M.S. Pharmaceutical Sciences


Curriculum

 

Course Descriptions

Thesis Track 

YEAR 1 FALL

 

YEAR 1 SPRING

Code

Name

Credits

 

Code

Name

Credits

PSC 631

Foundations of Pharmaceutical Sciences

3

 

 XXX

*Required Course - selected from available list

 

 

 


 

3

ETH 610

Ethics in Research

1

 

PSC 651

Pharmaceutical Sciences Journal Club

1

PSC 672

Experimental Design and Data Analysis

2

 

XXX

 

*Required Course - selected from available list


 

3

PSC 661

Research Rotation

2

 

PSC 761

Thesis Research

3

PSC 651

Pharmaceutical Sciences Journal Club

1

 

 

 

 

Total Credits

9

 

Total Credits

10

YEAR 2 FALL

 

 

YEAR 2 SPRING

 

XXX

Elective

3

 

XXX

Elective

3

XXX

Elective

3

 

PSC 761

Thesis Research

2

PSC 761

Thesis Research

3

 

 

 

Total Credits

9

 

Total Credits

5

 Non-Thesis Track 

YEAR 1 FALL

 

YEAR 1 SPRING

Code

Name

Credits

 

Code

Name

Credits

PSC 631

Foundations of Pharmaceutical Sciences

3

 

XXX

 

*Required Course - selected from available list

3

ETH 610

Ethics in Research

1

 

PSC 651

Pharmaceutical Sciences Journal Club

1

PSC 672

Experimental Design and Data Analysis

2

 

XXX

 

*Required Course - selected from available list

3

XXX

Elective

2

 

XXX

Elective

2

PSC 651

Pharmaceutical Sciences Journal Club

1

 

 

 

 

Total Credits

9

 

Total Credits

9

YEAR 2 FALL

 

YEAR 2 SPRING

XXX

Elective

3

 

XXX

Elective(s)

3

XXX

Elective

3

 

PSC 750

Capstone

3

XXX

Elective

3

 

 

 

Total Credits

9

 

Total Credits

6

Printable Version

Course Descriptions

Foundations of Pharmaceutical Sciences (PSC 631)
The course reviews the foundational topics in pharmacology, pharmaceutics, and medicinal chemistry. Topics covered include principles of receptor-ligand interactions, dose response curves, pharmacokinetics (absorption, distribution, and elimination of drugs), structure-activity relationships, pharmacodynamics (drug concentration and effect), biotransformation of drugs and factors affecting drug action, principles of computational modeling of drug-receptor interactions, and rational drug design. (3 Credits) Prerequisites: CHE 312 or PSC 311; PSC 321/322.

Ethics in Research (ETH 610) 
This course includes a discussion format based on ethical issues involved in the research process. Students will have focused reading on the ethical issues involved in research and then will apply the readings to case studies during discussion. Topics covered will include, but are not limited to: morality and research ethics, ethical issues before research committees, ethical issues involving human and animal subjects, reporting of research and conflict of interest. (1 credit).

Experimental Design and Data Analysis (PSC 672) 
This course is required for all Pharmaceutical Sciences graduate students and provides students with a basic knowledge of experimental design and biostatistics. Students will learn how to design experiments and analyze the results. The course will cover single factor experiments, multiple factors, full factorial and fractional factorial designs and screening designs, the fundamentals of hypothesis testing and relevant biostatistics. (2 credits).

Research Rotation (PSC 661) 
Students will complete a one semester laboratory rotation in order to facilitate the selection of a thesis research advisor. Students select a potential mentor based on interests and availability of openings in any given lab. Assignments, based on student preferences, will be made by the Pharmaceutical Sciences graduate program director. Students are expected to spend a minimum of 10 hours per week on laboratory research during the rotation. Students complete a rotation through a minimum of 1 lab and a maximum of 2 labs during the semester. They are to meet with the faculty advisor at least one hour per week for basic introduction to laboratory principles and practices, and to discuss their research. Students are required to complete reading assignments as directed by the faculty advisor and write a report of the research data and present a ten minute talk summarizing their research at the end of the rotation. (2 credits).

Pharmaceutical Sciences Journal Club (PSC 651) 
This course, which is required for all Pharmaceutical Sciences graduate students, is designed to enhance the ability of graduate students to critically evaluate scientific articles published in juried scientific journals. Articles will be selected from current scientific literature in a variety of disciplines in the pharmaceutical sciences, including drug delivery, drug development, medicinal chemistry, molecular biology, pharmacogenomics, pharmacology, physiology, biochemistry and pharmaceutics. All participants will read and critique the articles. Each student will present at least two articles per semester. (1 credit)

Required courses (6 credits) can be selected from the following list of courses marked with an asterisk.

*Pharmacologic Regulation of Signal Transduction (PSC 635) 
This course focuses on signaling pathways that transfer signals across cell membranes and within the cell and allow for regulation and integration of all aspects of cell function. Key signaling molecules, including receptors, G-proteins, second messengers, and transcription factors, as well as the small molecule ligands, activators and inhibitors, will be examined.  Concepts and methodologies that have facilitated elucidation of the function of these molecules will be introduced through discussion of past and current landmark papers.  The goal of the course is to provide students with a fundamental understanding of signaling pathway function and regulation. This understanding will be placed in the context of drug action through examination of examples of a variety of drugs which act via modification of signaling pathways. (3 credits) Prerequisites: PSC 431/631 or equivalent.

