fluorescent green and blue cells glow under a microscope

PhD Program Overview

The Pharmaceutical Sciences PhD Program at the University of Wisconsin–Madison provides a rigorous background in scientific disciplines that are critical to the preparation of the next generation of pharmaceutical scientists. With approximately 30 faculty trainers and approximately 65 graduate students, the program’s interdisciplinary training combines pharmaceutically relevant aspects of classical disciplines such as chemistry, biology, and engineering. This training allows our graduates to pursue careers in academia, industry, government, and other sectors.

Students earn a PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences, concentrating in one of three research cores:  Drug DiscoveryDrug Action, or Drug Delivery.

Research in Drug Discovery focuses on areas related to medicinal chemistry such as small molecule development, natural products isolation and characterization, organic synthesis, chemical biology, and rational drug design.

Drug Action  research focuses on areas related to pharmacology, toxicology, cellular differentiation, development, and disease. Interests include the impact of drugs and toxins on biological systems, mechanisms of normal biology, and mechanisms of disease. These are studied at the cellular, genetic, molecular, and biochemical levels using diverse model systems.

Drug Delivery research emphasizes principles in physical chemistry and drug transport, aiming for advances in formulation, drug targeting, and multi-modal therapy. This includes research involving biomaterials, cell engineering, immunotherapy, liquid biopsy, molecular recognition, molecular imaging, nanomedicine, pharmacokinetics, and solid-state chemistry.

Our students have undergraduate degrees across a wide range of disciplines in the physical (such as chemistry) sciences, biological sciences, engineering sciences, pharmacy, and related fields. Applicants admitted to our program commonly have significant research experience, strong scientific backgrounds, and a passion for scientific discovery. Our program is dedicated to creating inclusive learning and working environments for all students, faculty, and staff. To sustain an innovative research environment, we are committed to admitting students from diverse backgrounds.

We invite you to explore our webpages to learn more about the Pharmaceutical Sciences Division, our PhD program, and life in Madison.

Lara Collier, PhD
Director of Graduate Studies
Pharmaceutical Sciences PhD program

Contact us at: gradprograms@pharmacy.wisc.edu

Other Degrees in the School of Pharmacy

BS Pharmacology – Toxicology

An interdisciplinary, research-driven, biomedical health focused undergraduate major

Doctor of Pharmacy

4-year program that trains students to become a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD)

Psychoactive Pharmaceutical Investigation, MS

An interdisciplinary Master’s program focused on the psychoactive pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical industries (psychedelic, entheogen, and cannabinoid research/application)

Applied Drug Development, MS

An accelerated master’s program focused on developing practical and professional skills needed across the lifecycle of drug development, manufacturing, and ongoing safety management

Health System Pharmacy Administration, MS/Residency

A combined Master’s degree and residency that provides a solid background in academics and the administration of exemplary pharmacy services across an integrated health system

Health Services Research in Pharmacy, PhD

Prepares health services researchers to best meet the needs of patients and the communities in which they live, with a focus on improving medication outcomes

Questions about our program?

Check our FAQ page for detailed answers to common questions

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