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Medical Pharmacology

Overview: 
The Department of Pharmacology primarily admits graduate-level students into the Ph.D. program in Medical Pharmacology. The Department also offers an M.S. degree as well as an M.S. degree in Perfusion Sciences. Students who earn a graduate degree in Medical Pharmacology are well prepared for careers in as scientists at academic or private research institutions, pharmaceutical or biotechnology companies, or within government agencies (i.e., FDA).
 
Students in the Ph.D. program complete their coursework, defend their dissertation, and graduate after approximately 5 years. M.S. students typically complete their program after two years of study. M.S. students that are interested in continuing in the program as a Ph.D. student must apply for admission to the Medical Pharmacology Ph.D. program.
 
At present, Medical Pharmacology students conduct research in the following areas:
 
  • Cardiovascular Pharmacology
  • Clinical Pharmacology
  • Immunopharmacology
  • Molecular Pharmacology
  • Neuropharmacology
  • Neuroscience and Pain
  • Toxicology
                       
Graduate-level courses offered by the Department of Pharmacologyl provide opportunities to discuss pharmacological principles and advanced topics in the pharmacological sciences with established investigators. All graduate-level course will teach students i) how to approach and critically evaluate scientific literature; ii) how to design experiments to test specific hypotheses; and iii) how to give a high-level scientific presentation.
Expected Learning Outcomes: 
By completion of the Ph.D. program in Medical Pharmacology, students will:
 
1.   Attain significant breadth of knowledge in the pharmacological sciences.
2.   Have an adequate depth of knowledge in sub-disciplines of science(s), including knowledge of the literature, concepts and experimental approaches in the field of specialization appropriate for student’s minor.
3.   Develop the ability to think critically and independently about topics in the pharmacological sciences and to express these thoughts both orally and in writing.
4.   Appreciate the intricacies of experimental design and develop into a careful and technically capable bench scientist.
5.   Acquire the ability to communicate and produce publishable research in pharmacology.
6.   Understand the principles of responsible conduct of research including, but not limited to, appropriate methods of data analysis and use of experimental subjects (i.e., humans, animals).
Assessment Activities: 
ACTIVITIES – Assessment
 
The Medical Pharmacology Ph.D. program requires a student to complete a written and oral comprehensive exam based upon their coursework, the student’s research presentations, participation in weekly journal club, and a defense of the doctoral dissertation. This assessment activity will be used to gather program level assessment data.
 

 

 
Assessment Activities
Outcome 1:
Knowledge of the Pharmacological Sciences
 
Outcome 2:
Knowledge of literature, concepts and experimental approaches in the field
Outcome 3:
Ability to think and write as a pharmacologist
Outcome 4:
Ability to communicate and publish research
Outcome 5:
Ability to follow scientific / ethical principles
Oral Seminar Presentation
 
 
Journal Club
Participation
 X
 
 
X
X
 
 
X
X
 
 
 
X
 
 
 
X
 
 
X
Written & Oral Comp Exams
X
X
X
 
X
Written Dissertation
& Oral defense of Dissertation
X
X
X
X
X

 

The rubric was developed following consultation with the faculty. Each faculty committee member completes this form after the student’s seminar presentation, written & oral comp exams and the student’s final oral defense and written dissertation. The faculty chair of the committee submits the scored rubrics to the program coordinator in the department. Once each year, at a last spring or early summer faculty meeting, the summarized data are reviewed by the faculty. The table below (Assessment Findings) shows the summary that will be completed with average scores after our annual faculty discussions. The department began collection of rubric data in Fall 2012. Rubric data has been collected each and every year since 2012 and was expanded in 2014 to include the weekly journal club meeting.
 
Rubric Assessment Form: Pharmacology Seminar Presentation (attached file below)
Rubric Assessment Form: Written/Oral Comprehensive Exam (attached file below)
Rubric Assessment Form: Dissertation & Defense (attached file below)
 
 
 
Assessment Findings: 
FINDINGS – Assessment
 
Criterion

Outcomes

Measured

Name of

Assessment

Avg Score

2012-2013

Avg Score

2013-2014

Avg Score

2014-2015

Avg Score

2015-2016

Avg Score

2016-2017

 

Knowledge of the Field

 

#1

Oral Seminar

Journal Club

Written/Oral Comp

Final Defense

4.0

NA

4.0

4.0

4.0

NA

4.0

4.5

4.5

4.0

4.0

4.5

4.5

4.5

4.0

4.5

4.5

4.5

4.0

4.5

Clearly stated problem &

Analysis of the Literature

#2 & #5

Oral Seminar

Journal Club

Final Defense

3.5

NA

4.5

3.5

NA

4.5

3.5

4.0

4.5

4.0

4.0

4.5

4.5

4.5

4.5

 

Appropriate Study Design

 

#2, #3 & #5

Oral Seminar

Final Defense

3.5

4.0

4.0

4.5

4.0

4.5

4.0

4.5

4.0

4.5

 

Appropriate Data Analysis

 

#3 & #5

Oral Seminar

Written/Oral Comp

Final Defense

4.0

4.0

4.5

4.0

4.0

4.5

4.0

4.0

4.5

4.5

4.0

4.5

4.5

4.0

4.5

 

Quality of Dissertation

(Includes quality of written thesis and ability

to defend scientific results)

 

#3, #4 & #5 Final Defense 4.3 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5

 

Ability to Extrapolate to Broader Implications

 

#3 & #4

Oral Seminar

Final Defense

3.0

4.0

4.0

4.5

3.5

4.5

4.0

4.5

4.0

4.5

 

Anticipates Next Level of Inquiry

 

#3 & #4

Oral Seminar

Final Defense

3.0

4.0

4.0

4.5

3.5

4.5

4.0

4.5

4.0

4.5

 
Change in Response to Findings: 
Through the use of faculty assessment rubrics during written/oral comprehensive exams and the final defense, in which identical assessment questions are answered for all students, we have observed increased standardization among student committee meetings, oral comprehensive exams, and final defenses. The use of these assessment rubrics has enabled our faculty to enhance the student experience in the Medical Pharmacology program and to ensure that each student receives the best possible training in pharmacology. Specifically, our faculty has made considerable efforts to ensure that students improve their ability to develop and test a scientific hypothesis and to understand how scientific experiments are to be designed. As a result, our students have made great strides in these areas over the past 5 years.
Updated date: Thu, 05/04/2017 - 15:32