College of Pharmacy


Pharmacology and Toxicology

Ph.D. in Pharmacology and Toxicology

Program Purpose

Graduate program vision: To train exemplary research scientists who will become leaders in academia, industry, and government and who will pose and answer innovative scientific questions regarding the therapeutic and toxic effects of drugs and other chemicals on human health. The doctoral program prepares students to be scientific and technical experts in a topical area within the broadly defined fields of pharmacology and toxicology. Training afforded by the program intends to impart state-of-the-art research and effective communication skills to participants for them to contribute as leading professionals to either the industrial or academic missions of the pharmacology and toxicology field. Students successful in obtaining the Ph.D. should be fully prepared for a range of professional postdoctoral research positions in the public, private, or nonprofit sectors, or to become faculty or technical staff in academic or professional programs.

Learning Outcomes

  • demonstrate broad, general knowledge in the basic biomedical, toxicological, and pharmaceutical sciences and integrate information across these areas;
  • demonstrate in-depth knowledge about all salient aspects of their dissertation work;
  • demonstrate a mature understanding of current methods of modern drug discovery, drug development, drug target characterization and validation, and assay development;
  • demonstrate principles and application of experimental design, data analysis, and interpretation of research results;
  • be able to identify, compile, analyze, and assess technical, scientific and health-care related information from a variety of sources and perspectives;
  • be able to apply critical thinking and analytical skills to formulate a technical critique and express that argument clearly and cogently both orally and in writing;
  • demonstrate effective technical communication skills necessary to understand, contribute and participate in state-of-the-field discussions and forums;
  • exhibit a broad problem-solving ability and be able to formulate hypothesis-driven projects in modern areas of drug discovery and development, and translational biomedical research;
  • be fully prepared for professional postdoctoral entry-level research positions in the public, private, or nonprofit sectors, or as faculty or technical staff in an academic or professional technical training program;
  • possess state-of-the-art research skills, competence and practical techniques required to independently design, test and implement modern pharmacology and toxicology methods, assays, technologies, and innovative therapeutics.