Welcome to the Pharmacology Graduate Group

Message from the Chair: 

Our mission is to train Ph.D. scientists to be critical thinkers, embracing innovation and creativity to promote scholarship and scientific discovery.

Well-trained pharmacologists are critical in academia, pharmaceutical/biotechnology industries, and regulatory agencies.

Pharmacology is unique among biomedical disciplines in that it uses the knowledge and approaches of many different biomedical sciences for developing drugs and understanding mechanisms, as well as characterizing the delivery and disposition of therapeutics. In essence, well-trained pharmacologists should have a working knowledge of most biomedical disciplines and the ability to apply that knowledge to developing and understanding drug/therapeutic function and dysfunction.

Our training program, in part supported by an NIGMS Predoctoral Training Grant in Pharmacology, is designed to provide students with knowledge in basic biomedical science as well as both depth and breadth of training in pharmacology. More recently, with the growing number of faculty involved in pharmacogenomics, proteomics, and metabolomics, the ability to analyze and understand large data sets has become a necessity, and training is offered in bioinformatics and genome science.

Our program creates a depth of knowledge by requiring students to take 3 core courses in pharmacology, while the breadth of knowledge is achieved by incorporating any of 11 additional pharmacology courses in specialized areas of pharmacology.

PGG students attend a weekly seminar organized by the Department of Systems Pharmacology and Translational Therapeutics. Listening to talks given by invited speakers - prominent scientists from Penn and other research centers in the USA and abroad - and direct interaction with the speakers at the seminar and during post-seminar lunch keeps our students updated on cutting-edge research and expands their horizons.

Students also attend talks given by invited speakers at specialized monthly seminars organized by the Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics (ITMAT), Center of Excellence in Environmental Toxicology (CEET), and Penn interdisciplinary seminar on Center for Targeted Therapeutics and Translational Nanomedicine (CT³N).

The Biomedical Graduate Studies (BGS) career development features helpful sections on core competencies that are cultivated through Ph.D. training in the biomedical sciences, career paths for which Ph.D. biomedical training can be particularly useful, and BGS alumni career outcomes.

The urgency to apply basic discoveries to the understanding and subsequent alleviation of human disease has never been greater. Thus, a major focus of our training program is on translational research, which is in many ways the essence of pharmacology.

Julie A. Blendy, Ph.D., Chair, Pharmacology Graduate Group


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UPenn Pharmacology Graduate Group

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