Department of Pharmacology

Room W-321, School of Medicine
http://pharmacology.case.edu/
Phone: 216.368.4617
Krzysztof Palczewski, PhD, Chair
krzysztof.palczewski@case.edu

The Department of Pharmacology offers training leading to MS, PhD, or MD/PhD degrees for highly qualified post-undergraduate candidates committed to research careers in the biomedical sciences. Adequate preparation in the biological sciences, mathematics, organic chemistry, and physics or physical chemistry is a prerequisite for admission.

Multidisciplinary training, carried out by faculty in pharmacology and other basic science departments, emphasizes molecular, cellular, physiological, and translational aspects of the pharmacological sciences. Areas of faculty expertise include drug/xenobiotic metabolism; receptor-ligand interactions, and biochemical reaction mechanisms; cell biology of signaling pathways; structure-function of membrane components; endocrine and metabolic regulation; cell surface and nuclear receptors, hormonal regulation of gene expression; cancer biology and therapeutics, bacterial and viral pathogenesis, neuroscience/neuropharmacology, and drug resistance.

Students who desire the combined MD/PhD degrees are admitted to the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP, please see separate listing in this publication). These students participate in the two-year integrated preclinical curriculum of the School of Medicine (University Program), which features clinical correlation of basic biologic concepts. Combined degree students who select the PhD in pharmacology undertake a series of advanced courses, research rotations, preliminary examinations and dissertation research in the same manner as that described for the PhD program.

Facilities

The Department of Pharmacology occupies about 25,000 net square feet distributed among several locations, namely the School of Medicine Harland Goff Wood Building and the adjacent Wood Research Tower, as well as facilities in the West Quad Bldg. Facilities include extensive chromatographic and tissue culture facilities, a transgenic mouse laboratory, imaging and confocal microscopy equipment, and ready access to specialized research techniques, including various aspects of recombinant DNA and hybridoma technology, in situ hybridization histochemistry, fluorescence cell sorting, NMR spectroscopy and mass spectrometry,  X-ray crystallography, and cryo electron microscopy.

Masters Degrees

Although training efforts by the Department of Pharmacology are primarily directed toward the award of the PhD degree, training for the MS degree is offered also in a variety of contexts. For example, research assistants in the Department who seek educational advancement may pursue the MS degree via Plan A (thesis) or Plan B (coursework only). Medical students who seek to specialize in Pharmacology during the scholarly research component of their preclinical program may pursue the MS degree. Employees in the Biotechnology Industry may seek advanced training in Pharmacology by pursuing the MS degree at Case. Finally, a PhD candidate who is unable to complete the PhD requirements for extraordinary reasons may petition to have earned credits transferred to fulfill MS degree requirements.

Masters Plan B (Coursework, MS direct admit)

This program is aimed at students who seek a Master’s Degree but do not intend to specialize in research following their Master’s work. To satisfy the requirement for a Comprehensive Exam for the MS Degree, students register for 1 credit of EXAM 600 during their final semester and sit for a integrative essay question-style examination on the content of the required coursework. A total of 30 credit hours are required (see below). 

The advancement of understanding and practice of therapeutics is based on research. Therefore all students in degree programs in Pharmacology are expected to become involved in independent research and scholarship. Registration for PHRM 601 Independent Study and Research requires a pre-arrangement with a faculty mentor who will oversee the combination of study and bench research and proscribe the basis for satisfactory performance, including oral and written reports. With pre-approval of the Departmental Director of Graduate Studies, a student’s study plan may substitute additional specific advanced courses to replace PHRM 601 Independent Study and Research credits.

Sample Plan of Study for Plan B

First YearUnits
FallSpring
Cell Biology I (CBIO 453)3  
Molecular Biology I (CBIO 455)3  
Since You Were Born: Nobel Prize Biomedical Research in the Last 21 Years- Section A (CBIO 456A)1  
Fundamental Biostatistics to Enhance Research Rigor & Reproducibility (IBMS 450)1  
Principles of Pharmacology I: The Molecular Basis of Therapeutics (PHRM 401)  3
Principles of Pharmacology II: The Physiological Basis of Therapeutics (PHRM 402)  3
Independent Study and Research (PHRM 601)  2
Year Total: 8 8
 
