Program Outcomes

The goal of the Pharmacological Sciences Training Program (PSTP) is to ensure that it's trainees are well prepared to enter diverse careers in the biomedical research workforce by providing technical, operational and professional training, along with programming and career development activities.  Extensive mentorship, career development, and leadership opportunities through PSTP increase the career satisfaction and employment of trainees.   

The PSTP fosters an environment that welcomes all scientists. The program promotes and supports excellence through diversity and encourages all qualified students to pursue a nomination for the PSTP.  The program believes diversity of all kinds- such as underrepresented minority (URM) groups and those with disabilities-enhances educational, personal and scientific outcomes.  In the past 5 years, 30% of PSTP trainees have been underrepresented minorities.  



Trainees who complete the PSTP will achieved the following outcomes:

  • Understand scientific principles and the scientific method.
  • Understand fundamental concepts in pharmacological sciences, including pharmacology, medicinal chemistry, pharmaceutical therapeutics, and drug discovery/development.
  • In a rigorous and reproducible manner, be able to design, perform, and critique hypothesis-driven research that applies concepts in the pharmacological sciences (e.g., pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, medicinal chemistry principles, drug design and discovery) using advanced decision-making and creative problem-solving skills.
  • Be able to work effectively and collegially in collaborative and team science projects.
  • Be able to identify and have a thorough understanding of concepts related to the responsible conduct of research.
  • Be able to effectively communicate scientific concepts, interpret data from the literature, accurately and objectively report new findings, and propose hypotheses to a broad range of audiences.
  • Be comfortable exploring different career paths, applying skills in a variety of careers, stepping up to lead, and conducting themselves with maturity and integrity in all professional endeavors.

Career Outcomes

Upon successful completion of their degree and PSTP requirements, Pharmacological Sciences Training Program alumni, transition into careers in the biomedical workforce, in a wide range of capacities.  Their careers span many areas and sectors, such as academia, consulting, healthcare, law, and science communication.  100% of PSTP graduates in the past 5 years have successfully transitioned into the workforce.   To learn more about where students go after graduation, see the Rackham Graduate School Program Statistics for PharmacologyBiological ChemistryMedicinal Chemistry, and Pharmaceutical Sciences.  To see what our most recent PSTP graduates are doing, check out our Alumni information. 

Research Outcomes

Trainees who enter the PSTP must make a commitment to complete all of the requirements of the PSTP prior to graduation, including making a substantive contribution to a primary research article that results in new knowledge and that has been submitted, preferably accepted, for publication. While a first author publication is not required by the Departments, it is now strongly encouraged by the PSTP. 

Recent Publications

Publications from our most recent PSTP trainees based on their research at the University of Michigan.

Rachel Altshuler, Ph.D. (2019)

