Wu-Pong, Dr. Susanna
Director, Pharmaceutical Sciences Graduate Programs
Pharmaceutical Sciences, Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Indicate specialization: pharmaceutics
May 1 (Submission of application by Dec 1 highly recommended)
International applicants must complete the TOEFL and international admissions application.
Pharmaceutics can be classically defined as the profession concerned with the art and science of formulating medicines into vehicles (tablets, suspensions, aerosols, etc.) that are optimal for the prevention and treatment of disease. This field has become multidisciplinary with increasing knowledge of the variety of factors involved. The study of the time-course disposition of drugs to a host biologic system has emerged as the discipline of pharmacokinetics and is often studied in close conjunction with the related discipline of pharmacodynamics, in which the time course of drug effects is studied.
Biopharmaceutics entails the study of the means and mechanisms by which drugs enter biological systems, while drug metabolism involves study of the rate and specificity of enzymatic chemical conversion of drugs. The sciences of pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical analysis are concerned with the investigation of chemical and instrumental systems for qualitative and quantitative measurement of drugs. All of these related disciplines can collectively be referred to as modern pharmaceutics, which requires a knowledge and interest in mathematics, chemistry, biological sciences and physical sciences.
The curriculum includes core course requirements in statistics, biopharmaceutics, drug metabolism, pharmacokinetics, physical pharmacy, pharmaceutical analysis and seminars in drug development. Depending on the student’s interests and major adviser, prerequisites in mathematics, chemistry and pharmacology also may be required. In addition to the core course work, a variety of elective courses are available including biotechnology, advanced courses in pharmacokinetics and pharmaceutical analysis, chemical separations, physiology, spectroscopy, biochemistry, immunology and many others that may be selected in consultation with the student’s major adviser. Doctoral students take written and oral comprehensive examinations after completion of their required course work. The highlight of graduate study is conducting the research project. This project involves laboratory or clinical research, and completion is indicated by successful defense of the project.
Funding for research includes both federal and industrial sponsorship and provides a number of resources that are similar to industrial standards. A cell culture and microscopy lab, an aerosol research facility, a 72-bed clinic and a biopharmaceutical analysis laboratory are among the many resources available to students. A state-of-the-art computer laboratory is available and a temporary animal housing facility also is present in the building. Examples of research equipment available to students include: laser light scattering, laser-induced fluorescence, scintillation and gamma counters, atomic spectroscopy, chromatography, mass spectrometry, brain mapping, and differential scanning calorimetry.