Second YearUnits
FallSpring
Pharmacology Seminar Series (PHRM 511)1  
PHRM Elective3  
Independent Study and Research (PHRM 601)2  
Pharmacology Seminar Series (PHRM 511)  1
PHRM Elective  3
Independent Study and Research (PHRM 601)  3
Master's Comprehensive Exam (EXAM 600)  1
Year Total: 6 8
 
Total Units in Sequence:  30

Masters Plan A (Research, direct admit)

In addition to the course requirements below, candidates for this degree are required to submit an acceptable written thesis based on their original research, and register for at least 9 credit hours of PHRM 651 Thesis M.S. (master’s dissertation research). The acceptability of the thesis will be determined by an oral examination administered by the student’s Thesis Advisory Committee. This committee must be chaired by a member of the primary Faculty of Pharmacology, and it should include the research mentor and two other faculty members (total of four faculty members, two from the Department of Pharmacology). As above, a minimum of 27 credit hours are required. For these students, passing the final exams in PHRM 401 Principles of Pharmacology I: The Molecular Basis of Therapeutics and PHRM 402 Principles of Pharmacology II: The Physiological Basis of Therapeutics satisfies the requirement for a Comprehensive Exam for the MS Degree.

Required courses for Plan A

First YearUnits
FallSpring
Cell Biology I (CBIO 453)3  
Molecular Biology I (CBIO 455)3  
Thesis M.S. (PHRM 651)1  
Since You Were Born: Nobel Prize Biomedical Research in the Last 21 Years- Section A (CBIO 456A)1  
Fundamental Biostatistics to Enhance Research Rigor & Reproducibility (IBMS 450)1  
Principles of Pharmacology I: The Molecular Basis of Therapeutics (PHRM 401)  3
Principles of Pharmacology II: The Physiological Basis of Therapeutics (PHRM 402)  3
Thesis M.S. (PHRM 651)  3
Year Total: 9 9
 
Second YearUnits
FallSpring
Pharmacology Seminar Series (PHRM 511)1  
PHRM Elective3  
Thesis M.S. (PHRM 651)5  
Pharmacology Seminar Series (PHRM 511)  1
PHRM Elective  3
Thesis M.S. (PHRM 651)  5
Year Total: 9 9
 
Total Units in Sequence:  36

MD/MS Biomedical Sciences - Pharmacology

For Program Admissions information and MD requirements, see MD Dual Degree Programs.  A sample plan of study for the Pharmacology track is below.  

First YearUnits
FallSpringSummer
Integrated Biological Sciences I (IBIS 401)1 - 9    
Fundamental Biostatistics to Enhance Research Rigor & Reproducibility (IBMS 450)1    
Integrated Biological Sciences II (IBIS 402)  1 - 9  
Independent Study and Research (PHRM 601) (Optional)    3
Year Total: 2-10 1-9 3
 
Second YearUnits
FallSpringSummer
Integrated Biological Sciences III (IBIS 403)1 - 9    
Principles of Pharmacology I: The Molecular Basis of Therapeutics (PHRM 401)3    
Pharmacology Seminar Series (PHRM 511)1    
Principles of Pharmacology II: The Physiological Basis of Therapeutics (PHRM 402)  3  
Advanced Elective Course complimentary to research focus  3  
On Being a Professional Scientist: The Responsible Conduct of Research (IBMS 500)    1
Year Total: 5-13 6 1
 
Third YearUnits
FallSpring
Independent Study and Research (PHRM 601)9  
Pharmacology Seminar Series (PHRM 511)1  
Pharmacology Seminar Series (PHRM 511)  1
Independent Study and Research (PHRM 601)  9
Exam in Biomedical Investigation (IBIS 600)  0
Year Total: 10 10
 
Fourth YearUnits
FallSpring
Medical School Curriculum
Medical School Curriculum
Year Total:    
 
Fifth YearUnits
FallSpring
Medical School Curriculum
Medical School Curriculum
Year Total:    
 
Total Units in Sequence:  38-62

PhD in Pharmacology

Students seeking the PhD degree in Pharmacology are admitted into the Department of Pharmacology through the administrative structure of Biomedical Sciences Training Program which provides an introduction to many related training areas within the biomedical field during the first year. PhD applicants may indicate Pharmacology as their "primary program of interest" (PPI) during the application process. Alternatively, admission may be through the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP).

