Our faculty provide training in biopharmaceutics and pharmacokinetics to students seeking the PharmD degree and licensure as a Pharmacist in the state of Washington.
The Department is also responsible for the training of students seeking a PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences as a prerequisite qualification for a career in the pharmaceutical industry, academia and with state and federal regulatory agencies.
In addition to our instructional mission, the department conducts cutting edge research to create and disseminate new knowledge in the pharmaceutical sciences and to provide service to citizens of the State of Washington and national and international public communities.
Scope of our Instructional and Research Programs
Professional Training Program. The faculty in Pharmaceutics provides training and expertise in drug formulation, drug delivery and drug disposition to students seeking the Pharm.D. degree. Up until the early 1970's, training of the pharmacist emphasized the fundamentals of drug compounding and dispensing. With the formation of the UW Pharmaceutics department in 1980 and the evolving of role of the pharmacist as a manager of safe and effective drug therapies, the pharmaceutics curriculum expanded to include an understanding of drug delivery systems and the biological fate of drugs in the body. Taking advantage of a long-standing research program on drug-drug interactions, the faculty in Pharmaceutics currently provides students with a core understanding of the biological mechanisms by which one drug can adversely alter the disposition of another, and the potential clinical consequences of these changes. More recently, we have expanded our Pharm.D. training to include a strong understanding of other causes of interindividual variability in drug response, including pharmacogenetics and disease, and similar aspects of drug delivery, disposition and response for the rapidly emerging field of biotherapeutics.
Graduate Training and Research. The Department of Pharmaceutics is also responsible for the training of students seeking a Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences as a prerequisite qualification for a career in the drug industry or as an academic scientist. Areas of specialization for Pharmaceutics graduate students have generally followed the research interests of the faculty: they include drug biotransformation and transport kinetics, mechanisms of drug-drug interactions, and the biology of inter-individual variability in drug disposition as it relates to drug safety and efficacy. In recent years, there has been a particular emphasis on elucidating the molecular mechanisms of drug transporter and metabolism gene regulation, in order to understanding how variation in gene sequences and the environment (including natural changes associated with pregnancy and aging) influence drug disposition phenotype and drug response. In addition to these traditional areas of strength, the Department is working in collaboration with colleagues in the Departments of Medicinal Chemistry and Bioengineering to create a new program in antiviral therapeutics that emphasizes biophysical approaches to understanding and enhancing drug delivery to privileged sites in the body and the development of novel anti-viral vaccines.
Running through all of the different areas of graduate research and training in pharmaceutics is an emphasis on the translation of basic science discoveries into clinical practice, leading to a transformation in the provision of drug therapies. Accordingly, thesis research often spans experimentation using subcellular fractions, cultured cell systems and state-of-the-art molecular diagnostic and cellular imaging tools, as well as hypothesis-driven experimentation in animals (including transgenic models) and healthy volunteers or patients that provide insight into the in vitro to in vivo penetrance and correlation of important biological observations.