Pharmacology Current Graduate Course Offerings

Descriptions of Authorized Courses

The offerings in any given term should be checked in the current time schedule ( The entries below give the course number, title, credit hours, prerequisite(s) and description of each course offered by the Pharmacology Department. 


PHRMACOL 502. Introduction to Scientific Communication (2 hrs.) This course introduces second-year graduate students to essential scientific communication skills.  Students will write a grant over the course of the term on a chosen topic.  Class meetings alternate between presentations by local experts and students.  In-depth analysis of student writing/presentation skills provided in class by instructor, small groups, and guest scientists.  By term's end students will have a high-quality product to be presented in oral and written form.  Finally, students will participate in a mock study section to constructively evaluate the grants. Offered in the fall semester.

PHRMACOL 503 / MEDCHEM 503. Real-World Drug Discovery (2 hrs.) U-M Department of Pharmacology, Life Sciences Institute, and Michigan Drug Discovery have developed a new course/program to provide relevant experience to trainees who are potentially interested in pursuing careers in pharma. Students will participate in “New Target Strategy Teams,” with each team researching and presenting their evaluation of a potential novel drug discovery project of interest to Michigan Drug Discovery.  These teams will be organized and run very similarly to how these same kinds of teams operate in “big pharma;” and trainees will be making an important contribution to real-world decisions regarding which potential projects Michigan Drug Discovery and its collaborators will invest resources into. 

PHRMACOL 601. From Molecules to Patients:  Basic Quantitative Principles of Pharmacology.(3 hrs.) This is a graduate level course that examines the fundamental principles of pharmacology and their quantitative treatment as a basis for understanding the properties and mechanism of action of drugs.  The course is aimed at, but not limited to students of Pharmacology, Medicinal Chemistry, Chemical Biology, Toxicology, Bioinformatics or Biological Chemistry.  Topics include:  Structure and physical properties of drugs; quantitative structure-activity and dose-response relationships; receptors as determinants of drug action; concepts, analysis and modeling of agonists, antagonists, and receptor mechanisms; signal amplification, selectivity, and regulation; drug absorption, distribution and metabolism; modern approaches to drug design. Offered in the fall semester. 

PHRMACOL 603. Practical Statistics: Data Processing and Analysis for Biomedical Scientists. (2 hrs.) This course is aimed at providing students of pharmacology and other biomedical sciences training on practical approaches to data handling, analysis, interpretation, and presentation as well as experimental design. The course provides basic, working knowledge and best practices that can be directly applied to everyday laboratory research activities. It is comprised of weekly session in a computer lab with access to hardware and software and a combination of didactic lectures, exercises, and hands-on data manipulation. Offered in the fall semester.

PHRMACOL 604.  Collaborative Projects in the Pharmacological Sciences. (1 hrs.) This newly developed, value-added course focuses on team-based innovation in pharmacology, development of INDs, and exploration of future career options.  This course is designed to foster educational, research and social interactions between the biology- and chemistry-track trainees and to guide all PSTP trainees to plan and work together on interdisciplinary-based research projects. Offered in the fall and winter semesters for PSTP trainees. 

PHRMACOL 605. MS Degree Research. (1-8 hrs.) This course is solely for MS degree students to register for laboratory research or independent study credits. Offered in the fall and winter semesters for MS students.

PHRMACOL 612. Seminar in Antimicrobial and Cancer Pharmacology. (2 hrs.) Advisory Pre-requisite: BIOCHEM. This course uses a combination of textbook and literature reference to provide students with an understanding of the different classes of drugs and used to treat infectious diseases and cancer.  The course will focus on the mechanisms of drug action, the basis of selectivity and therapeutic applications.  Traditional as well as novel approaches to therapeutics will be discussed, as well as the role of drug resistance and strategies for its management. Offered in the winter semester. (half term)

PHRMACOL 614.  Seminar in Autonomic Pharmacology.(2 hrs.) Advisory Pre-requisite: BIOCHEM. This course focuses on the organization of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, the function of autonomic synapses, and principles of autonomic pharmacology.  Prototypic adrenergic and cholinergic drugs will be highlighted.  Students will read relevant textbook material before seminars.  Approximately half of each 90-minute semester will be devoted to discussing basic principles.  The other half will be devoted to student presentations of research articles that are either of great historical importance or of current interest that further the understanding of autonomic pharmacology. Offered in the fall semester. 

