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Prospective Students

The Molecular Pharmacology Graduate Program (MPGP) is committed to supporting an equitable learning and working environment that values human dignity and quality of opportunity. We are committed to fostering a culture of inclusion in which diversity can thrive for all faculty and students in the MPGP. The MPGP functions in compliance with University Policy and will not engage in discrimination or harassment based on (and will proactively seek to include qualified candidates and faculty representing diversity in) race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, age, marital status, familial status, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, genetic information, disability, or status as a veteran. Furthermore, the MPGP, working with the Office of Health Sciences Diversity, will continue to take affirmative steps to support and advance these values consistent with the School of Medicine’s and the University’s missions.

The MPGP is affiliated with the Interdisciplinary Biomedical Graduate Program (IBGP) of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

Welcome from the Director

This is an exciting time to be a pharmacologist, and a great time to join the Molecular Pharmacology Graduate Program.
Pharmacology is the study of the mechanism of drug action. The discipline resides at the important interface between the basic sciences that investigate the cellular and molecular biology of mammalian physiology on the one hand, and the development of clinically effective approaches to treating disease on the other. Application of modern molecular and genetic methods, combined with remarkable advances in drug discovery promise a new era of effective and more specific therapeutics based on a rational understanding of biomedical science. As pharmacologists, you will lead the way into this new era aided by the training from our program.

The Molecular Pharmacology Graduate Program offers an outstanding research environment, and is currently ranked 9th nationally in NIH funding of pharmacology departments. Biomedical research in the program is focused on molecular and cellular mechanisms of intracellular signaling using a combination of biochemical, molecular biological, biophysical, ultrastructural, and imaging approaches. Basic information on cellular communication in health and disease provides the basis for the development and testing of novel therapeutic agents. Applications of this common theme are directed toward research in molecular biology of cancer, neuropharmacology, drug discovery, and cell and organ system pharmacology. Formal interactions with the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, the Center for Neuroscience, the Drug Discovery Institute, the Structural Biology Imaging Center, the Vascular Medicine Institute, and the Division of Clinical Pharmacology provide a broad multidisciplinary training in basic and translational molecular pharmacology.

The Molecular Pharmacology Graduate Program offers didactic and research training in the most fundamental aspects of pharmacology. The discipline-specific training is augmented by additional course work that can be chosen from biochemistry, molecular genetics, immunology, cell biology, physiology and neuroscience. We also continue to develop new courses relevant to current research problems as well as to careers in pharmacology, such as the recent drug discovery course. The Program’s high quality of student training and success is reflected by 25 years of NIH training grant funding.

The Molecular Pharmacology Graduate Program is committed to providing an outstanding educational experience in an exceptional research environment. We also realize that graduates from this program will have a broad range of career options, and it is a goal of the program to provide support and education to optimally prepare students to enter the professional work force.

Molecular Pharmacology is an exciting place to be. Come and join us!