  •  Carpenter C, Zestos AG, Altshuler R , Sorenson RJ, Guptaroy B, Showalter HD, Kennedy RT, Jutkiewicz E and Gnegy ME, 2017, Direct and Systemic Administration of a CNS-Permeant Tamoxifen Analog Reduces Amphetamine-Induced Dopamine Release and Reinforcing Effects., Neuropsychopharmacology : official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, 42:1940-1949
Submit Bandekar, Ph.D. (2020)
  •  Bandekar SJ, Arang N, Tully ES, Tang BA, Barton BL, Li S, Gutkind JS and Tesmer JJG, 2019, Structure of the C-terminal guanine nucleotide exchange factor module of Trio in an autoinhibited conformation reveals its oncogenic potential., Science signaling, 12
Tyler Beyett, Ph.D. (2018)
  • Beyett TS, Gan X, Reilly SM, Gomez AV, Chang L, Tesmer JJG, Saltiel AR and Showalter HD, 2018, Design, synthesis, and biological activity of substituted 2-amino-5-oxo-5H-chromeno[2,3-b]pyridine-3-carboxylic acid derivatives as inhibitors of the inflammatory kinases TBK1 and IKK for the treatment of obesity., Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry, 26:5443-5461
  • Beyett TS, Gan X, Reilly SM, Chang L, Gomez AV, Saltiel AR, Showalter HD and Tesmer JJG, 2018, and Reveal Mechanisms for Selective Inhibition., Molecular pharmacology, 94:1210-1219
  • Yao XQ, Cato MC, Labudde E, Beyett TS , Tesmer JJG and Grant BJ, 2017, Navigating the conformational landscape of G protein-coupled receptor kinases during allosteric activation., The Journal of biological chemistry, 292:16032-16043
Christine Cuthbertson, Senior Trainee
  • Madak JT, Bankhead A, Cuthbertson CR , Showalter HD and Neamati N, 2019, Revisiting the role of dihydroorotate dehydrogenase as a therapeutic target for cancer., Pharmacology & therapeutics, 195:111-131
Cara D'Amico, Senior Trainee
  • Ouimet CM, D'Amico CI  and Kennedy RT, 2019, Droplet sample introduction to microchip gel and zone electrophoresis for rapid analysis of protein-protein complexes and enzymatic reactions., Analytical and bioanalytical chemistry, 411:6155-6163
  • Ouimet CM, D'amico CI  and Kennedy RT, 2017, Advances in capillary electrophoresis and the implications for drug discovery., Expert opinion on drug discovery, 12:213-224
Amanda Davis, Ph.D. (2019)
  • Bolles AK, Fujiwara R, Briggs ED, Nomeir AA and Furge LL, 2014, Mechanism-based inactivation of human cytochrome P450 3A4 by two piperazine-containing compounds., Drug metabolism and disposition: the biological fate of chemicals, 42:2087-96
  • Livezey MR, Briggs ED, Bolles AK , Nagy LD, Fujiwara R and Furge LL, 2014, Metoclopramide is metabolized by CYP2D6 and is a reversible inhibitor, but not inactivator, of CYP2D6., Xenobiotica; the fate of foreign compounds in biological systems, 44:309-319
Jennifer Diaz-Espinoza, Senior Trainee
  • Murashov MD, Diaz-Espinosa J , LaLone V, Tan JWY, Laza R, Wang X, Stringer KA and Rosania GR, 2018, Synthesis and Characterization of a Biomimetic Formulation of Clofazimine Hydrochloride Microcrystals for Parenteral Administration., Pharmaceutics, 10
Lindsay Drake, Ph.D. (2019)
  • Drake LR and Scott PJH, 2018, Targeted nanoparticles for multimodal imaging of the receptor for advanced glycation end-products., Theranostics, 8:6352-6354
  • Brooks AF, Drake LR , Shao X, Zhao A, Scott PJH and Kilbourn MR, 2018, Evaluation of Enzyme Substrate Radiotracers as PET/MRS Hybrid Imaging Agents., ACS medicinal chemistry letters, 9:1140 1143
  • Drake LR, Brooks AF, Mufarreh AJ, Pham JM, Koeppe RA, Shao X, Scott PJH and Kilbourn MR, 2018, Deuterium Kinetic Isotope Effect Studies of a Potential in Vivo Metabolic Trapping Agent for Monoamine Oxidase B., ACS chemical neuroscience, 9:3024-3027
  • Drake LR and Scott PJH, 2018, DARK Classics in Chemical Neuroscience: Cocaine., ACS chemical neuroscience, 9:2358-2372
  • Cary BP, Brooks AF, Fawaz MV, Drake LR , Desmond TJ, Sherman P, Quesada CA and Scott PJ, 2016, Synthesis and Evaluation of [(18)F]RAGER: A First Generation Small-Molecule PET Radioligand Targeting the Receptor for Advanced Glycation Endproducts., ACS chemical neuroscience, 7:391-8
