ucsf logo

Courses and course materials

Listed below are all course requirements for the Pharmaceutical Sciences and Pharmacogenomics Graduate Program including course name and number, quarters taught, units, and instructor.

Required courses

PSPG 245 A: Basic Principles of Pharmaceutical Sciences

Fall
5 units
Kathleen Giacomini

This is a five unit course. There are three major sections of the course, with evaluation on each section: Pharmacokinetic Principles; Metabolism and Transport; and Applied Pharmacokinetics. Overall for the quarter, the course will average three hours of didactic lectures and two 3-hour workshops/journal clubs. The course serves as a core course for graduate students in PSPG and is open to graduate students in all programs. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

PSPG 245 B: Basic Principles of Pharmaceutical Sciences

Winter
4 units
Sourav Bandyopadhyay and Rada Savic

An in-depth introduction to the use of systems approaches in pharmacology research. The course covers experimental and computational methods to understanding target identification and validation, drug biomarker discovery, drug repurposing drug development and identifying mechanisms of adverse drug reactions and multidrug resistance,. Emphasis is placed on computational modeling and quantitative data analysis. Students will work in teams to analyze complex biological data sets. Prerequisite: No advanced training in mathematics or computational biology is required. Previous experience with computational methods for data analysis and visualization and a background in pharmacology would be beneficial but is not required.

PSPG 245 C: Basic Principles of Pharmaceutical Sciences (also offered as a spring mini course under PG 219: Special Topics)

Spring
3 units
Nadav Ahituv

An introduction into the genetic factors underlying the efficacy and toxicity of drugs. Topics covered include genomic methods in drug design, drug development, and drug therapy.

BMS 214: Ethics and the Responsible Conduct of Research

Spring second year, eight sessions
1 unit
Faculty

Sessions cover data management, animals in research, human subjects in research, rules and etiquette of publications, procedures and rules of grants, corporate-academic interactions.

Other course and program requirements that are part of the first year of training

PSPG 206: Rotations

Fall/winter/spring, year one only
2 units
Faculty

Laboratory rotations are a key aspect of the interdisciplinary research training program. Each student is required to do three laboratory rotations in different laboratories in the first year. Rotations provide valuable exposure to the diversity of the program and allow students to gain firsthand experience to aid in choosing a research advisor and thesis laboratory.

PSPG 220: Student Research Seminar

Fall/winter/spring, all years in program
1 unit
Deanna Kroetz

This seminar provides graduate students with a forum in which to develop seminar presentation skills, critically organize and critically review scientific data, and analyze and question oral scientific presentations.

PSPG 297: QBC Journal Club

Fall/winter/spring, first and second year
1 unit each
Deanna Kroetz

QBC Journal Club, critical review of published scientific papers from scholarly journals, including comprehension, analysis, and evaluation of published scientific data.

PSPG 225 A/B: Research Opportunities/Pizza Talks

Fall/winter, first year only
1 unit
Deanna Kroetz

A series of weekly presentations of the research interests of the PSPG faculty members.

Program requirements after year one

PSPG 250: Research

Fall/winter/spring
1-8 units
Thesis advisor

Thesis research

PSPG 266: Research Planning Conference

Fall/winter/spring
1 unit
Thesis advisor

Discussion and practice in research problem formulation and design selection. Core classes and small group sessions are organized around students' interests by faculty members within the area of specialization.

PSPG 223: PSPG/CERSI Seminars

PSPG partners with the UCSF-Stanford CERSI Center to bring in outstanding speakers from academia and the pharmaceutical/biotechnology companies.

Electives (must take one in Fall and one in Winter of first year)

BMS 255: Principles of Genetics

Winter
4 units
Christian Vaisse, Anita Sil

Scope of the graduate-level course in genetics is to convey an understanding of basic genomics and molecular genetics, use of genetic animal model systems and of the analytical principles of simple and complex human genetic traits.

BMS 225 B: Tissue & Organ Biology

Winter
3 units
D. Gould, A. Zovein

An integrative course emphasizing frontiers in cell and molecular biology of human tissue and organ systems. It is intended to provide a foundation in human anatomy, histology, immunology, physiology, and pathobiology for graduate students. Rather than a comprehensive course, selected topics will be discussed in depth. The emphasis may shift each year, depending on which topics are relevant and timely.

BMI 206: Statistical Methods for Bioinformatics

Fall
4 units
Katie Pollard

Broad survey of bioinformatics with accompanying assignments. Topics covered include genomics, database searching, family/super-family analysis, structural genomics, complex systems, genetic circuits, and protein-protein interactions.

