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.
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- Required courses
- Other course and program requirements that are part of the first year of training
- Program requirements after year one
- Electives (must take one in fall and one in winter of first year)
- Spring mini courses and requirements
PSPG 245 A: Basic Principles of Pharmaceutical Sciences
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.1: Systems Pharmacology
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.
PSPG 245 B.2: Systems Pharmacogenomics
A series of lectures and hands-on workshops designed to teach students core principles in systems biology and pharmacogenomics approaches. Example topics include precision medicine, drug development, drug repurposing, big data analysis and biomarker discovery. The purpose is to acquaint students with emerging topics in the field and provide a firm basis in computational analysis and programming through hand on, project oriented workshops.
PSPG 245 C: Basic Principles of Pharmaceutical Sciences (also offered as a spring mini course under PG 219: Special Topics)
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
Sessions cover data management, animals in research, human subjects in research, rules and etiquette of publications, procedures and rules of grants, corporate-academic interactions.
PSPG 206: Rotations
Fall/winter/spring, year one only
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
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
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
A series of weekly presentations of the research interests of the PSPG faculty members.
PSPG 250: Research
PSPG 266: Research Planning Conference
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.
What is pharmacology? How are drugs discovered? How do they work? How is it determined whether a drug is safe and effective?
In this course, we explore these questions, at molecular, cellular and systems levels, by looking at drugs that target key genes/pathways in several major organs/systems or diseases, including neurological, cardiovascular, endocrine, pulmonary, and infectious microbes/viruses. Lectures will be presented and active classroom participations (e.g., questions and discussions) are encouraged; recommended readings (review or research article) will be assigned by each lecturer and read by students prior to attending the lectures. We also recommend the comprehensive “Basic & Clinical Pharmacology” by Katzung and Trevor as a reference book for the course.
At the end of the course, students will write a review (between 4-6 double-spaced pages) and give a presentation, on a topic approved by the course director, and. selected from the following: 1) Identify a drug or a class of drugs in the organ systems/disease areas covered in this course, describe how they are discovered, their mechanisms of action (at molecular cellular and systems levels), and safety/efficacy profiles. Or 2) Identify a disease of interest in the organ systems/disease areas covered in this course, for which new or better treatments are needed, and describe the ongoing efforts in discovering and developing new drugs.
BMS 255: Principles of Genetics
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
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
Charles S. 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.
EPI 217: Molecular and Genetic Epidemiology I
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
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.
Minicourses: UCSF Basic Science Graduate Programs collaborate to offer elective courses that allow for diversification of curriculum.