  • Brooks AF, Drake LR , Stewart MN, Cary BP, Jackson IM, Mallette D, Mossine AV and Scott PJ, 2016, Fluorine-18 patents (2009-2015). Part 1: novel radiotracers., Pharmaceutical patent analyst, 5:17-47
Nnamdi Edokobi, Senior Trainee
  • Edokobi N and Isom LL, 2018, Voltage-Gated Sodium Channel 1/1B Subunits Regulate Cardiac Physiology and Pathophysiology., Frontiers in physiology, 9:351
Daniel Epling, Ph.D. (2019)
  • Hu Y, Epling D , Shi J, Song F, Tsume Y, Zhu HJ, Amidon GL and Smith DE, 2018, Effect of biphenyl hydrolase-like (BPHL) gene disruption on the intestinal stability, permeability and absorption of valacyclovir in wildtype and Bphl knockout mice., Biochemical pharmacology, 156:147-156
  • Epling D, Hu Y and Smith DE, 2018, Evaluating the intestinal and oral absorption of the prodrug valacyclovir in wildtype and huPepT1 transgenic mice., Biochemical pharmacology, 155:1-7
Maria Fawaz, Ph.D. (2020)
  • LaLone V, Fawaz MV , Morales-Mercado J, Mourão MA, Snyder CS, Kim SY, Lieberman AP, Tuteja A, Mehta G, Standiford TJ, Raghavendran K, Shedden K, Schwendeman A, Stringer KA and Rosania GR, 2019, Inkjetprinted micro-calibration standards for ultraquantitative Raman spectral cytometry., The Analyst, 144:3790-3799
  • Fawaz MV, Kim SY, Li D, Ming R, Xia Z, Olsen K, Pogozheva ID, Tesmer JJG and Schwendeman A, 2019, Phospholipid component defines pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties of synthetic high-density lipoproteins., The Journal of pharmacology and experimental therapeutics
  • Schultz ML, Fawaz MV , Azaria RD, Hollon TC, Liu EA, Kunkel TJ, Halseth TA, Krus KL, Ming R, Morin EE, McLoughlin HS, Bushart DD, Paulson HL, Shakkottai VG, Orringer DA, Schwendeman AS and Lieberman AP, 2019, Synthetic high-density lipoprotein nanoparticles for the treatment of Niemann-Pick diseases., BMC medicine, 17:200
  • Li D, Fawaz MV , Morin EE, Ming R, Sviridov D, Tang J, Ackermann R, Olsen K, Remaley AT and Schwendeman A, 2018, Effect of Synthetic High Density Lipoproteins Modification with Polyethylene Glycol on Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics., Molecular pharmaceutics, 15:83-96
Erin Gallagher, Ph.D. (2019)
  • Lorenz DA, Kaur T, Kerk SA, Gallagher EE , Sandoval J and Garner AL, 2018, Expansion of cat-ELCCA for the Discovery of Small Molecule Inhibitors of the Pre-let-7-Lin28 RNA-Protein Interaction., ACS medicinal chemistry letters, 9:517-521
Nicholas Griggs, Ph.D. (2018)
  •  Harland AA, Bender AM, Griggs NW , Gao C, Anand JP, Pogozheva ID, Traynor JR, Jutkiewicz EM and Mosberg HI, 2016, Effects of NSubstitutions on the Tetrahydroquinoline (THQ) Core of Mixed-Efficacy -Opioid Receptor (MOR)/-Opioid Receptor (DOR) Ligands., Journal of medicinal chemistry, 59:4985-98
  •  Harland AA, Yeomans L, Griggs NW , Anand JP, Pogozheva ID, Jutkiewicz EM, Traynor JR and Mosberg HI, 2015, Further Optimization and Evaluation of Bioavailable, Mixed-Efficacy -Opioid Receptor (MOR) Agonists/-Opioid Receptor (DOR) Antagonists: Balancing MOR and DOR Affinities., Journal of medicinal chemistry, 58:8952-69
  •  Bender AM, Griggs NW , Anand JP, Traynor JR, Jutkiewicz EM and Mosberg HI, 2015, Asymmetric synthesis and in vitro and in vivo activity of tetrahydroquinolines featuring a diverse set of polar substitutions at the 6 position as mixed-efficacy opioid receptor/ opioid receptor ligands., ACSchemical neuroscience, 6:1428-35
Joel Maust, Ph.D. (2018)
  • Maust JD, Frankowski-McGregor CL, Bankhead A, Simeone DM and Sebolt-Leopold JS, 2018, Cyclooxygenase-2 Influences Response to Cotargeting of MEK and CDK4/6 in a Subpopulation of Pancreatic Cancers., Molecular cancer therapeutics, 17:2495-2506
  • Maust JD, Whitehead CE and Sebolt-Leopold JS, 2018, : A Trilogy Unfolds., Cancer discovery, 8:534-536
