students in the program have contributed meaningfully to biomedical discovery over the last decades, and graduates of the program hold leadership positions across a wide array of career pathways.

Public Health Relevance

The development and refinement of new therapeutic agents is a major objective of modern medicine and of critical importance to the improvement of our nation's health. This Pharmacology Training Program proposal endeavors to train and equip the next generation of scientists who will take the lead in the basic and clinical science of drug discovery and development in academics, industry, and governmental sectors.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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NIGMS Initial Review Group (TWD)
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Koduri, Sailaja
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Johns Hopkins University
Schools of Medicine
United States
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Hansen, Erik C; Seamon, Kyle J; Cravens, Shannen L et al. (2014) GTP activator and dNTP substrates of HIV-1 restriction factor SAMHD1 generate a long-lived activated state. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 111:E1843-51
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