At CU Pharmacy, we’re training scientists who make an impact. Our doctoral program in pharmaceutical sciences is focused on solving problems. In particular, the program covers the formulation, synthesis, manufacturing, development, stability, biophysical analysis, characterization, delivery, and biodistribution of small molecules and biopharmaceutical agents.
Our goals are to provide the best training for students interested in pursuing careers in biopharmaceutical drug development; conduct high-quality research relevant to pharmaceutical biotechnology; offer innovative educational programs; and to support the biopharmaceutical industry, especially in Colorado.
Here, you’ll have access to a wide range of researchers and research equipment; cross-training with chemical engineers; essential non-scientific training in regulatory affairs, business topics and pharmacoeconomics; experience with real world compounds and research and development problems; and interaction with industry scientists.
We have a strong track record of setting our students up for success. Graduates of our program have advanced into successful careers as senior scientists in the pharmaceutical industry and academia. We’re here to make sure you have the training you need to pursue a career in drug and biopharmaceutical discovery, development or clinical optimization.
As part of the CU Anschutz Graduate School, all PhD students in good academic standing are guaranteed financial support.
All regular full-time departmental faculty in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences are formal members of the pharmaceutical sciences graduate program and can take students into their laboratories if appropriate.
On average, students in this program earn their PhDs in 5.5 years.
The normal requirements for admission to the graduate program in pharmaceutical sciences include a bachelor of arts or science degree from an accredited institution, as well as an academic record which satisfies the minimum admission requirements established by the CU Graduate School. Admissions are for the fall semester only.
An undergraduate degree in pharmacy, chemistry, biology, or chemical engineering is excellent preparation for graduate training in pharmaceutical sciences; however, no specific undergraduate major is required. All applicants for the program should have completed a year of study in the following subjects: general chemistry, organic chemistry, calculus, biology, and physics. In addition, courses in the following subjects will be highly recommended to supplement the student’s background: biochemistry, statistics, cell biology, physical chemistry, computer science, and immunology. Under special circumstances, deficiencies in important areas may be made up within the first year after entrance into the program.
Normally, admission to the program will be dependent upon an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or better. Students applying with a GPA less than 3.0 may be considered individually on a provisional basis. If you do not have a degree from a U.S. or Canadian institution, your official transcript will be evaluated by the Office of International Affairs.
The admission deadline for completed applications to be received at the School of Pharmacy is Dec. 1. Given that admission to the program is very competitive, it is impossible to evaluate your qualifications for admission (test scores, grades) until the selection committee assesses the entire applicant pool.
Admission to the program includes financial support via a stipend awarded on a 12-month basis. Based on the rules of the CU Anschutz Graduate School, all PhD students in good academic standing are guaranteed financial support.
Although a priority of the School of Pharmacy is to provide financial support to our graduate students, payment of stipend, tuition and any fees by the School of Pharmacy or by grants, contracts or gifts to the School of Pharmacy faculty is contingent upon satisfactory academic progress (as defined by the graduate school’s Pharmaceutical Sciences Graduate Student Handbook) and completion of required teaching duties, core courses, research rotations, seminars, and examinations (as listed on the progress report form). We also reserve the right to review and adjust our funding policies at any time. All students are expected to work full-time toward program requirements for 12 months of the year.
|PHSC 7310||Fundamentals of Pharmaceutical Sciences||3 credits|
|PHSC 7320||Physical Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences||3 credits|
|PHSC 7400||Ethical Issues in Toxicology and Pharmaceutical Sciences||1 credit|
|PHSC 7650||Research Rotation in Pharmaceutical Sciences (two required)||1 credit|
|PHSC 7568||Seminar in Pharmaceutical Sciences (each semester)||1 credit|
|PHSC 7330||Development of Drugs and Biologics||2 credits|
|PHSC 8990||Doctoral Thesis||≥30 credits|
|PHSC 7608||Molecular Interactions||3 credits|
|PHSC 7609||Biophysics and Spectroscopy||2 credits|
|PHSC 7651/CHEN 5838||Pharmaceutical Biotechnology||3 credits|
|PHSC 7345||Nanotechnology and Drug Delivery||2 credits|
|PHSC 7353||Protein Formulation||2 credits|
|PHSC 7660||Liposome-based Drug Delivery||2 credits|
|PHSC 7665||Pharmacokinetic Principles and Applications||3 credits|
Through the pharmaceutical sciences graduate program, our goal is to educate pre-doctoral students to develop independent research careers in pharmaceutical sciences with a basic, clinical or pharmaceutical outcomes emphasis. Upon completion of the graduate program, our students use their training to make a difference in academia, industry or government. The learning objectives for the graduate program are:
The following are specific rules approved by the graduate faculty of the School of Pharmacy for graduate studies leading to doctor of philosophy degree in toxicology. All other requirements for these degrees will follow the guidelines of the Graduate School, which can be found in the Pharmaceutical Sciences Graduate Student Handbook. The student carries the major responsibility of meeting the rules of the School of Pharmacy and the Graduate School. Failure to meet the following rules and guidelines may result in delay of graduation.