  • Ziemke EK, Dosch JS, Maust JD , Shettigar A, Sen A, Welling TH,Hardiman KM and Sebolt-Leopold JS, 2016, Sensitivity of KRAS-Mutant Colorectal Cancers to Combination Therapy That Cotargets MEK and CDK4/6., Clinical cancer research : an official journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, 22:405-14
Justin McNalley, Ph.D. (2018)
  • McNally JR and O'Brien PJ, 2017, Kinetic analyses of single-stranded break repair by human DNA ligase III isoforms reveal biochemical differences from DNA ligase I., The Journal of biological chemistry, 292:15870-15879
Andrea Pesch, Senior Trainee
  • Chandler BC, Moubadder L, Ritter CL, Liu M, Cameron M, Wilder-Romans K, Zhang A, Pesch AM , Michmerhuizen AR, Hirsh N, Androsiglio M, Ward T, Olsen E, Niknafs YS, Merajver S, Thomas DG, Brown PH, Lawrence TS, Nyati S, Pierce LJ, Chinnaiyan A and Speers C, 2020, TTK inhibition radiosensitizes basal-like breast cancer through impaired homologous recombination., The Journal of clinical investigation
  • Pasternak AL, Kidwell KM, Dempsey JM, Gersch CL, Pesch A , Sun Y, Rae JM, Hertz DL and Park JM, 2019, Impact of CYP3A5 phenotype on tacrolimus concentrations after sublingual and oral administration in lung transplant., Pharmacogenomics, 20:421-432
  • Dempsey JM, Kidwell KM, Gersch CL, Pesch AM , Desta Z, Storniolo AM, Stearns V, Skaar TC, Hayes DF, Henry NL, Rae JM and Hertz DL, 2019, polymorphisms on plasma estrogen concentrations in women with breast cancer receiving aromatase inhibitors exemestane and letrozole., Pharmacogenomics, 20:571-580
  • Michmerhuizen AR, Pesch AM , Moubadder L, Chandler BC, Wilder- Romans K, Cameron M, Olsen E, Thomas DG, Zhang A, Hirsh N, Ritter CL, Liu M, Nyati S, Pierce LJ, Jagsi R and Speers C, 2019, PARP1 Inhibition Radiosensitizes Models of Inflammatory Breast Cancer to Ionizing Radiation., Molecular cancer therapeutics, 18:2063-2073
Julie Philippe, Senior Trainee
  • Philippe JM and Jenkins PM, 2019, Spatial organization of palmitoyl acyl transferases governs substrate localization and function., Molecular membrane biology, 35:60-75
  • Bouza, Alexandra & Philippe, Julie & Edokobi, Nnamdi & Pinsky, Alexa & Offord, James & Calhoun, Jeff & Lopez-Florán, Mariana & Lopez-Santiago, Luis & Jenkins, Paul & Isom, Lori. (2020). Sodium channel β1 subunits are post-translationally modified by tyrosine phosphorylation, S-palmitoylation, and regulated intramembrane proteolysis. Journal of Biological Chemistry. jbc.RA120.013978. 10.1074/jbc.RA120.013978. 
Jackee Sanchez, Senior Trainee
  • Sanchez JN, Wang T and Cohen MS, 2018, BRAF and MEK Inhibitors: Use and Resistance in BRAF-Mutated Cancers., Drugs, 78:549-566
Lindsey Sheetz, Ph.D. (2019)
  • Kuai R, Sun X, Yuan W, Ochyl LJ, Xu Y, Hassani Najafabadi A, Scheetz L , Yu MZ, Balwani I, Schwendeman A and Moon JJ, 2018, Dual TLR agonist nanodiscs as a strong adjuvant system for vaccines and immunotherapy., Journal of controlled release : official journal of the Controlled Release Society, 282:131-139
Matthew Stanczyk, Ph.D. (2019)
  • Stanczyk MA and Kandasamy R, 2018, Biased agonism: the quest for the analgesic holy grail., Pain reports, 3:e650
Brian Thompson, Senior Trainee
  • Thompson BR, Hu Y and Smith DE, 2019, Mechanisms of gemcitabine oral absorption as determined by in situ intestinal perfusions in mice., Biochemical pharmacology, 168:57-64
  • Blum K, Thompson B , Demotrovics Z, Femino J, Giordano J, Oscar- Berman M, Teitelbaum S, Smith DE, Roy AK, Agan G, Fratantonio J, Badgaiyan RD and Gold MS, 2015, The Molecular Neurobiology of Twelve Steps Program & Fellowship: Connecting the Dots for Recovery., Journal of reward deficiency syndrome, 1:46-64
Jeffrey Zwicker, Ph.D. (2018)
  • Zwicker JD, Diaz NA, Guerra AJ, Kirchhoff PD, Wen B, Sun D, Carruthers VB and Larsen SD, 2018, Optimization of dipeptidic inhibitors of cathepsin L for improved Toxoplasma gondii selectivity and CNS permeability., Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry letters, 28:1972-1980