Pharmacology and Therapeutics Concentration

NOTE: This page is for detailed information about the Pharmacology and Therapeutics Advanced Concentration only. All inquiries concerning admission to the BMS Admissions office at biomed@med.ufl.edu. More information on admissions is also available on the Admissions Page.

Program Areas of Research | Program of Study

Program Faculty | Program Contacts

Overview

The Advanced Concentration in Pharmacology and Therapeutics is one of eight concentrations leading to the Ph.D. degree under the auspices of the Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences (BMS) at the University of Florida College of Medicine.

Imagine discovering a novel mechanism of how a cell functions or how it may go wrong in disease and then designing and developing a strategy or agent to target that mechanism for new cures or treatments.  These options are possible because of the research training in the Advanced Concentration in Pharmacology and Therapeutics. Our discipline is inherently translational and focuses on transforming discoveries into therapies. Our concentration fosters independent but interactive research programs leading to the discovery of new knowledge that impacts our basic understanding, prevention or treatment of disease.

For more information about the Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, please click here.


Areas of Research

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Pharm Venn Diagram
  • Each of these areas is closely interwoven with the subject matter and experimental techniques of physiology, biochemistry, cellular and molecular biology, microbiology, immunology, genetics, and pathology.
  • A significant number of faculty are actively involved in new drug development and discovery, while many others are vigorously involved in the development of biological therapies.
  • Extramural research support is provided from federal, private, and industrial sources to foster new discoveries in both molecular and systems pharmacology.
  • The department has a strong commitment to the education of students in order to understand and apply the principles of pharmacology and therapeutics to train them in multidisciplinary research.

Program of Study

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The curriculum in Pharmacology and Therapeutics is designed to prepare students for gainful employment in several major areas including:

  • academic science
  • pharmaceutical/biotech industry
  • regulatory affairs

The Learning Experience

  • The student learning experience consists of laboratory rotations, mentored research, a core pharmacology course curriculum, class electives, journal clubs, seminars, and data presentations.
  • Course work in the department emphasizes translational research with the goal to establish the pharmacological and therapeutic basis to manage disease, including neurodegenerative, psychiatric, neuromuscular, neuroendocrine, chemosensory, and oncological conditions in humans. Students learn the principles of biomedicine, such as how drugs and biological agents are discovered, optimized, as well as their function, and biodistribution in patients. In addition, courses explore the breadth of translational research in the identification of opportunities and approaches to health problems as they relate to small molecules, biologics, diagnostics, and devices.

Pharmacology Immersion Program

  • Students are strongly encouraged to participate in the Pharmacology Immersion Program (PIP) before they begin the concentration program. 
  • This is a one-week immersive lecture, discussion, and laboratory methods program for incoming graduate students interested in Pharmacology and Therapeutics.
  • PIP is designed to:
    • 1) render a general knowledge base of fundamental concepts in Pharmacology,
    • 2) provide hands-on experience with methods commonly used within the multiple disciplines and experimental approaches within Pharmacology, and
    • 3) facilitate engagement of students with primary faculty and other trainees in the Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics.

Curriculum is formed by three core courses:

  • Principles of Drug Action & Therapeutics
  • Translational Research & Therapeutics: Bench, Bedside, Community, & Policy
  • Molecules to Man: Past, Present and Future Therapeutic Strategies for Disease

Other Courses:

  • All Pharmacology students are required to register for the Student Seminar Series in Pharmacology each Fall and Spring semester beginning in their second year. This course allows for current students to present their ongoing research.
  • The advanced program curriculum is flexible enough to allow the students to tailor their electives to the needs of their chosen research and can integrate coursework offered by other BMS concentrations or certificate programs.
  • The required classroom studies are typically completed by the end of the second year, although opportunities to take optional, specialized courses in subsequent years are available.

Declared vs Undeclared:

  • Before joining a lab, students can declare and immediately begin the Pharmacology and Therapeutics concentration coursework. This provides the option to opt out of the Fundamentals of Biomedical Science course.
  • Coming in as undeclared provides one the flexibility of exploring course work from other concentrations before committing to one.

Ph.D. Candidacy

  • Ph.D. candidacy is granted after successful completion of the minimum required course work and a qualifying exam.
  • The qualifying exam consists of an oral defense of a dissertation research proposal written using the National Institutes of Health grant application format. The dissertation research project is overseen by a committee consisting of the supervisory faculty member and other graduate faculty.