|Keisha Alexander is a native of the Caribbean island of St. Lucia. She completed her B.S in Forensic Science from John Jay college in 2014. While at JJay she researched chaperone mediated amyloid formation in yeast strains and its homology in neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson and Alzheimer disease. Following graduation, she worked as a Biology and Physics adjunct lecturer, before moving on to a clinical toxicology lab where her interest in drug design and formulations grew. Keisha then enrolled in the Pharmaceutical Science program in 2017 where she joined Dr. D’Alessandro lab. Her thesis research is focused on investigating the effects of gender and sex-hormones on the propensity for hemolysis on stored blood. Her research is geared towards transfusion medicine and the effect that hormones have on blood aging and metabolism.|
|Sarah Asby graduated from the University of Virginia in 2018 with a B.S. in Engineering Science-Nanomedicine Engineering and minors in Material Science Engineering and Biomedical Engineering. After graduation, Sarah worked in the Pilon-Thomas Lab in the Immunology Department at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, FL as a research associate primarily studying translational immunotherapies and mechanisms in TIL therapy of cancer. Sarah enrolled in the Pharmaceutical Science PhD program at CU Anschutz in Fall 2020 where she joined Dr. Devatha Nair’s lab, working in the fields of drug delivery, nanomedicine, and biomaterials. She is currently working on a project involving the development of nanogels for the sustained release of an immunotherapeutic peptide for glioma and is pursuing a career as a medical science liaison after graduation.|
|Brent Carrillo graduated from New Mexico State University with a B.S. in Chemical and Materials Engineering. During his time in undergrad, Brent's research spanned diverse areas including: molecular identification of plant pathogenic nematodes, improving soil water retention through slow pyrolysis of organic waste material, and total synthesis of marine natural products. While working in the natural product lab he developed an interest in pharmaceutical sciences and joined the Pharmaceutical Sciences PhD program at University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus after graduation in August 2018. Brent joined Dr. Vanessa Phelan's lab and is currently focused on researching the drivers of virulence in bacterial pathogens commonly isolated from cystic fibrosis lungs. The long-term goal of this work is to identify therapeutic targets that will help overcome bacterial antibiotic resistance and pathogenesis.|
|Samantha Crawford grew up in Northern Nevada and graduate with a B.S. in biochemistry from San Diego State University. While an undergraduate, Samantha conducted research in various avenues. She first began her research with a project involving
the detection of pancreatic cancer biomarkers using multi-photon nonlinear laser spectroscopy. She then went on to work with human hepatocellular carcinoma cell lines testing novel therapeutics. After graduating with her B.S., Samantha
joined the Pharmaceutical Sciences PhD program in August 2019. She now works as a graduate student researcher, in Thomas Delong’s lab, focusing on type I diabetes. Her project is specifically looking into the overall mechanism of
antigenic hybrid insulin peptide formation and the location of hybrid insulin peptide formation in the pancreas. Her future goal is to graduate with a PhD and go on to become a medical science liaison for a pharmaceutical company. |
|Tim earned his Bachelor's degrees in Neuroscience and Cellular, Molecular, and Developmental Biology in 2015 from the University of Colorado in Boulder, where he studied the role of neuroinflammation in drug addiction. Post-graduate research at CU Boulder explored the development of neuropathic pain and the mechanisms involved in effective therapeutic interventions, such as preemptive exercise. Tim then spent time as a lab manager at MD Anderson conducting research on chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy. Next, as a research scientist in R&D at a medical devices company, Tim helped develop and modify diagnostic ELISAs. He also conducted literature and market research for business development efforts. In August 2019, Tim joined the Pharmaceutical Sciences PhD program and is now investigating the roles of oxidative stress and redox signaling cascades in epileptogenesis in the Patel Lab. This thesis work aims to identify novel therapeutic drug targets that are involved in aberrant oxidative signaling in epilepsy. In his spare time, Tim enjoys hiking 14ers, backpacking, and skiing.|
