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Tufts University Introduces New Master's Program in Pharmacology and Drug Development

2/6/2013 12:26:55 PM

BOSTON — Beginning in September 2013, the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences at Tufts University will offer a two-year Master of Science degree program in pharmacology and drug development. The program addresses the increasing market need for trainees in basic and clinical pharmacology and related fields.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of medical scientists is projected to increase by 36 percent between 2010 and 2020, significantly more than the average growth for other occupations. A large percentage of the growth in jobs is expected to be in the private sector, driven in part by the laboratory expertise needed to develop new pharmaceuticals.

The new program is suitable for those currently working in the biomedical industry who wish to acquire additional skills for career advancement, as well as students who have completed their baccalaureate education and are interested in starting a career in pharmacology or drug development. The program is also appropriate for international students who have completed their undergraduate and/or graduate education abroad and are seeking additional training opportunities in the United States.

“If we are to translate basic science into new treatments more effectively and accelerate drug research and development, the biomedical and pharmaceutical industries need more scientists trained in drug development, delivery systems, metabolism, and safety,” said Naomi Rosenberg, Ph.D., dean of the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences and vice dean for research at Tufts University School of Medicine. “The program draws on faculty from basic sciences and clinical departments, anchored by the deep expertise of the faculty in pharmacology and experimental therapeutics, to meet this increasing need.”

In the first year of the program, students will focus on coursework in basic and clinical pharmacology as it relates to scientific inquiry, laboratory research methodology, and drug development. During the second year of the program, mentored students will conduct original, publication-quality, biomedical research. Qualified candidates may apply to transfer into the Ph.D. program in Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics at the Sackler School in the second year of training.

“Students in the program have the opportunity to learn about the discovery, design, safety, and interaction of drugs,” said Emmanuel N. Pothos, Ph.D., director of the Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics graduate program that offers the M.S. degree in Pharmacology and Drug Development, associate professor at Tufts University School of Medicine, and member of the Neuroscience, and Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics program faculties at the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences at Tufts. “As the pharmaceutical industry continues to expand, master’s degree holders are playing a more significant role in drug development. This program offers students with the training needed to understand the mechanisms of drug action and contribute to research to develop effective therapies and treatments.”

The program expects to admit between three and ten students in its first year. The application deadline for September enrollment is April 1, 2013.

For more information about the program, please visit:

About Tufts University School of Medicine and the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences

Tufts University School of Medicine and the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences at Tufts University are international leaders in innovative medical education and advanced research. The School of Medicine and the Sackler School are renowned for excellence in education in general medicine, biomedical sciences, public health, health communication, special combined degree programs in business, health management, public health, bioengineering and international relations, as well as basic and clinical research at the cellular and molecular level. Ranked among the top in the nation, the School of Medicine is affiliated with six major teaching hospitals and more than 30 health care facilities. Tufts University School of Medicine and the Sackler School undertake research that is consistently rated among the highest in the nation for its effect on the advancement of medical science.

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