The PhD program is divided into three phases. The first phase allows students to follow an integrated first-year sequence of course work that involves a core curriculum in cell and molecular biology. In addition, the first year includes three research rotations that allow the students to sample areas of research and become familiar with faculty members and their laboratories. Selection of a specific training program and thesis advisor is made before the end of the first year. The second phase involves a two part core course in the fundamentals of pharmacology,  oral presentations, and laboratory experience, which is concluded with a comprehensive written exam designed to challenge students to apply key concepts in new contexts. Successful completion of this phase leads to admission to PhD candidacy.

After advancing to PhD candidacy, students enter one of four Research Interest Groups according to the interst of the student, the mentor and the anticipated nature of the thesis project.  The four Interst Groups are: Cancer Therapeutics, Membrane & Structural Biology and Pharmacology, Molecular Pharmacology and Cellular Regulation, and Translational Therapeutics.

Upon completion of coursework requirements (54 total credits, see below), the PhD degree is awarded to students who also complete and defend a research project leading to two original and meritorious scientific contributions that are submitted for publication to leading journals in the field of study; at least one manuscript must be accepted for publication before scheduling the PhD thesis defense. 

Core course requirements for the PhD in Pharmacology

The first year consists of the Core curriculum in Cell Biology and Molecular Biology (CBIO 453 Cell Biology I, CBIO 455 Molecular Biology I),  research rotations, scientific ethics, part one of the Pharmacology core course, and an advanced course  (18 credit hours total).   During Year two, part two of the Pharmacology core course, a second advanced course, two seminar presentation courses, and independent study complete the course requirements. In all, 24 credits of graded coursework and 12 credits of P/N coursework are completed.  Then 18 credits of dissertation research fulfill the program of study.

CBIO 453Cell Biology I3
CBIO 455Molecular Biology I3
PHRM 401Principles of Pharmacology I: The Molecular Basis of Therapeutics3
PHRM 402Principles of Pharmacology II: The Physiological Basis of Therapeutics3
PHRM 511Pharmacology Seminar Series2
Two advanced electives (from the Advanced Track offerings)6
Prelim I Comprehensive Examination
IBMS 450Fundamental Biostatistics to Enhance Research Rigor & Reproducibility1
CBIO 456ASince You Were Born: Nobel Prize Biomedical Research in the Last 21 Years- Section A1
IBMS 500On Being a Professional Scientist: The Responsible Conduct of Research1
PHRM 601Independent Study and Research12
PHRM 526Grant Writing Tutorial1
PHRM 701Dissertation Ph.D.18
Total Units54

Plan of Study 

§

  Please also see Graduate Studies Academic Requirements for Doctoral Degrees

First YearUnits
FallSpring
Cell Biology I (CBIO 453)3  
Molecular Biology I (CBIO 455)3  
Research Rotation 2,3*
Fundamental Biostatistics to Enhance Research Rigor & Reproducibility (IBMS 450)1  
Since You Were Born: Nobel Prize Biomedical Research in the Last 21 Years- Section A (CBIO 456A)1  
Independent Study and Research (PHRM 601)1  
Selection of Thesis Advisor
Principles of Pharmacology I: The Molecular Basis of Therapeutics (PHRM 401)  3
Pharmacology Seminar Series (PHRM 511)  0
On Being a Professional Scientist: The Responsible Conduct of Research (IBMS 500)  1
Elective approved by department  3
Independent Study and Research (PHRM 601)  2
Year Total: 9 9
 
Second YearUnits
FallSpring
Principles of Pharmacology II: The Physiological Basis of Therapeutics (PHRM 402)3  
Elective approved by department3  
Pharmacology Seminar Series (PHRM 511)1  
Independent Study and Research (PHRM 601)2  
Admission to candidacy
Pharmacology Seminar Series (PHRM 511)  1
Independent Study and Research (PHRM 601)  7
Dissertation Ph.D. (PHRM 701)  1
Year Total: 9 9
 
Third YearUnits
FallSpring
Grant Writing Tutorial (PHRM 526)1  
Dissertation Ph.D. (PHRM 701)3  
Dissertation Ph.D. (PHRM 701)  3
Year Total: 4 3
 
Fourth YearUnits
FallSpring
Dissertation Ph.D. (PHRM 701)3  
Dissertation Ph.D. (PHRM 701)  3
Year Total: 3 3
 
Fifth YearUnits
FallSpring
Dissertation Ph.D. (PHRM 701)3  
Dissertation Ph.D. (PHRM 701)  2
Year Total: 3 2
 
Total Units in Sequence:  54
*

Rotation 1 takes place during Summer prior to First Year Fall Semester.

