What Makes Us Different?

What is Pharmacology?

Pharmacology is the knowledge of the biochemical and physiological actions of drugs, which act on cellular signaling pathways. The molecular basis of cellular signaling and its control by various drugs is a major aspect of modern pharmacology and this aspect is emphasized in the Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology Training Program. The majority of signal transduction pathways still await discovery or at least a thorough molecular characterization. Members of our program employ the whole spectrum of modern biochemical, cell and molecular biological, physiological, and pharmacological methods in a basic research-oriented scientific environment to unravel the many unsolved mysteries underlying cellular regulation and signaling. Certain research initiatives have a translational component, with the goal of applying basic discoveries to developing new therapeutic modalities. Our program brings together an outstanding group of dedicated trainers with a focus on cellular signal transduction. Graduates of the program will be well prepared for a career in basic biomedical sciences in academia, industry, and more. We provide a unique training experience for young scientists who want to elucidate basic principles of cellular signal pathways. Detailed knowledge of these pathways is the most important prerequisite for the discovery of new drugs and the treatment of diseases.

The members of the Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology Training Program invite you to examine the educational and research opportunities described at this site, and to consider joining this unique and exciting graduate program.

Biochemistry, on the other hand, emphasizes traditionally the molecular characterization of cell components and their metabolism. No other biomedical discipline but pharmacology comprises a comparable variety of conceptual and technical approaches toward an understanding of molecular and physiological processes. Modern molecular biology, protein biochemistry, immunology, cell biology, genetics, electrophysiology, and morphology are well represented in the Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology Training Program. Students will be instructed thoroughly in these fields as well as in the unique principles of pharmacology.

One major objective of the program is to teach the students a fundamental understanding of the molecular basis of signal transducing systems and their regulation.

Center for Training in Pharmacology and Drug Development (CTPDD)

The Center for Training in Pharmacology and Drug Development (CTPDD) is the administrative home of the Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology (MCP) Graduate Training Program and its NIH T32 training grant. It is directed by Dr. Anjon Audhya, Professor of Biomolecular Chemistry, and Dr. Jeffrey Johnson, Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences. The CTPDD was approved by the Provost and Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs at UW-Madison in 2014 and administers all Pharmacology coursework in the School of Medicine and Public Health. Moreover, it provides an additional source of direct faculty support to trainees in the MCP program, and establishes a direct connection between the School of Medicine and Public Health and the School of Pharmacy at UW-Madison. The main goal of the CTPDD is to bring together faculty and trainees across the campus that possess a common interest in Pharmacology, ranging from small molecule design and synthesis to cell and animal-based studies to examine drug action and delivery. In many ways, the CTPDD acts as a departmental home for the MCP program, with a singular mission to support the MCP program and graduate training in Pharmacology at UW-Madison.

Student Outcomes

As a National Institutes of Health training grant funded PhD program, we are proud to detail the outcomes of our trainees:

Average time to Degree: 5.7 years
Average number of publications:  3.6
10 Year PhD Graduation rate: 80% (the majority of those who have been unable to complete their PhD due to various circumstances were awarded Masters degrees)

MCP Alumni Careers

Numerous academic, governmental, and industrial employment opportunities await graduates of the Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology program. Pharmacology as a discipline has strong representation at most medical schools, and many academic positions are available for pharmacologists who wish to teach and/or engage in basic research. Pharmaceutical companies focus on the discovery and development of novel therapeutic drugs, often employing modern biotechnological strategies. They have great demands for highly qualified pharmacologists in leading positions. Governmental offices, such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), require well-trained pharmacologists with significant responsibilities to oversee the therapeutic effects as well as the pharmacological safety of newly developed drugs. The Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology Training Program is designed to provide the theoretical and practical training to compete successfully for employment in academic, governmental, and private sectors.

View additional program data gathered by the UW-Madison Graduate School