BMI 203: Biocomputing Algorithms

Winter
3 units
Ryan Hernandez

Introduction to computational issues and methods used in the fields of bioinformatics and computational biology. This course emphasizes the implementation, analysis, and validation of methods. It is about attacking computational problems in biology and not the expert use of existing tools. Areas addressed include analytical thinking, problem decomposition, and algorithm design and implementation. Assignments will focus on the design and implementation of key bioinformatics algorithms.

CHEM 241: Molecular Thermodynamics

Winter
5 units
Bo Huang

This is a course on molecular thermodynamics and statistical mechanics in a biological context. It covers the concepts of entropy, enthalpy, free energy, ligand binding, solvation; the properties of water and the hydrophobic effect; solution electrostatics; adsorption; physical and chemical kinetics; polymer properties; and single-molecule dynamics. Each week of the course consists of two lectures focusing on fundamental principles, and one paper discussion session aiming at connecting these physical principles to problems in biology such as enzyme catalysis, protein folding and phase-transitions, and chromatin compaction.

PSPG 271: Advanced Pharmacokinetics/Pharmacodynamics

Winter: biennial
4 units
Leslie Benet

Although significant time will be devoted to theoretical aspects of the various topics, the focus will be on practical examples (real data) in how to design and interpret pharmacokinetic studies for use as a component of the regulatory drug approval process.

BPS 272 A: Advanced Drug Delivery-Controlled & Targeted Drug Delivery

Winter: even years
2 units
Francis Szoka

The focus of this course is on the chemical, biophysical, and biological factors that impact targeted and controlled drug delivery systems. There is a particular emphasis on colloidal systems and systems that provide a regulated, controlled release.

BP 204 B: Macromolecular Structure and Interactions

Winter
4 units each
Robert Stroud/Oren Rosenberg

This course seeks to achieve a rigorous understanding of the physical principles of macromolecular structure and interactions, and the methods used to define the molecular basis for macromolecular interactions and their function in biology.

BMS 225 A: Human Disease-Technologies & Biomedical Applications

Fall
1.5 units
Scott Kogan, Mike German

Integrative course emphasizing technologies for cell and molecular biology and the application of these methods to understand human disease. Intended to provide a foundation for graduate students in methods used to understand human cells, tissues, and organs, and to illustrate how these methods illuminate physiology and pathobiology. Rather than a comprehensive course, selected topics will be discussed in depth. The emphasis may shift each year, depending upon which topics are relevant and timely.

CELLBIO 245: Cell Biology

Winter
4 units
David Morgan

Modern aspects of the molecular basis of cell function are examined with emphasis on how cells move, secrete, divide, and communicate with each other.

CHEM 243: Chemical Biology

Fall
5 units
Charles Craik

This survey course is team-taught and designed to illustrate the use of chemical approaches to investigate biological processes at the biochemical, the cellular, and the organismal levels.

BIOSTATS 183: Introduction to Statistical Analysis

Fall
4 units
Stan Glantz

An introduction to the use of statistical techniques in biomedical and behavioral research. The course covers common descriptive statistics including the mean, median, and standard deviation, as well as techniques for testing hypotheses (analysis of variance, t-tests, regression, nonparametric methods) and issues in sampling and design of experiments.

EPI 207: Epidemiological Methods II

Winter
3 units
June Chan, Admin Clair Dunn

This course focuses on integrating study design methods with advanced statistical analysis concepts. Lectures focus on practical and theoretical considerations of the observational study designs. The small group discussion meetings cover more advanced interpretation, study design, and analytic techniques. Any interested students must complete the course application form at the bottom of the course website.

EPI 217: Molecular and Genetic Epidemiology I

Winter
2 units
John Witte

This course introduces the concepts, principles, and use of molecular and genetic methods in epidemiologic and clinical research. Students develop a framework for interpreting, assessing, and incorporating such measures in their areas of research. In particular, students will learn about common molecular measures available, including such measures into clinical research, and interactions between genes and other exposures.

EPI 219: Molecular and Genetic Epidemiology II

Spring
2 units
Saunek Sen

The focus of this course is on statistical concepts and specialized statistical procedures commonly used in genetics. It covers basic concepts such as permutation tests, likelihood ratios, multiple comparisons; study designs such as family-based and population based association studies; and special topics of current interest, such as genomewide association studies, population structure.

Spring Mini Courses and Requirements

Spring

UCSF Basic Science Graduate Programs collaborate to offer elective courses that allow for diversification of curriculum.

https://minicourses.ucsf.edu/

Next topic: Admissions