Courses

PHRM 309. Principles of Pharmacology. 3 Units.

Principles of Pharmacology introduces the basic principles that underlie all of Pharmacology. The first half of the course introduces, both conceptually and quantitatively, drug absorption, distribution, elimination and metabolism (pharmacokinetics) and general drug receptor theory and mechanism of action (pharmacodynamics). Genetic variation in response to drugs (pharmacogenetics) is integrated into these basic principles. The second half of the course covers selected drug classes chosen to illustrate these principles. Small group/recitation sessions use case histories to reinforce presentation of principles and to discuss public perceptions of therapeutic drug use. Graduate students will be expected to critically evaluate articles from the literature and participate in a separate weekly discussion session. Recommended preparation for PHRM 409: Undergraduate degree in science or permission of instructor. Offered as PHRM 309 and PHRM 409. (CHEM 223 and CHEM 224), or (CHEM 323 and CHEM 324), or (EBME 201 and EBME 202), or (BIOL 116 and BIOL 117).

PHRM 315. Nuclear Receptors in Health and Disease. 3 Units.

This course focuses on hormone-gene interactions mediated by the ligand-inducible transcription factors termed nuclear hormone receptors. The class will address the mechanisms of action, regulatory features, and biological activities of several nuclear receptors. The usage of nuclear receptors as therapeutic targets in disease states such as cancer, inflammation, and diabetes will also be discussed. The course aims to teach students to critically evaluate primary literature relevant to nuclear hormone receptors biology, and to reinforce presentation/discussion skills. Grades for undergraduates will be based on midterm, final exam; grades for graduates will be based on midterm, final exam, and presentation of a recently published research article related to the role of nuclear receptors in health and disease. Offered as PHRM 315, BIOC 315, PHRM 415 and BIOC 415.

PHRM 340. Science and Society Through Literature. 3 Units.

This course will examine the interaction of scientific investigation and discovery with the society it occurred in. What is the effect of science on society and, as importantly, what is the effect of society on science? An introduction will consider the heliocentric controversy with focus on Galileo. Two broad areas, tuberculosis and the Frankenstein myth, will then be discussed covering the period 1800-present. With tuberculosis, fiction, art and music will be examined to understand the changing views of society towards the disease, how society's perception of tuberculosis victims changed, and how this influenced their treatments and research. With Frankenstein, the original novel in its historical context will be examined. Using fiction and film, the transformation of the original story into myth with different connotations and implications will be discussed. Most classes will be extensive discussions coupled with student presentations of assigned materials. Offered as PHRM 340, BETH 440, PHRM 440, and HSTY 440.

PHRM 400. Research Experience in Pharmacology. 0 - 1 Units.

Research rotation in pharmacology.

PHRM 401. Principles of Pharmacology I: The Molecular Basis of Therapeutics. 3 Units.

This core course focuses on the chemical and biochemical properties of therapeutic agents and molecular mechanisms of therapeutic action, including kinetic and thermodynamic principles of enzyme catalysis and drug-receptor interactions. Moreover, emphasis is placed on fundamental principles of pharmacokinetics, including the absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion of drugs. Mathematical concepts needed to understand appropriate administration of drugs and maintaining therapeutic concentrations of drugs in the body are discussed. A second broad area of emphasis is on fundamental principles of pharmacodynamics, including drug-receptor theory, log dose-response relationships, therapeutic index, receptor turnover, and signal transduction mechanisms. The primary learning objective is to develop a self-directed, critical approach to the evaluation and design of experimental research in the broad context of receptor interactions with endogenous ligands and therapeutic agents in the context of disease models. This is a team-coordinated course involving session organized by faculty to facilitate student-directed learning experiences including discussion of study questions, problem solving applications, and primary literature presentations. A two-part laboratory exercise introduces experimental methodologies widely applied during the study of molecular interactions between therapeutic agents and receptor targets to reinforce fundamental principles of drug action. This 3-credit hour course meets 3 hr per week during the spring semester of year 1.

PHRM 402. Principles of Pharmacology II: The Physiological Basis of Therapeutics. 3 Units.

