Pharmacology and Therapeutics Discovery

The multidisciplinary training area in Pharmacology and Therapeutics Discovery provides cutting-edge training at the intersection between computation and experiments, to train you as part of our next generation of physicians and biomedical scientists. We facilitate discovery and development of chemical probes to study the pathophysiology of human diseases, aiming at new therapeutics and personalized medicine. We are a multidisciplinary training area in the PhD in Biomedical Sciences Program.

Faculty in the Pharmacology and Therapeutics Discovery training area research all steps in the drug development process, including structure-based identification of drug targets, computer-aided drug design, rationale synthesis of small molecules, disease mechanisms, characterization of drug effects in cellular and animal models, and systems pharmacology predictions using multiscale mathematical models.

Our personalized curriculum has been designed for our diverse student body, to help you obtain rigorous training at the junction of computation and experimentation. 


Our Students

We welcome students from both traditional and nontraditional paths into the PhD program. Our students have undergraduate degrees in mathematics, physics, computer science, engineering, chemistry, biochemistry, biology, pharmacology, genetics, and many other subjects. If you come to us with a more biological background, you will have the opportunity to obtain rigorous training in biophysical, chemical, and computational approaches to biological research. If yours is a more technical background, you will be getting your first sustained exposure to biological research during your PhD training at the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. 

Students of our Pharmacology, Therapeutics and Discovery training area are widely published early in their academic and professional careers.

Meet our current students and view their published studies.

Our Directors & Faculty

Meet Our Co-Directors

Jian Jin, PhD, is a Professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Systems Therapeutics. Dr. Jin’s laboratory is a leading group in discovering selective inhibitors of protein methyltransferases and functionally selective ligands of G protein-coupled receptors. To date, Dr. Jin has published >100 peer-reviewed original research papers and delivered >80 invited talks. He is also an inventor of 10 issued U.S. patents and 38 published PCT patent applications

Iban Ubarretxena, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Structural and Chemical Biology. Dr. Ubarretxena is an expert in the application of cryo-electron microscopy to study protein structure. His laboratory focuses on the structural biology of neurodegenerative diseases.

Meet Our Faculty

Meet the accomplished faculty members of the Pharmacology, Therapeutics and Discovery Training Area.

Our Learning Environment & Research Areas

Explore the many areas of research that our faculty and students are active in.

We provide an educational environment in Pharmacology and Therapeutics Discovery (PTD) that fosters all the training you need to discover and design new drug-like molecules that can modulate the function of biological systems.

You will gain a thorough understanding of drugs and drug targets under investigation using a variety of approaches ranging from structural, computational, molecular, and cell biology to biochemistry and synthetic chemistry. As a student in PTD, you also gain a deep understanding of biological systems and disease states through training that emphasizes a quantitative, predictive understanding of physiology, pharmacology, organ-level research, and animal studies.

Technology-based approaches we use in PTD research laboratories include: X-ray crystallography, NMR spectroscopy, electron microscopy, mass spectrometry, single-molecule imaging, chemical synthesis, proteomics, molecular modeling, bioinformatics, molecular dynamics simulations, mathematical modeling, next generation sequencing, cheminformatics, virtual screening, and other rational drug discovery methods.

After completing training in PTD, our graduates become leaders in academic laboratories, in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries, and with regulatory agencies.