Pharmacology and Neuroscience

v[Fields of Study]

Nathalie Sumien, Ph.D., Graduate Advisor
Center for Biohealth 517
817-735-2389
E-mail:nsumien@hsc.unt.edu

Graduate Faculty: Barber, R. Cunningham, Das, Forster, Gatch, Gonzales, Jin, Jung, Luedtke, Machu, Oglesby, Prokai-Tatrai, Schetz, D. Schreihofer, M. Singh, Sumien, Uht, Uteshev, Yorio

The Department of Pharmacology and Neuroscience offers both M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in a wide range of research areas. Pharmacology is a discipline that bridges the basic and clinical sciences. Classically, pharmacologists sought to understand the pharmacological responses, mechanisms and clinical uses of drugs. In recent decades, the scope of pharmacology has expanded dramatically and includes cutting edge research in signal transduction and molecular biology.

With the "graying of America," society is faced with increasing numbers of individuals affected with disorders of the nervous system. For example, it is estimated that by the year 2020, more than 14 million Americans will have Alzheimer's Disease. Research in neuroscience includes efforts aimed at delineating the mechanisms of these debilitating neurological and neurodegenerative diseases, as well as fundamental studies to gain understanding of how the brain functions. The Department of Pharmacology and Neuroscience has active research programs in these areas, as well as programs in cellular and molecular signaling, vision and glaucoma, molecular and behavioral analysis of substance abuse, and new drug discovery.

Students accepted into the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences will be given two to three semesters to identify a mentor and a home department/program. Students with a variety of academic backgrounds may gain acceptances to the Pharmacology and Neuroscience program, providing they have completed a number of prerequisite courses. All students entering the program will complete an integrated biomedical science core curriculum that includes fundamental principles of biochemistry, cellular and molecular biology, microbiology and immunology, pharmacology, physiology and neurobiology. Following the completion of the core curriculum, students may choose from a number of advanced courses in Pharmacology and Neuroscience that are related to their individual research interests. Students will also be mandated to participate in seminars, work-in-progress presentations and group discussions of current research topics, and will be trained in a number of techniques required to address existing research problems in Pharmacology and Neuroscience. Both MS and PhD students will conduct original, publishable research and will be expected to present their results at national scientific conferences.

Completion of the MS degree typically requires two to three years; the PhD degree is generally completed in four to five years. Students who successfully complete a graduate degree in Pharmacology and Neuroscience will be well prepared for careers in academic and government research laboratories, as well as in the pharmaceutical/ biotechnology industry.

Degree Plans

The following are typical degree plans for students in the Pharmacology and Neuroscience discipline. It is advantageous for the student to begin graduate study in a fall semester. Degree plans may vary depending upon availability of course offerings in a given semester and each student's progress toward thesis and dissertation research.

MS Degree Plan for Pharmacology and Neuroscience

Year 1: Fall

BMSC 6301

Integrative Biomedical Sciences I: Principles of Biochemistry

4 SCH

BMSC 6302

Integrative Biomedical Sciences II: Molecular Cell Biology

4 SCH

BMSC 5135

Introduction to Faculty Research Programs

2 SCH

BMSC 5150

Lab Rotations

1 SCH

BMSC 5160

Biomedical Ethics

1 SCH


AND EITHER


PHRM 5940

Seminar in Current Topics

1 SCH


OR


PHRM 6699

Current Topics in Pharmacology

1 SCH



13 SCH




Year 1: Spring

BMSC 5310

Scientific Communications

3 SCH

BMSC 6303

Integrative Biomedical Sciences III: Physiology

3 SCH

BMSC 6304

Integrative Biomedical Sciences IV: Pharmacology

2 SCH

BMSC 6305

Integrative Biomedical Sciences V: Immunology and Microbiology

3 SCH

BMSC 5150

Lboratory Rotations

1 SCH


AND EITHER


PHRM 5940

Seminar in Current Topics

1 SCH


OR


PHRM 6699

Current Topics in Pharmacology

1 SCH



13 SCH




Year 1: Summer

BMSC 5400

Biostatistics for BMSC

4 SCH

BMSC 5998

Individual Research for MS Students

2 SCH



6 SCH




Year 2: Fall

BMSC 5395

Thesis

9 SCH*




Year 2: Spring

BMSC 5395

Thesis

9 SCH*




TOTAL


50 SCH

 *Students entering prior to Fall 2011 may take a reduced load of 6 SCH after advancing to candidacy.