This course focuses on human physiology of organ systems including the central nervous system, cardiovascular system, and those systems (gastrointestinal, hepatic, and renal) that are involved in determining the pharmacokinetics or time course of drug action in vivo. A second major emphasis is placed on disease-based sessions where normal physiology, pathophysiology, and key drug classes to treat pathophysiologies are discussed. The students learn key concepts in endocrine pathologies, inflammatory disorders, pulmonary diseases, infectious diseases, and cancer. The main learning objectives are for the student to gain an understanding of basic principles of modern pharmacology and physiology and to build self-directed learning skills. This is a highly interactive course in which faculty lectures are minimized. A heavy emphasis is placed on student-directed learning experiences including presentation and discussion of primary literature, problem solving applications, small group discussion and team-based learning. This 3-credit hour course meets 3 hr per week during the fall semester of year 2.

PHRM 403. Public and Professional Views of Modern Therapeutics. 3 Units.

This course will present the students with headline news stories from the popular press along with pertinent published articles from the scientific literature. The object is to engage the students in critical evaluation of the scientific literature and news reports to discern the scientific basis for decisions such as removal of drugs from the market. The course will focus on topics such as Cox-2 Inhibitors and Heart Disease, Antidepressant Use for Adolescents, and Parkinson's Disease and Stem Cell Therapy, among others. Evaluation will be based on participation in student-led discussion sessions, weekly topical quizzes, and on written critiques of the primary literature.

PHRM 406. Basic Cancer Biology and the Interface with Clinical Oncology. 3 Units.

This is a graduate-level introductory course in cancer biology taught through the Departments of Pharmacology and Pathology. This course will give students a broad overview of current basic cancer biology, highlight recent advances in cancer therapeutics, and provide a clinical perspective of the pathogenesis and treatment of common cancers. Classes will be of lecture and discussion format, and will also include student discussion of journal research articles to develop critical thinking in cancer research and experimental design as well as presentation/communication skills. About 1 to 3 students per class will be scheduled to lead the presentation and discussion of the selected journal articles. However, all students will be required to read the material in advance and be ready for discussion. Topics will cover growth factor action and signal transduction, oncogenes, tumor suppressor genes, DNA damage, apoptosis, cancer immunology, cancer stem cells, metastasis, angiogenesis, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, targeted therapeutics, photodynamic therapy, targeting cancer stem cells, chemoprevention, and clinical aspects of cancers of the breast, prostate, lymphatic tissue, and colon. Course grades for PHRM/PATH 520 (Ph.D. track): will be determined by class participation/presentation (40%), an original research grant proposal (35%) and written and oral critiques of two research proposals (25%). Course grades for PHRM/PATH 406 (M.S. and non-degree track): will be determined by class participation/presentation (40%), a literature review term paper (35%) and oral defense of term paper with course directors (25%). Presentations/Participation: Instructors will complete a standardized evaluation form to provide you uniform feedback in a timely manner. Required Reading: Assigned reviews, original articles (in blackboard) Recommended Reading: The Biology of Cancer (2nd Edition), by Robert A. Weinberg Garland Science, copyright 2014 Recommended Preparation: A course in Cell Biology. A course in Molecular Biology. Offered as PATH 406, PATH 520, PHRM 406 and PHRM 520.

PHRM 409. Principles of Pharmacology. 3 Units.

Principles of Pharmacology introduces the basic principles that underlie all of Pharmacology. The first half of the course introduces, both conceptually and quantitatively, drug absorption, distribution, elimination and metabolism (pharmacokinetics) and general drug receptor theory and mechanism of action (pharmacodynamics). Genetic variation in response to drugs (pharmacogenetics) is integrated into these basic principles. The second half of the course covers selected drug classes chosen to illustrate these principles. Small group/recitation sessions use case histories to reinforce presentation of principles and to discuss public perceptions of therapeutic drug use. Graduate students will be expected to critically evaluate articles from the literature and participate in a separate weekly discussion session. Recommended preparation for PHRM 409: Undergraduate degree in science or permission of instructor. Offered as PHRM 309 and PHRM 409.

PHRM 412. Membrane Transport Processes. 3 Units.