|Kris was born in Tokyo and grew up in Las Vegas. After spending time at Montana State University, he graduated with a BS in Biology from the University of Idaho in 2014. His research focused on the effect of fluoxetine on zebrafish behavior. In 2010, he retired as champion from his family's fantasy baseball league. Kris joined the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences in 2015 to pursue pharmacogenomics research. His thesis work involves investigating the pharmacogenomics of immunosuppressant adverse effects following heart transplantation in Dr. Christina Aquilante's lab.|
|Lauren E. Thompson was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio and earned a BS in Biochemistry with a minor in Mathematics from Denison University. While in undergrad, Lauren studied genotype-guided dosing of methotrexate in a mouse model of arthritis as well as immune responses to PEG-asparaginase in ALL patients. Following graduation, Lauren joined the lab of Dr. Melanie Joy as part of the Pharmaceutical Sciences PhD program at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in August 2018. In the Joy lab, Lauren’s work primarily focuses on cisplatin-induced nephrotoxicity in cancer patients. She is currently investigating a nephroprotective compound in a mouse cancer model of cisplatin-induced acute kidney injury. She is additionally leading a clinical trial with the goals of elucidating pharmacokinetic and pharmacogenetic determinants that govern renal exposure to cisplatin, as well as the impact of 5-HT3 antagonists, a class of antiemetic drugs. This work has the ultimate goal of influencing clinical practice by enabling the informed selection of 5-HT3A antiemetic prescriptions in order to mitigate the risk of cisplatin kidney injury in cancer patients. In her free time, Lauren enjoys watching reality tv with her cat, Amira.|
|Stacey Tuey graduated from Cal Poly Pomona in 2013 with a BS in Chemistry. Her undergraduate research focused on synthesizing rigid polyurethane materials from natural seed oils for environmentally friendly consumer products. In September 2013 she began working as a Scientific Research Assistant in the Microbiology Research and Development department at Johnson & Johnson’s medical device company, Advanced Sterilization Products. Here she worked on new product development of biological indicators to be used in low-temperature sterilizers. She joined the Pharmaceutical Science PhD program in August 2016 and works in Dr. Melanie Joy’s lab. Here she has studied the influence of vitamin D on functional expression on drug metabolizing enzymes and transporters in the kidney and she also investigated utilizing 6-gingerol and bardoxolone methyl as nephroprotectants against cisplatin-induced renal toxicity in mice. She plans to focus her research on the effects of drug-drug interactions in kidney injury and disease.|
|Becka Warfield was born in Rolla, Missouri and graduated from the University of Washington Bothell with a BS in Chemistry with an emphasis Biochemistry and a Mathematics minor in 2016. Her undergraduate research focused on the in silico design and optimization of protein-protein interaction inhibitors to prevent malaria virulence. In August 2017, Becka joined the Pharmaceutical Sciences PhD program and currently works in Dr. Philip Reigan’s lab. Her thesis work is focused on applying molecular modeling and computer-aided drug design (CADD) to support rational drug design projects involving the design and development of novel small-molecule inhibitors of enzyme such as thymidine phosphorylase and Lyn kinase as a potential treatments for glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). She also performs recombinant protein and cell-based assays to assess candidate compounds and uses the assay data to further inform inhibitor design.|
|Hannah mainly grew up in New Jersey and completed her B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Rowan University with a concentration in Biological Engineering (2019). During her undergraduate studies, she interned at Dupont for 6 months and was also awarded NASA funding to work on nanoparticle drug delivery systems at Rowan University. Following graduation, Hannah joined the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences (2019) and now works in Dr. Jed Lampe’s lab. Her thesis work involves modeling the structure-inhibitory relationship (QSIR) between drug substrates and CYP3A7, the main metabolizing enzyme expressed in neonates, and predicting drug-drug interactions by in vitro screening methods. Outside of lab work, Hannah spends her time reading, hiking, rock climbing, and traveling.|