Pharmaceutical Sciences and Pharmacogenomics at UCSF

Why are the pharmaceutical sciences and pharmacogenomics important?

Rapid developments in genomics, genetics, and pharmaceutical sciences motivated the design of our graduate program. Scientists are increasingly recognizing that they must understand individual differences in drug efficacy and safety and the genetic bases of these differences to discover new drugs.

Why is now an ideal time for the field?

The impact of genomic, genetic, and pharmaceutical sciences—especially pharmacogenomics and systems pharmacology—is now changing the way that drugs are designed, discovered, and tested. Students will impact the future discovery of new drugs and therapies.

Why train in pharmaceutical sciences and pharmacogenomics at UCSF?

Large multidisciplinary research projects on pharmacogenetics and quantitative systems pharmacology provide students with an opportunity for cross-disciplinary training in pharmacology, human genetics, and computational biology. Our faculty developed the foundation for current principles regarding the kinetics of drug action and variability in drug response, and it includes members of the Institute of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences.

UCSF takes an interdisciplinary approach to education.

UCSF is known widely for its success in interdisciplinary PhD science education. Students not only share courses and attend seminars across fields, they also rotate through laboratories and eventually settle in the laboratories of particular principal investigators, all the while training alongside students in other programs.

This interdisciplinary approach to graduate education is reflected in how graduate programs are often grouped together to leverage their strengths. The Pharmaceutical Sciences and Pharmacogenomics Graduate Program, for example, is one of five PhD degree programs under an umbrella grouping called the Quantitative Biosciences Consortium (QBC).

UCSF’s research atmosphere is one of collaboration.

At UCSF, all graduate students learn from the most accomplished faculty in the world for whom collaboration is a shared commitment. UCSF was founded in 1864 when California was still a frontier and San Francisco was a place for the bold and fearless. That pioneering spirit remained with UCSF and is reflected today in its discoveries-from oncogenes to prions and from how telomeres function to how DNA can be spliced. In fact the technique of recombinant DNA developed here spawned the entire biotechnology revolution. The accomplishments of UCSF scientists are reflected as well by their success in attracting research dollars.

The UCSF scientific community is welcoming.

UCSF is a place that welcomes diversity. It is a place where the faculty is engaged in the success of each graduate student. UCSF graduate students have ready access to faculty members; work with people of all backgrounds, ages, cultures, orientations, and perspectives; meet and discuss and debate ideas; and hold impromptu meetings with scientists in hallways and cafes.

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