Membranes and membrane transporters are absolutely required for all cells to take up nutrient, maintain membrane potential and efflux toxins. This course will consider the classification and structure of membrane transport proteins and channels, examine the common mechanistic features of all systems and the specific features of different classes of transporter. Understanding the physiological integration of transport processes into cell homeostasis and consideration of transporters and channels as drug targets will be a goal. Course format is minimal lecture, primarily student presentations of primary literature papers. Offered as PHOL 412 and PHRM 412. Prereq: CBIO 453 and CBIO 455.

PHRM 415. Nuclear Receptors in Health and Disease. 3 Units.

This course focuses on hormone-gene interactions mediated by the ligand-inducible transcription factors termed nuclear hormone receptors. The class will address the mechanisms of action, regulatory features, and biological activities of several nuclear receptors. The usage of nuclear receptors as therapeutic targets in disease states such as cancer, inflammation, and diabetes will also be discussed. The course aims to teach students to critically evaluate primary literature relevant to nuclear hormone receptors biology, and to reinforce presentation/discussion skills. Grades for undergraduates will be based on midterm, final exam; grades for graduates will be based on midterm, final exam, and presentation of a recently published research article related to the role of nuclear receptors in health and disease. Offered as PHRM 315, BIOC 315, PHRM 415 and BIOC 415.

PHRM 420. Current Topics in Cancer. 3 Units.

The concept of cancer hallmarks has provided a useful guiding principle in our understanding of the complexity of cancer. The hallmarks include sustaining proliferative signaling, evading growth suppressors, enabling replicative immortality, activating invasion and metastasis, inducing angiogenesis, resisting cell death, deregulating cellular energetics, avoiding immune destruction, tumor-promoting inflammation, and genome instability and mutation. The objectives of this course are to (1) examine the principles of some of these hallmarks, and (2) explore potential therapies developed based on these hallmarks of cancer. This is a student-driven and discussion-based graduate course. Students should have had some background on the related subjects and have read scientific papers in their prior coursework. Students will be called on to present and discuss experimental design, data and conclusions from assigned publications. There will be no exams or comprehensive papers but students will submit a one-page critique (strengths and weaknesses) of one of the assigned papers prior to each class meeting. The course will end with a full-day student-run symposium on topics to be decided jointly by students and the course director. Grades will be based on class participation, written critiques, and symposium presentations. Offered as BIOC 420, MBIO 420, PATH 422, and PHRM 420. Prereq: CBIO 453 and CBIO 455.

PHRM 432. Current Topics in Vision Research. 3 Units.

Vision research is an exciting and multidisciplinary area that draws on the disciplines of biochemistry, genetics, molecular biology, structural biology, neuroscience, and pathology. This graduate level course will provide the student with broad exposure to the most recent and relevant research currently being conducted in the field. Topics will cover a variety of diseases and fundamental biological processes occurring in the eye. Regions of the eye that will be discussed include the cornea, lens, and retina. Vision disorders discussed include age-related macular degeneration, retinal ciliopathies, and diabetic retinopathy. Instructors in the course are experts in their field and are members of the multidisciplinary visual sciences research community here at Case Western Reserve University. Students will be exposed to the experimental approaches and instrumentation currently being used in the laboratory and in clinical settings. Topics will be covered by traditional lectures, demonstrations in the laboratory and the clinic, and journal club presentations. Students will be graded on their performance in journal club presentations (40%), research proposal (40%), and class participation (20%). Offered as NEUR 432, PATH 432, PHRM 432 and BIOC 432.

PHRM 440. Science and Society Through Literature. 3 Units.

This course will examine the interaction of scientific investigation and discovery with the society it occurred in. What is the effect of science on society and, as importantly, what is the effect of society on science? An introduction will consider the heliocentric controversy with focus on Galileo. Two broad areas, tuberculosis and the Frankenstein myth, will then be discussed covering the period 1800-present. With tuberculosis, fiction, art and music will be examined to understand the changing views of society towards the disease, how society's perception of tuberculosis victims changed, and how this influenced their treatments and research. With Frankenstein, the original novel in its historical context will be examined. Using fiction and film, the transformation of the original story into myth with different connotations and implications will be discussed. Most classes will be extensive discussions coupled with student presentations of assigned materials. Offered as PHRM 340, BETH 440, PHRM 440, and HSTY 440.

PHRM 466. Cell Signaling. 3 Units.

