The Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, College of Pharmacy provides an environment for students, faculty and other researchers to achieve excellence in pharmacy education, research and service. The faculty is deeply committed to provide rigorous academic education in the (PharmD) professional and (MS and PhD) graduate programs, while providing cutting edge research in the laboratory using state-of-the art equipment and facilities located in the College of Pharmacy and in the Durham Research Center.
Members of the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences are involved in a wide range of multidisciplinary research from the design of new drugs to innovative ways to the study of their effects at the cellular and molecular levels. Beginning with drug discovery, researchers in the Department have synthesized a new, novel antimalarial compound that is currently in clinical trial, and was recently featured on a BBC television program.
The Center of Drug Delivery and Nanomedicine (CDDN) was established in 2004 as these disciplines represent a major research focus within the Department and across the campus. Researchers from other departments and colleges on campus are members of the CDDN, thus stimulating additional, multidisciplinary collaborations. Numerous faculty members are involved in research to discover innovative delivery systems such as, nanoparticles, nanogels, micelles, polyelectrolyte complexes etc., to more effectively deliver drugs and genes to target cells using ligands or magnetism. Others are investigating new methods to manufacture delivery systems such as, supercritical fluid technology.
The Nanoimaging Core Facility within the Department provides researchers, locally and nationally, with the ability to study the assembly of multicomponent biological complexes, protein trafficking, interactions between drug carrying particles and cells, intracellular trafficking of particulate delivery systems, and even measure interactions between individual molecules.
The Pharmacokinetics Core Facility provides pharmacokinetic expertise to researchers on campus including the Lied Transplant Center. Research on ophthalmic drug therapy is also a major focus. The development of new therapeutic agents to treat eye diseases, and attempts to develop new ophthalmic drug delivery systems are primary areas of research. Additional drug delivery research areas target cardiovascular agents, therapy of respiratory diseases, and strategies to improve drug penetration of the blood brain barrier.
There are also strong collaborations with researchers in the Center of Neurovirology and Neurodegenerative Diseases (CNND), the UNMC Eppley Institute for Cancer Research, as well as other departments and colleges on campus. In addition, research collaborations are being developed with regional universities such as, the Departments of Engineering at University of Nebraska Lincoln campus and Iowa State University. Further, there is a formal agreement between UNMC and Moscow State University in Russia to strengthen education and research collaborations between the two institutions.
Faculty members in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences provide the pharmaceutical science component of the professional (PharmD) curriculum during the initial two years in the program. The course areas include: pharmaceutics (the study of the physicochemical properties of drugs and the design and manufacture of drug delivery systems); medicinal chemistry (chemical structure and function/properties correlations); biopharmaceutics (the study of the absorption, distribution, metabolism and elimination of drugs); pharmacokinetics (the study of the changes in drug concentrations in blood and tissues as a function of time that affect time of onset, duration and intensity of effect) and pharmacodynamics (the drugs effect on the body, organs or tissues). These courses lay the foundation for the more clinical subjects presented in the third and fourth years of the program. The faculty is committed to train and educate pharmacists to be experts in all aspects of drug therapy, and to deliver pharmaceutical services in a variety of community and institutional health care environments.
The Pharmaceutical Sciences Graduate Program (PSGP) provides education and training at an advanced level of a wide range of physical and biological sciences related to drug discovery and development processes. Graduates become experts in their chosen field of specialization, e.g., drug discovery, pharmaceutics, polymer-based drug delivery, biopharmaceutics, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, biophysical chemistry or nanomedicine. In addition to the Centers and Core facilities listed above, students will have access to all other Core facilities on campus. Our goal is to provide students with a combination of breadth and rigor of education so they can succeed as an independent researcher in academia, industry, or government. As a full member of the Globalization of Pharmaceutics Educational Network (GPEN) and with a very active American Association of Pharmaceutical Sciences (AAPS) student chapter, all students in our program have the opportunity to present their research at national and international scientific meetings. Students with degrees in chemistry, chemical engineering, biochemistry, material sciences, molecular biology, pharmacy, mathematics or related fields are encouraged to apply. For interested students who would like to gain an understanding of research in the pharmaceutical sciences we offer an Undergraduate Student Summer Research Program.
We take pride in the accomplishments of our faculty, staff and students, not only in research, but in all aspects of academic life. If you require more information about the research or educational opportunities, please contact the Department of Pharmaceutical sciences at 402-559-5320.