Graduation

  • After finishing the dissertation research, the student presents their research in a seminar to the faculty at-large and then defends this research to their supervisory committee.
  • The typical student will take 4-5 years to complete the necessary requirements leading to the Ph.D. degree.
Pharm PhD Timeline

Graduate Handbook

  • For a complete and comprehensive review of the program and the department, please see the Graduate Handbook (last updated Dec. 5, 2019).

Example Schedule – Pharmacology and Therapeutics Concentration

Undeclared StudentDeclared Student
Year 1 - Fall SemesterYear 1 - Fall Semester
GMS 6001: Fundamentals of Biomedical Science, 5 creditsGMS 6847: Translational Research & Therapeutics: Bench, Bedside, Community, & Policy, 3 credits
GMS 6003: Essentials of Graduate Research & Professional Development, 1 creditGMS 6003: Essentials of Graduate Research & Professional Development, 1 credit
GMS 6090: Journal Club, 1 creditGMS 6090: Laboratory Rotations, 2 credits
GMS 6090: Laboratory Rotations, 2 creditsElectives
Total = 9 credit hoursTotal = 9 credit hours
Students are expected to attend GMS 6590: Student Data Discussions in Pharmacology
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Year 1 - Spring SemesterYear 1 - Spring Semester
GMS 6009: Principles of Drug Action & Therapeutics, 3 creditsGMS 6009: Principles of Drug Action & Therapeutics, 3 credits
GMS 7003: Responsible Conduct of Biomedical Research, 1 creditGMS 6590: Student Data Discussions in Pharmacology, 1 credit
GMS 6090: Journal Club, 1 creditGMS 7003: Responsible Conduct of Biomedical Research, 1 credit
GMS 6090: Laboratory Rotations, 1 creditGMS 7979: Advanced Research, 1-4 credits
ElectivesElectives
Total = 9 credit hoursTotal = 9 credits
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Year 1 – Summer SemesterYear 1 – Summer Semester
GMS 7979: Advanced Research, 1-6 credits GMS 7979: Advanced Research, 1-6 credits
Electives Electives
Total = 6 creditsTotal = 6 credits
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Year 2 – Fall SemesterYear 2 – Fall Semester
GMS 6847: Translational Research & Therapeutics: Bench, Bedside, Community, & Policy, 3 credits GMS 6560: Molecules to Man: Past, Present and Future Therapeutic Strategies for Disease, 3 credits
GMS 6560: Molecules to Man: Past, Present and Future Therapeutic Strategies for Disease, 3 credits GMS 6590: Student Data Discussions in Pharmacology, 1 credit
GMS 6590: Student Data Discussions in Pharmacology, 1 credit GMS 7979: Advanced Research, 2-5 credits
GMS 7979: Advanced Research, 2-5 credits Electives
Total = 9 creditsTotal = 9 credits

The Faculty and their Research

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For a list of faculty members in the Pharmacology and Therapeutics advanced program, please click here.

Joe Flores-Toro, Ph.d.

Pharmacology and Therapeutics Concentration Overview

Pharm Joe Video Image 2

olga guryanova, m.d., ph.d.

Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML)

Pharm Video Olga 2

What We’re Publishing

  • “CCR2 inhibition reduces tumor myeloid cells and unmasks a checkpoint inhibitor effect to slow progression of resistant murine gliomas” PNAS, January 2020, featuring Jeffrey Harrison, Ph.D., Professor
  • “Kölliker-Fuse/Parabrachial complex mu opioid receptors contribute to fentanyl-induced apnea and respiratory rate depression” RespPhysNeuro, January 2020, featuring Erica Levitt, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
  • “Sensory neurons expressing the atypical olfactory receptor guanylyl cyclase D are required for the acquisition of odor preferences by mice in diverse social contexts” PhysiolBehav, August 2020, featuring Steven Munger, Ph.D., Professor
  • “MicroRNA-206 Antagomir Enriched Extracellular Vesicles Attenuate Lung Ischemia-Reperfusion Injury Via CXCL1 Regulation in Alveolar Epithelial Cells” JHLT, September 2020, featuring Ashish Sharma, MBBS, Ph.D., Associate Professor

Concentration Contacts

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Jeffrey Harrison, Ph.D.
Graduate Coordinator, Pharmacology and Therapeutics Advanced Concentration
Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics – UF College of Medicine
Phone: (352) 627-9208 | Email:  jharriso@ufl.edu

Ellen L. Esparolini
Graduate Administrator
Phone: 294-5350 | Email: eesparol@ufl.edu