This is an advanced lecture/journal/discussion format course that covers cell signaling mechanisms. Included are discussions of neurotransmitter-gated ion channels, growth factor receptor kinases, cytokine receptors, G protein-coupled receptors, steroid receptors, heterotrimeric G proteins, ras family GTPases, second messenger cascades, protein kinase cascades, second messenger regulation of transcription factors, microtubule-based motility, actin/myosin-based motility, signals for regulation of cell cycle, signals for regulation of apoptosis. Offered as CLBY 466, PHOL 466 and PHRM 466.

PHRM 475. Protein Biophysics. 3 Units.

This course focuses on in-depth understanding of the molecular biophysics of proteins. Structural, thermodynamic and kinetic aspects of protein function and structure-function relationships will be considered at the advanced conceptual level. The application of these theoretical frameworks will be illustrated with examples from the literature and integration of biophysical knowledge with description at the cellular and systems level. The format consists of lectures, problem sets, and student presentations. A special emphasis will be placed on discussion of original publications. Offered as BIOC 475, CHEM 475, PHOL 475, PHRM 475, and NEUR 475.

PHRM 511. Pharmacology Seminar Series. 0 - 1 Units.

Current topics of interest in the pharmacologist sciences.

PHRM 513. Structural Journal Club. 1 Unit.

Current topics of interest in structural biology, and protein biophysics. Offered as PHOL 513 and PHRM 513.

PHRM 520. Basic Cancer Biology and the Interface with Clinical Oncology. 3 Units.

This is a graduate-level introductory course in cancer biology taught through the Departments of Pharmacology and Pathology. This course will give students a broad overview of current basic cancer biology, highlight recent advances in cancer therapeutics, and provide a clinical perspective of the pathogenesis and treatment of common cancers. Classes will be of lecture and discussion format, and will also include student discussion of journal research articles to develop critical thinking in cancer research and experimental design as well as presentation/communication skills. About 1 to 3 students per class will be scheduled to lead the presentation and discussion of the selected journal articles. However, all students will be required to read the material in advance and be ready for discussion. Topics will cover growth factor action and signal transduction, oncogenes, tumor suppressor genes, DNA damage, apoptosis, cancer immunology, cancer stem cells, metastasis, angiogenesis, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, targeted therapeutics, photodynamic therapy, targeting cancer stem cells, chemoprevention, and clinical aspects of cancers of the breast, prostate, lymphatic tissue, and colon. Course grades for PHRM/PATH 520 (Ph.D. track): will be determined by class participation/presentation (40%), an original research grant proposal (35%) and written and oral critiques of two research proposals (25%). Course grades for PHRM/PATH 406 (M.S. and non-degree track): will be determined by class participation/presentation (40%), a literature review term paper (35%) and oral defense of term paper with course directors (25%). Presentations/Participation: Instructors will complete a standardized evaluation form to provide you uniform feedback in a timely manner. Required Reading: Assigned reviews, original articles (in blackboard) Recommended Reading: The Biology of Cancer (2nd Edition), by Robert A. Weinberg Garland Science, copyright 2014 Recommended Preparation: A course in Cell Biology. A course in Molecular Biology. Offered as PATH 406, PATH 520, PHRM 406 and PHRM 520.

PHRM 521. Special Topics in Cancer Biology and Clinical Oncology. 1 Unit.

This one credit hour course in Cancer Biology is intended to give students an opportunity to do independent literature research while enrolled in PHRM 520/PATH 520. Students must attend weekly Hematology/Oncology seminar series and write a brief summary of each of the lectures attended. In addition, students must select one of the seminar topics to write a term paper which fully reviews the background related to the topic and scientific and clinical advances in that field. This term paper must also focus of Clinical Oncology, have a translational research component, and integrate with concepts learned in PHRM 520/PATH 520. Pharmacology students must provide a strong discussion on Therapeutics, while Pathology students must provide a strong component on Pathophysiology of the disease. Recommended preparation: CBIO 453 and CBIO 455, or concurrent enrollment in PHRM 520 or PATH 520. Offered as PATH 521 and PHRM 521.

PHRM 525. Topics in Cell and Molecular Pharmacology. 0 - 18 Units.

Individual library research project under the guidance of a pharmacology sponsor. Projects will reflect the research interest of the faculty sponsor, including molecular endocrinology, neuropharmacology, receptor activation and signal transduction, molecular mechanisms of enzyme action and metabolic regulation.