PHRMACOL 615. Molecular Neuropharmacology. (2 hrs.) At the end of this course all students will understand the central nervous system function and dysfunction as it relates to the use of pharmacological agents to alter neurotransmission and neuroplasticity in the treatment of disease. Students will also learn how to approach the development and evaluation of new therapeutics to treat, slow, or prevent diseases of the CNS and/or alter CNS state to aide in medical treatment (e.g., anesthetics). Students will gain these insights in part by learning about the development, evaluation, and proper use of prototypical drugs for prominent CNS disease, as well through discussion of novel approaches to CNS drug therapies. Offered in the winter semester. (half term)

PHRMACOL 616.  Seminar in Cardiovascular Pharmacology. (2 hrs.) Advisory Pre-requisite: BIOCHEM /PHYSIO. This course consists of seminar presentations along with the use of self-instructional, computer assisted learning modules in the Learning Resource Center.  Emphasis will be placed on pharmacologic interventions used in the management of disorders affecting the cardiovascular system.  Major topics of discussion will focus on the following drug categories:  Drugs affecting the Autonomic Nervous System; Vasoactive Substances; Water, Electrolyte Metabolism and Diuretic Drugs, Antihypertensive Drugs; Calcium Channel Blockers, Cardiac Glycosides and other Cardioactive Agents; Antianginal Drugs; Antiarrhythmic Agents.  Offered in the winter semester. (half term)

PHRMACOL 617.  Seminar in Endocrine Pharmacology. (2 hrs.) This course is designed to provide the student with an exposure to endocrine pharmacology, with a major emphasis on the feedback mechanisms within the endocrine system that are responsible for the maintenance of normal endocrine function as well as the interventions necessary to correct disorders stemming from hormonal imbalances.  Emphasis is also placed on the development of drug (hormone) therapy in treating endocrine disorders and still maintaining essential hormonal and metabolic feedback relationships. Offered in the winter semester. (half term)

PHRMACOL 621.  Translational Pharmacology:  From Drug Discovery to Therapeutics. (2 hrs.) Experts from academic and industry will take you on a journey from bench science to new therapeutic agents.  Students will learn how to translate preclinical studies to clinical trials and FDA approval.  Critical evaluation of clinical trials, patent issues and pharmacoeconomics will also be taught.  Offered in the fall semester. *counts as a cognate course

PHRMACOL 622.  Translation Research. (2 hrs.) This course will discuss the pathway from discovery to clinical development for devices, diagnostics, biologics, etc.  Issues such as FDA regulations, ethical considerations and affordability will also be addressed.  For those considering careers in and outside of academia, this course will help to make informed decisions.  Offered in the fall semester. *counts as a cognate course

PHRMACOL 625.  Translational Sciences Journal Club and Seminar Series. (1 hr.) Translation of basic science discoveries into clinical practice in the cornerstone of improved healthcare.  Learn how scientific advances progress from bench to bedside through literature reports and seminars by experts in academia and industry.  The course highlights entry of new small molecules, biologics, devices, diagnostics, etc. into clinical practice.  Offered in the fall semester. 

PHRMACOL 640. Introduction to Translational Science. (2 hr.)  This course is designed to introduce the students to the field of translational science and research. The course will serve to expose the students to a variety of topics in translational science including an introduction to the various types of clinical and translational science, various roles of translational scientists and how to put together an effective translational science research team, identification of qualified and impactful mentors at the various stages of training, development of a competitive training plan in clinical and translational science, how to write effective clinical and translational manuscripts, and how to develop your biosketch and CV in order to become competitive in the field of clinical and translational science.

PHRMACOL 646.  Student Seminar. (1 hr.)  Offered in the fall and winter semesters.

PHRMACOL 722. Writing and Publishing Scientific Manuscripts (1 hr.) This practical course will teach students to be effective writers. In the first part, we will review the elements of the publishing process, outline general principles of powerful writing with examples, and provide tips to streamline your workflow. In the second part, we will transition into a project-based approach where each student will write sections of their manuscript, review and edit each other’s work, and synthesize the sections into a complete manuscript.

PHRMACOL 990 Dissertation Research/Pre-Candidacy. (1-8 hrs. every term except Spring/Summer) Prereq. Instructor permission. Election for dissertation work by doctoral student not yet admitted as a Candidate. 

PHRMACOL 995 Dissertation Research/Candidacy. (8 hrs. every term. In Spring/Summer only if defending). Prereq. Instructor permission. This course number is used for doctoral research by students who have been admitted to candidacy.


Other cross listed courses:
PHRMACOL 620 / BA 518 Business of Biology