Courses | PhD in Pharmacology

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Students are required to complete 31.5 credits of coursework. A 2-credit elective is generally taken in the spring of the 2nd year.

0 credits | Summer Year 1

4 credits | Fall Year 1 | MW, 3:00pm – 5:00pm

This course focuses on the most basic principles of pharmacology and covers, in detail, molecular and cellular drug targets, drug-receptor interactions, agonism, antagonism, drug metabolism, pharmacogenomics, and pharmacokinetics. Quantitative problem solving regarding these topics will be required. An introduction to several important neurotransmitter/receptors and their signaling mechanisms is included.  This course is meant to prepare the student for Graduate Pharmacology (PHAR504) in the spring.

There are two exams (~35% each) and approximately 22 quizzes (~30%).  Quizzes occur at 3:00 to 3:10 and cover the material in the previous lecture.  At least 3 of the lowest scores for each student will be dropped.   For this reason, there are no makeup or late quizzes for any reason.

5 credits | Fall Year 1 | MWF, 10:00am – 12:00pm

4 credits | Fall Year 1 | MW, 1:00pm – 3:00pm

2 credits | Fall Year 1 | Friday, 4:00pm – 5:00pm

The course provides a survey of research in neuroscience currently underway at Georgetown University. Each semester the course is given, 16 faculty present the research topic being studied in their laboratories with an emphasis on experimental design strategies and choices. Different faculty are chosen to present in different semesters. Students are given a reading list for each topic and the formal presentation by the faculty member is followed by an interactive discussion session. Students prepare a mini-grant proposal on a research topic chosen in consultation with the course director and a faculty member with expertise on the topic.

0 credits | Fall Year 1

10 credits | Spring Year 1 | Monday, 9:45am – 12:00pm

2 credits | Spring Year 1 | Wednesday, 5:00pm – 7:00pm

0 credits | Spring Year 1

X credits | Fall Year 2 | Thursday, 1:30pm – 3:00pm

This course is designed to help students critically read and evaluate primary literature. Faculty direct readings and discussion of papers in an area of study that is focused. Each student is responsible for all aspects of each paper for every session.

Recommended Fall Electives


CLTR 501: Introduction to Biostatistics in Clinical Research

INNS 520: Translational Neuroscience

MICB 606: Public Policy for Scientists

NSCI 501: Cell. and Mol. Neuroscience

NSCI 502: Cell. and Mol. Neuroscience

NSCI 521: Functional MRI: Theory & Practice  

NSCI 534: Neurobiology of Disease

NSCI 558: Molecular Mechanisms of Neurodegeneration

NSCI 599: Practical Data Analysis and Experimental Design

PHAR 584: Introduction to Pharmacology

PHAR 588: Drugs, the Brain, and Behavior I

PHAR 604: Medicinal Plants and Pharmacognosy

PHAR 630: Redox Signaling & Free Radical Biology

PHAR 901: Tutorial in Pharmacology

PHAR 906: Research in Pharmacology

TBIO 508: Cellular and Molecular Aspects of the Transformed Cell

TBIO 523: Cancer Epigenetics

TBIO 525: Cancer Genetics

Recommended Spring Electives


BCHB 522: Drug Targets/Drug Design

BCHB 515: Intro to Bioinformatics

CLTR 506: Study and Clinical Trial Design

CLTR 507: Epidemiologic Methods

CLTR 700: Aspects of Drug Development

INNS 531: Neurobiology of Drug Addiction

MICB 705: Science Diplomacy and World Health

NSCI 533: Neurobiology of Disease

NSCI 601: Topics in Synaptic Transmission

PBIO 529: Human Nutrition and Health

PHAR 510: Neuropsychopharmacology

PHAR 534: Ethical Issues in Scientific Research

PHAR 589: Drugs, the Brain, and Behavior II

PHAR 592: Introduction to Toxicology

PHAR 605: Advanced Topics in Nutrition

PHAR 607: Dietary Supplements – Healthcare

PHAR 840: Systems Concepts and Drug Safety

PHAR 842: Regulatory Pharmacokinetics

PHAR 902: Tutorial in Pharmacology

PHAR 907: Research in Pharmacology

TBIO 536: Cancer Pharmacology 

TBIO 588: Preparing a Scientific Paper

Summer Recommended Electives


PHAR 606: Human Nutrition & Obesity

PHSL 050: Human Physiology