PHRM 526. Grant Writing Tutorial. 1 - 3 Units.

Students will be expected to provide critiques of a grant proposal to bring to a workshop. At the workshop, a faculty review panel will discuss the grant proposal and provide critiques to illustrate the key components that are necessary for any grant proposal, and the specific items that enhance the quality of the proposal or detract from it. The students will be able to compare what they emphasized in their critiques to what the expert panel focused on. After completing the workshop, each student will prepare a proposal based on their thesis topic; this document will be scored, and the student will also be evaluated for an oral defense of the proposal.

PHRM 527. Pathways to Personalized Medicine. 3 Units.

This is a course of independent study designed to take the student from the bedside to the bench and back again. Students will select a problem from a list of important therapeutic issues related to variability in drug responsiveness and design a research program to elucidate its molecular, biochemical, genetic and pathophysiological basis. The resulting research proposal is expected to be multidimensional and include molecular, cellular, whole animal and clinical investigations. To guide the process students will assemble a mentoring group including at least one member of the Translational Therapeutics Track Faculty, a clinician working in the clinical realm in which the problem originates and a basic scientist with relevant experience. The written proposal will be defended orally. Recommended preparation: 1st year Pharm Graduate required courses.

PHRM 528. Contemporary Approaches to Drug Discovery. 3 Units.

This course is designed to teach the students how lead compounds are discovered, optimized, and processed through clinical trials for FDA approval. Topics will include: medicinal chemistry, parallel synthesis, drug delivery and devices, drug administration and pharmacokinetics, and clinical trials. A special emphasis will be placed on describing how structural biology is used for in silico screening and lead optimization. This component will include hands-on experience in using sophisticated drug discovery software to conduct in silico screening and the development of drug libraries. Each student will conduct a course project involving in silico screening and lead optimization against known drug targets, followed by the drafting of an inventory disclosure. Another important aspect of this course will be inclusion of guest lectures by industrial leaders who describe examples of success stories of drug development. Offered as BIOC 528, PHOL 528, PHRM 528, and SYBB 528.

PHRM 555. Current Proteomics and Bioinformatics. 3 Units.

This course is designed for graduate students across the university who wish to acquire a better understanding of fundamental concepts of proteomics and related bioinformatics as well as hands-on experience with techniques used in current proteomics. Lectures will cover protein/peptide separation techniques, protein mass spectrometry, and biological applications which include quantitative proteomics, protein modification proteomics, interaction proteomics, structural genomics and structural proteomics. Also, it will cover experimental design, basic statistical concept and issues related to high-dimensional data from high-throughput technologies. Laboratory portion will involve practice on the separation of proteins by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis, molecular weight measurement of proteins by mass spectrometry, peptide structural characterization by tandem mass spectrometry. It will also include bioinformatics tools for protein identification and protein-protein interaction networks. The instructors' research topics will also be discussed. Recommended preparation: CBIO 453, CBIO 455, and PQHS 431. Offered as PHRM 555 and SYBB 555.

PHRM 600. Preparation for Qualifying Exam. 1 Unit.

Students pursuing the M.S. or Ph.D. degrees in Pharmacology are required to prepare systematically for the comprehensive qualifying exam by reviewing the concepts of cellular and molecular biology and pharmacology. The qualifier is comprised of a two-part written exam administered simultaneously to all eligible students. It is designed to evaluate their understanding of concepts presented in the various core courses. It also assesses their skills in critical reading of research articles and design of experiments. The division into two parts allows each student to receive feedback on deficient areas and work toward improvement on the second segment. Eligibility: Students may register for the exam when they have fulfilled two criteria: (a) Successful completion (grade B or better) in all of the Core Courses, and an overall GPA of 3.0 or better. (b) Satisfactory performance in all research rotations and consistent research effort in the thesis laboratory as documented formally by the Ph.D. mentor. No student on probation may sit for the Qualifying Exam (Prelim I). Prereq: CBIO 453, CBIO 455, PHRM 401 and PHRM 402.

PHRM 601. Independent Study and Research. 1 - 18 Units.


PHRM 651. Thesis M.S.. 1 - 18 Units.


PHRM 701. Dissertation Ph.D.. 1 - 9 Units.

Prereq: Predoctoral research consent or advanced to Ph.D. candidacy milestone.