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Course Descriptions

Department of Pharmacology

UVa Health System
Jordan Hall
P.O. Box 800735
Charlottesville, VA 22908-0735
(434) 924-1919 Fax: (434) 982-3878

Degree Requirements

The curriculum for each student will be developed with the aid of the graduate committee. During the first year, trainees will rotate through various laboratories in the department, and participate in Journal Club. In addition, the following required courses will be taken: general biochemistry, cell biology, graduate physiology, and two elective courses. In the second year, students enroll in molecular biology and general and advanced pharmacology courses.

The program is flexible and with the exception of the required courses above, other course work will be tailored to the needs and desires of the individual student. Advanced graduate courses are available in most areas of pharmacology, as listed above, as well as in allied sciences such as cell biology, biochemistry, anatomy, physiology, microbiology, and medicinal chemistry. Most formal courses, with the exception of seminar and Journal Club, will be completed within the first two years.

Each student is required to present and defend a detailed research proposal before a faculty committee. This proposition defense is to be completed by July 1 at the end of the fourth semester.

Research for the dissertation is regarded as the major training of the candidate. An independent research project must be completed under the close supervision of an advisor and a thesis committee. The research is started as early as possible in the candidate’s program, usually in the second year.

The final examination for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy is devoted entirely to defense of the dissertation by the candidate.

Course Descriptions


PHAR 701, 702 - (1) (S)
Seminar in Pharmacology
Recent developments in pharmacology are presented by outside speakers at weekly intervals to faculty, staff and students. Students participate by meeting with the speaker for one to two hours during the day of the seminar. One hour weekly during both the first and second semesters.

PHAR 730 - (7) (Y)
General Pharmacology
Prerequisite: BIOC 503 and PHY 701.
A lecture course covering the major fields of pharmacology for medical students. The principal current drugs are discussed in detail as prototypes. Emphasizes mechanism of action, drug distribution and biotransformation in the body, testing new drugs in experimental animals and in the human, and adverse reactions to drugs and toxicology.

PHAR 811, 812 - (1) (S)
Pharmacology Literature
A continuing seminar based on papers in the current literature. Required participation by departmental staff, fellows, and graduate students. One hour per week.

PHAR 813, 814 - (1) (IR)
Tutorial in Pharmacology
Students meet for one hour per week with assigned tutors and discuss, in depth, problems related to pharmacology.

PHAR 897 - (3-12) (S-SS)
Non-Topical Research, Preparation for Research
For master’s research, taken before a thesis director has been selected.

PHAR 898 - (3-12) (S-SS)
Non-Topical Research
For master’s thesis, taken under the supervision of a thesis director.

PHAR 901 - (4) (Y)
Human Pharmacology
Graduate Pharmacology course which provides a knowledge of systems based drug intervention. Lectures emphasize the pharmacological properties of drug classes and their use in common human diseases for graduate students. Discusses major issues associated with the use of these drugs and requires a familiarity with the assigned materials.

PHAR 902 - (4) (Y)
Molecular Characterization of Drug Targets
Studies the biochemical and molecular aspects of the transmembrane signaling mechanisms that are known targets for important classes of clinically useful drugs. Covers potential drug targets in diseases such as cancer. Emphasizes current knowledge of important signaling mechanisms and examples of the research leading to the design of important therapeutic agents. A seminar course that focuses on how an important drug target can be identified and exploited.

PHAR 994 - (3-12) (S-SS)

PHAR 995, 996 - (Credit to be arranged) (S-SS)
Original research on approved problems.

PHAR 997 - (3-12) (S-SS)
Non-Topical Research, Preparation for Doctoral Research
For doctoral research, taken before a dissertation director has been selected.

PHAR 999 - (3-12) (S-SS)
Non-Topical Research
For doctoral dissertation, taken under the supervision of a dissertation director.

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