*Drug Delivery Principles (PSC 645) 
The course studies physicochemical and biological principles of drug delivery and pharmaceutical product design. These principles of physical pharmacy and biopharmaceutics are the foundations for drug candidate selection, pre-formulation, formulation design, and drug delivery systems. Targeted drug delivery and advanced systems for various routes of administration are also discussed by case studies. (3 credits)  Prerequisites: PSC 341/342 or PSC 431/631 or equivalent.

*Neural Systems Pharmacology (PSC 636) 
This course will provide an introduction to the broad field of neuropsychopharmacology. The course will be organized according to neuronal pathways that utilize specific  neurotransmitters and/or neuromodulators, including neurons that synthesis dopamine, endocannabinoids, neuropeptides, etc.  Each section will begin with a review of the basic neurochemistry, neuroanatomy and pharmacology of a specific neuronal system, followed by review of current literature in the field including a student led analysis of peer-reviewed papers. This will be a reading intensive course with a classroom format that is largely discussion based and focused on data analysis.  Students will be expected to knowledeably discuss and critically evaluate reading assignments during class.  (3 credits)  Prerequisites: PSC 631 or equivalent.

*Introduction to Regulatory Science (PSC 646)
Regulatory Science is the science of developing new tools, standards and approaches to assess the safety, efficacy, quality, and performance of products, according to the definition by US FDA. The course begins with introducing the history and current status of the US federal regulatory system and the FDA. As the course progresses, emphasis will be placed on the structures and outcome of the law, regulatory strategies, globalization issues and ethics dilemmas of this emerging field, using cases and discussion to engage active learning. (3 Credits)  Prerequisites: PSC341 Pharmaceutics I, PSC641 Advanced Pharmaceutics I, or equivalent, and permission of instructor.

 

*Pharmacokinetic Modeling (PSC 741) 
The course presents concepts and mathematical techniques for description of the time course of drug disposition in biological systems. The course also presents biopharmaceutical and pharmacokinetic principles used in the selection, dosing, monitoring and evaluation of drug therapy. At the end of the course the student should be able to find, obtain, understand, analyze, evaluate, and synthesize pharmacokinetic information and make informed, rational, and responsible evaluation of drug dosage regimens. (3 credits)  Prerequisites: PSC 645 or permission of instructor.

*Pharmacology and Molecular Genetics of Cancer (PSC 733
A study of the molecular-genetic mechanisms underlying tumorigenesis, including the role of oncogenes, tumor suppressors, and pathogens (viruses and bacteria). Genomic approaches to the study of both hereditary cancers and somatic mutations will be explored. The pharmacology of current cancer therapeutics and the rational design of novel anti-cancer drugs will be discussed throughout the course. (3 Credits)  Prerequisites: PSC 631 or permission of the instructor.

Chemical Biology (PSC 756)
Chemical biology is a diverse and evolving field involving chemical approaches to studying and manipulating biological processes. In this course, students will develop an understanding of chemical reactions utilized in the synthesis of small molecules and macromolecules, and of the chemical principles underling enzyme functions and receptor pharmacology. The topics incorporated in this course are essential to understanding how drugs are currently developed in the pharmaceutical industry. (3 Credits).

*Quantitative Drug Design (PSC 757)
The principles of subcellular pharmacokinetics are combined with the methods for estimation of drug-receptor binding energies for known and unknown receptors to provide a comprehensive quantitative approach to the construction of structure-activity relationships. The emphasis is placed on understanding the principles of quantitative descriptions of absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion and drug-receptor binding in terms of drug structure and properties. The methods for prediction of the physicochemical properties of drugs, which are important in drug development, are analyzed in detail. (3 Credits)

*Molecular Modeling (PSC 758)
In this course, students will gain hands-on experience with the molecular modeling software that is used in pharmaceutical industry.  The following operations with protein structures will be learned: adding missing hydrogens to X-ray structures, assigning proper charges to amino acid residues, neutralizing the charges and preparing the structures for drug docking. The gained skills will include sketching molecular structures, docking them into macromolecular targets and performing simple binding energy predictions. (3 Credits).

*Macromolecular Structure (PSC 760)
This course will cover the fundamentals of macromolecular structure from the biochemistry of amino acids to protein motifs and folds, quaternary structure, post-translational modifications and protein-protein interactions.  We will cover techniques available to gather information on protein structure (NMR, circular dichroism and X-ray crystallography) and methods used to investigate the interaction of proteins with other molecules (tryptophan fluorescence, isothermal titration calorimetry, NMR). This course will familiarize students with available proteomics tools including BLAST, Pymol, PDB and Expasy and will provide students with the tools necessary to make connections between the structure and function, and deduce information about uncharacterized proteins. (3 Credits).

Thesis Research (PSC 761) 
This course consists of an independent research project which has been designed by the student, in consultation with the thesis advisor. The thesis advisor and thesis committee will be selected. The student will then develop a thesis proposal which will be approved by the thesis committee. Once the work described in the thesis proposal has been completed, the student will write and defend the thesis. It is anticipated that the thesis research will be completed over 2-3 semesters. (1-8 credits).

Capstone (PSC 750)
This course is available to non-thesis track students only. The capstone writing project is run as an independent study course. Students will select a topic in conjunction with the faculty instructor and prepare a written review of the existing scientific literature that is relevant to the chosen topic. The review should focus on a particular scientific problem that is actively being investigated and should define and discuss the scope of the problem, the substantive findings that have resulted from these approaches, and how these findings have shaped the current state of knowledge of the problem. (3 Credits) Prerequisites: permission of instructor.