PhD Degree Plan for Pharmacology and Neuroscience

Year 1: Fall

BMSC 6301

Integrative Biomedical Sciences I: Principles of Biochemistry

4 SCH

BMSC 6302

Integrative Biomedical Sciences II: Molecular Cell Biology

4 SCH

BMSC 5150

Lab Rotations

1 SCH

BMSC 5160

Biomedical Ethics

1 SCH

1 SCH


AND EITHER


PHRM 5940

Seminar in Current Topics

1 SCH


OR


PHRM 6699

Current Topics in Pharmacology

1 SCH



13 SCH




Year 1: Spring

BMSC 5310

Scientific Communications

3 SCH

BMSC 6303

Integrative Biomedical Sciences III: Physiology

3 SCH

BMSC 6304

Integrative Biomedical Sciences IV: Pharmacology

2 SCH

BMSC 6305

Integrative Biomedical Sciences V: Immunology and Microbiology

3 SCH

BMSC 5150

Laboratory Rotations

1 SCH


AND EITHER


PHRM 5940

Seminar in Current Topics

1 SCH


OR


PHRM 6699

Current Topics in Pharmacology

1 SCH



13 SCH




Year 1: Summer

BMSC 5400

Biostatistics for BMSC

4 SCH

BMSC 5150

Laboratory Rotations (if necessary)

1 SCH

BMSC 6998

Individual Research

1-2 SCH



6 SCH




Year 2: Fall

PHRM 6400

Functional Neuroscience

4 SCH

PHRM 6410

Basic and Clinical Pharmacology

4 SCH

BMSC 6998

Individual Research

1-4 SCH


Electives*

0-4 SCH



12 SCH


Year 2: Spring

BMSC 6998

Individual Research

1-8 SCH


Electives*

1-8 SCH



12 SCH




Year 2: Summer

BMSC 6998

Individual Research

6 SCH


Qualifying Examination

0 SCH



6 SCH

Year 3: Fall

BMSC 6310

Grant Writing

3 SCH

BMSC 6998

Individual Research

3-8 SCH


Electives*

0-6 SCH



12 SCH

Year 3: Spring

BMSC 69395

Doctoral Dissertation

3-9 SCH


Electives

0-3 SCH



9 SCH




Year 3: Summer

BMSC 6998

Individual Research

6 SCH

BMSC 6395

Doctoral Dissertation

3 SCH



9 SCH




Year 4: Fall

BMSC 6998

Individual Research

6 SCH

BMSC 6395

Doctoral Dissertation

3 SCH



9 SCH


Year 4: Spring

BMSC 6395

Doctoral Dissertation

9 SCH




TOTAL


110 SCH

*Elective courses must include 9 SCH in courses offered by the Department of Pharmacology and Neuroscience (below). Elective courses offered by other departments must also be taken, provided that the required electives in Pharmacology and Neuroscience are completed. Refer to the course offerings for other departments in this catalog. The successful completion of one of these courses is required before a student can take his/her oral examination.

Courses offered each year:

PHRM 5200

Intracellular Calcium Signaling

1 SCH

PHRM 5900

Special Problems

3 SCH

PHRM 5910

Special Problems

3 SCH

PHRM 6000

Functional Neuroscience

4 SCH

PHRM 6040 Neurobiological Basis of Neuropsychiatric Disorders 3 SCH

PHRM 6050

Ocular Pharmacology

3 SCH

PHRM 6200 Mitochondria and Complex Diseases 2 SCH




Courses offered "even" years:

PHRM 5470

Neuropharmacology

4 SCH

PHRM 6360 The Nuclear Receptor Superfamily: Core Principles and Relevance
to Physiology and Disease
3 SCH




Courses offered "odd" years:

PHRM 5100

Neurobiology of Aging

3 SCH

PHRM 6330

Advances in Behavioral Pharmacology

3 SCH

PHRM 6480

Receptors and Drug Acion

4 SCH


Advancement to Doctoral Candidacy

Qualifying Examination

The qualifying examination determines if the doctoral student has mastered information needed to succeed in the discipline of Pharmacology and Neuroscience. The student is required to demonstrate reasonable proficiency in the topics of pharmacology and neuroscience presented during the first two years of graduate study. An oral qualifying examination will be administered by a committee comprised of Pharmacology and Neuroscience graduate faculty, selected by the departmental graduate advisor. The student's major professor may be present but will not participate in the examination. The initial phase of the qualifying examination consists of presentation of a published pharmacology and/or neuroscience journal article, approved by the graduate advisor, with a subsequent question period. In the second phase of the examination, the student will be required to address questions on his/her knowledge of pharmacology and neuroscience.

A maximum of two attempts to pass the qualifying examination will be allowed. A doctoral student who does not pass after the second attempt may be dismissed or allowed to complete the requirements for a Master of Science degree.


Grant Writing (BMSC 6310)

Successful completion of Grant Writing (BMSC 6310) requires the preparation and oral defense of an original NIH-style grant proposal. The student's doctoral advisory committee serves as the student's grant proposal committee. The graduate advisor and the student's major professor instruct the student on the regulations of the course and assist in initiating and preparing the proposal. The proposal must consist of the student's original ideas and is expected to significantly extend scientific knowledge in the chosen research area. The student will first submit a summary report, which presents the hypothesis, experimental stragegy, and specific aims for the proposal to the examination committee within the first three weeks of the semester. Once the committee approves the summary, the student must then proceed to prepare a detailed written report of the research proposal in NIH format. The final proposal will be typed and presented to the committee at least two weeks prior to the oral defense. The student will present the proposal to faculty and graduate students. The grant proposal and presentation will be evaluated by the committee on the basis of originality and ability to organize and communicate information. A maximum of two attempts to pass will be allowed.

If the proposal and defense are satisfactory, the committee will recommend that the student be advanced to candidacy.

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This page last updated 19th Jun 2013