Master of SciencePharmaceutical Sciences
This 36-semester hour Master of Science degree program in Pharmaceutical Sciences consists of advanced training in characterizing drug action and disposition.
Courses offered in this program will give students a broad understanding of diverse topics in pharmaceutical science that range from established paradigms to emerging technology and applications.
Scientific communication and professional development are stressed in the curriculum and reinforced through coursework and independent study. Graduates will be prepared for a career in research, industry or continuing to a doctoral program in health sciences or healthcare. Classes that focus on genomics and biopharmaceutics will give students perspectives on aspects of personalized medicine. This diverse curriculum will prepare graduates for careers in the expanding personalized medicine and biotechnology sectors, as well as in more traditional roles in the pharmaceutical industry. The elective options allow the student to individualize their own coursework based on their career goals.
Graduates of the Master of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences program will be able to:
- Analyze the role of core content areas in pharmaceutical science in the industrial, clinical and regulatory spheres;
- Recommend and apply established models to predict drug disposition in patients as part of a multidisciplinary team;
- Design strategies using scientific approaches to accomplish set pharmaceutical goals in an industry or regulatory setting;
- Evaluate primary literature relevant to pharmaceutical sciences and use that literature to solve diverse problems in pharmaceutical science; and,
- Effectively communicate pharmaceutical science information and issues from around the world, orally and written, to individuals with scientific and non-scientific backgrounds.
This program requires a total of 36 semester hours: 18 semester hours from the core courses listed below, 6 semester hours of experiential courses, and 12 semester hours of elective courses. The semester hour value of each course appears in parentheses ( ).
The genetic basis of variability in drug response can contribute to drug efficacy and toxicity, adverse drug reactions and drug-drug interactions. Healthcare professionals need an understanding of the genetic component of patient variability to deliver effective individualized pharmaceutical care. This course offers an introduction to the evolution of pharmacogenetics/pharmacogenomics, the human genome and modern applications of DNA information related to diagnostics, drugs and therapeutics. Emphasis is placed on concepts and methodologies for using an individual’s genetic make-up to determine that individual’s predisposition towards diseases and ability to respond to drugs. Understanding of the basics of pharmacogenomics enables the student to better understand and manage the new genomics based tools and make best treatment choices.
Clinical pharmacology deals with drug development and drug utilization in therapeutics. This course covers the advancements regarding drug action and efficacy. Concepts of pharmacokinetics, drug metabolism and transport, pharmacogenetics, assessment of drug effects, and drug therapy in special populations are explored. Expert knowledge is shared about drug development and content specialization needed to stay competitive and build opportunity for career options.
This course introduces students to the principal factors that can impact absorption, distribution, and elimination of drugs in the body. Specifically, mathematical approaches to characterizing pharmacokinetics (PK), the study of factors influencing drug concentrations in the body, and pharmacodynamics (PD), the study of the physiologic action of drugs in the body, will be discussed with an emphasis on small molecule and protein therapeutics. The clinical and non-clinical applications of PK and PD will be discussed. Students will participate in simulations of real-world pharmacokinetic monitoring of various drugs used clinically to treat infections, control seizures, and suppress arrythmias.
This course covers multiple aspects of drug transport, from simple diffusion to protein-mediated active transport of drugs and other xenobiotics. Specific transporters will be discussed in the context of clinical and pre-clinical effects on drug disposition. Distribution, substrates, and mechanisms of relevant drug transporters will be discussed, as well as how they can mediate potentially toxic effects of drugs.
This course focuses on multiple aspects of drug metabolism. Specific content includes instruction on phase 1 and phase 2 drug metabolism. While the majority of the course will involve examining hepatic drug metabolism and extrahepatic metabolic pathways, drug metabolism in preclinical drug development will also be covered. This course will also expose students to the role drug metabolism plays in potentially toxic drug effects and interactions.
Ethics and Trends in Pharmaceutical Science presents current challenges, trends, and controversies concerning pharmaceutical science. Lectures will be generally composed of presenting current (within the calendar year) articles from around the world that introduce a topic of interest. Such topics may include industry news, education trends, and regulatory controversies.
This course guides the student to develop and finalize a selected research problem and to construct a proposal that effectively establishes the basis for either writing a thesis or launching an experiential capstone project. The course provides an overview of strategies for effective problem investigation and solution proposal. Research methodology is studies and applied as part of suggesting a solution to a problem. Writing and formatting techniques are also explored and applied as a communication tool for cataloging the investigation and recommending the solution.
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