The Department of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences is an interdisciplinary department with research emphasis in the basic science areas of molecular pharmacology, molecular pharmaceutics, drug discovery and medicinal chemistry, and molecular toxicology. Areas of expertise that cross normal discipline limits include but are not limited to drug formulation, design and delivery, and injury prevention resulting from weapons of mass destruction and bioterrorism.
Students will gain experimental as well as theoretical expertise in an area of concentration and are expected to develop the competencies needed for leadership in academia, industry and government agencies. Graduate students perform their dissertation research under the guidance of PBS faculty engaged in diverse research spanning all major disciplines of pharmaceutical sciences. Most faculty members’ research programs are highly interdisciplinary and collaborative with extensive overlap among the areas. Please take some time to look around our site and familiarize yourself with our faculty and research labs to find the best fit for you.
Pharmaceutics is the study of relationships between physiochemical properties of drugs, their formulations and the effects on pharmacokinetics (absorption, distribution, metabolism and elimination of drugs) and pharmacodynamics (therapeutic responses of drugs). It is a highly interdisciplinary science that integrates chemistry, biochemistry, cellular/molecular biology, pathophysiology, engineering, mathematics and therapeutics. PBS faculty is actively engaged in all areas of pharmaceutics using biochemical, cellular and whole-animal models, with a focus on cancer and infectious diseases. Specific strengths are in the understanding of the molecular and cellular determinants of drug transport; the development of polymeric and nonoparticulate drug-carriers; drug delivery approaches that improve drug disposition; and the computational modeling of the properties that govern pharmacological responses.
Pharmacology, the study of the effects of drugs on biologic systems and their therapeutic applications, is a multi-disciplinary field including biochemistry, structural biology, physiology, cell biology and pathology. Our faculty members study the pharmacology of drugs at the molecular, cellular and whole animal levels, as well as the underlying mechanisms of action. The pharmacology of traditional small-molecule drugs and natural product-derived nutraceuticals are also actively investigated.
Drug Discovery And Medicinal Chemistry
Medicinal chemistry examines the chemical design of active pharmacological agents through an understanding of the molecular biology of pharmacological targets using quantitative structure activity relationships and computational methods. Compounds are synthesized by innovative medicinal chemistry methodologies. Our faculty’s research emphasizes the discovery and synthesis of antiviral, anticancer, antiprotozoal and antibacterial agents. Investigators use x-ray crystallography to define the atomic-level architecture of potential drug targets and analytical chemistry to detect drugs and drug products in dosage forms through high-performance liquid chromatography, gas chromatography, capillary electrophoresis and mass spectrometry.
Toxicology, a major branch of pharmacology, is focused on the adverse effects of chemicals on humans and other living organisms. Such chemicals can include established pharmaceutics, experimental/developmental drugs and nonoparticles. Other chemicals of interest include environmental pollutants, such as volatile hydrocarbons and environmental oxidants. Our faculty is actively engaged in research projects with a focus on the ability of these agents to include multiple pathologies including cancer, neurodegenerative disease, infectious disease, cardiovascular disease, and muscular dystrophies.