Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology Curriculum

The MCP Program is designed as an interdepartmental and interdisciplinary program consisting of about 72 trainers. Participating faculty members are from the Departments of Biochemistry, Biomolecular Chemistry, Neuroscience, Oncology, Genetics, Cellular and Regenerative Biology, Dermatology, Medical Microbiology, Pathology, Psychiatry, Medicine, Zoology, and the School of Pharmacy. The interdepartmental nature of the Graduate Program results in a flexible yet rigorous set of degree requirements and training opportunities. The diversity of the research faculty encourages the graduate students to build upon the fundamentals of molecular and cellular biology and the principles of modern pharmacology in designing their focus of advanced studies and research.

The faculty encourage each student to develop an independent and creative approach to science. The first year of the Graduate Program emphasizes formal course work with focus on advanced Biochemistry, Cell Biology, Molecular Biology, Genetics, Toxicology, and Pharmacology. These courses provide the foundation for a more specialized set of studies, which is defined by the students with the advice of their research mentors and their Thesis Committees. The Thesis Committee consists of the student, his or her research advisor, and four other faculty members. Students begin research in the laboratories of their mentors in their first year.

Seminars and research progress reports are part of the formal training. A preliminary examination is completed by the beginning of the third year; it is a research proposal in combination with an oral examination. At the end of their studies and research, graduate students defend their thesis, which is based on the students’ original research in the form of a final seminar and oral examination. The Thesis Committee meets with each student on a yearly basis, providing a source of encouragement and a formal opportunity for the exchange of research ideas. Students and faculty enjoy weekly seminars and informal social events, establishing scientific and social interactions which create an atmosphere of cohesive scientific communication.

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1st Year, Fall

Required:

1st Year, Spring

Required:

Suggested:

  • Physiology 435 (3-5 cr): Fundamentals of Human Physiology
  • Pharmacology 620 (2 cr): Eukaryotic Molecular Biology
  • Biochem/NS 619 (3 cr): Intermediary Metabolism of Macronutrients

1st Year, Summer

Required:

2nd Year, Fall

Required:

Suggested:

  • Biochemistry 601 (2-3 cr): Enzyme Structure and Function OR other advanced biochemistry course (3 cr)
  • Oncology 675 (2 cr): Protein Purification (taught odd years)
  • Talk to your Mentor regarding courses that fit your research

2nd Year, Spring

Required:

Suggested:

4th Year, Spring

Required:

  • Ob/Gyn 956 (1 cr):  Advanced Responsible Conduct of Research for Biomedical Graduate Students (required for students funded by NIH Training Grant)

Other Course Suggestions:

  • Pathology 750 (3 cr): Cell and Molecular Biology
  • Pharmacology 626 (3 cr): Molecular and Environmental Toxicology
  • Medical Microbiology and Immunology 677 (1-3 cr): Advanced Topics in Medical Microbiology