The doctoral degree program in Pharmaceutics trains research scholars in the fundamental aspects of drug disposition and drug action. Drug disposition pertains to the facets of drug absorption, distribution, and elimination. Areas of emphasis include: drug delivery – processes for enhancing the absorption of a drug and targeting it to the site of action in order to improve therapeutic effect, drug metabolism – enzyme catalyzed molecular transformations that often impart different disposition and pharmacological properties compared to the parent molecule, and drug excretion – the transport of drug molecules into excretory fluids such as the renal filtrate and bile.
The department of Pharmaceutics offers an MS degree which is typically completed within two years as a terminal degree. The program of course work is divided into three components: (1) prerequisites which define the level of entry into the program; (2) an abbreviated core program which is analogous to the major; and (3) seminars and literature review.
The pre-doctoral Pharmacological Sciences Training Program (PSTP) at the University of Washington (UW) is a cross-disciplinary program that represents a merger of research training opportunities in the Schools of Medicine (Dept. Pharmacology) and Pharmacy (Depts. Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmaceutics). PSTP provides traineeships for 12 graduate students working towards their PhD in the broad areas of “Drug Action, Metabolism and Kinetics,” but following more specific tracks that emphasize training in:
- cellular and molecular pharmacology;
- structure and drug/vaccine design;
- drug metabolism;
- pharmacokinetics/dynamics and drug transport.