The Department offers training in cellular and molecular pharmacology and integrative biology leading to the PhD or MD, PhD degree in Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology. The departmental faculty conduct translational research focusing on cellular signal transduction, lung and vascular biology, thrombosis, stem cell therapy, inflammantion, and cardiovascular pharmacology. Research in these areas is pursued at the molecular, cellular, organ-system, and whole-animal levels of investigation using state-of-the-art techniques and instrumentation. Course work provides broad exposure to the intellectual underpinnings of molecular pharmacology, cell biology and cellular signaling. Members of the faculty collaborate within the department as well as with members of other departments including those in the Department of Medicine with an eye to facilitating translational research. The Department has a strong record of research funding as it ranks 8th nationally in extramural research support from the NIH. In addition to this strong support by the NIH, faculty members are funded by non-governmental sources such as the American Heart Association, the Arthritis Foundation and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
The Department participates in an integrated interdepartmental program for predoctoral candidates, Graduate Education in Medical Sciences (GEMS), which offers interdisciplinary coursework, flexibility in laboratory rotations, and choice of thesis advisors. Detailed information is available on the GEMS web site. Upon admission to the program, each student is awarded a stipend of $29,500 as a research assistant and a tuition and service fee waiver. With satisfactory progress toward completion of the degree, the student will continue to be supported throughout the training period. Graduate students may quality for additional financial aid, based on need, by filling out the FAFSA at the US Department of Education website.
The Center for Lung and Vascular Biology comprises investigators who are actively involved in basic and translational research related to pathologies of lung and vasculature (e.g., childhood asthma, acute lung injury, inflammatory diseases, acute transplant rejection, and pulmonary hypertension). The Center brings together basic and physician scientists from a wide range of disciplines who are engaged in related research so that they can more efficiently collaborate on studies leading to the discovery of new drugs and drug systems to treat these debilitating diseases.
The Department administers an NIH-funded training grant, the Lung Biology and Pathobiology Training Program which supports both predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees. The selected trainees draw on the knowledge of faculty preceptors from across multiple disciplines from several departments. The training grant has more than 30 preceptors, all of whom are independent investigators with strong research and training backgrounds. After the first year of graduate studies, students interested in a competitive predoctoral traineeship are asked to submit an application to the program of interest. Pre-doctoral trainees take courses and participate in symposiums and special seminars. United States citizens and permanent residents are eligible for positions on NIH-funded training grants.