The PhD degree in Medicinal and Natural Products Chemistry (MNPC) is based on interdisciplinary study in courses offered by the disciplines of Medicinal and Natural Products Chemistry, Biochemistry, Toxicology and Pharmacology. Students complete the majority of coursework during the first two years while simultaneously gaining research experience in the laboratory. The PhD is granted only after completing and defending an original research-based thesis project, typically in five years.

Medicinal and Natural Products Chemistry requires students to complete 24 credits hours of didactic coursework -- a minimum of 15 credits must be required courses. The remaining credits may be fulfilled by selecting from the list of interdisciplinary elective courses. Entering students who do not have basic knowledge in all subjects will be advised to complete one or more prerequisite electives during years 1 and 2. Most students will be advised to follow the plan of study indicated below to complete the divisional requirements during the first two years.

Many of the faculty and their students are also affiliated with various interdisciplinary degree and training programs including toxicology, biotechnology and pharmacological sciences.

The MS degree requires 30 semester hours, 24 didactic coursework and 6 research hours.  This degree is currently offered en passant or under special circumstances only.  Applicants are not typically admitted to the MS program.  Please contact the program for more information.  

First Year

Fall Term

  • Perspectives in MNPC Research (1sh)
  • MNPC Required Courses (3-6 sh)
  • Interdisciplinary Electives (3-6 sh)
  • Principles of Scholarly Integrity (1sh)
  • MNPC Research (1-3 sh)
  • MNPC Seminar (1 sh)

Total: 9-12 semester hours

First Year

Spring Term

  • MNPC Required Courses (3-6 sh)
  • Interdisciplinary Electives (3-6 sh)
  • MNPC Research (1-3 sh)
  • MNPC Seminar (1 sh)

 

Total: 9-12 semester hours

Second Year

Fall Term

  • MNPC Required Courses (3-6 sh)
  • Interdisciplinary Electives (3-6 sh)
  • MNPC Research (1-3 sh)
  • MNPC Seminar (1 sh)

Total: 9-12 semester hours

Second Year

Spring Term

  • MNPC Required Courses (3-6 sh)
  • Interdisciplinary Electives (3-6 sh)
  • MNPC Research (1-2 sh)
  • MNPC Seminar (1 sh)

Total: 9-12 semester hours

MNPC Required Courses

Course                                                   Offering Schedule

PHAR: 5515 Perspectives in MNPC Research (2) (Staff) 

Contemporary research in medicinal chemistry and natural products.

Fall, every year

PHAR: 5537 Enzymatic Basis of Drug Metabolism (3) (Duffel)

Current literature on catalytic and physical properties, distribution, and substrate specificity of enzymes involved in mammalian drug metabolism.

Spring 2020, 2022, 2024

PHAR:5512 Drug Discovery and Mechanisms (3) (Roman): 

Process of modern drug discovery, focus on high throughput screening strategies, target validation, pharmacological characterization of new compounds; mechanism of drugs targeting G protein coupled receptors, ion channels and transporters, targets in biological systems.

Fall 2019, 2021, 2023

PHAR:5541 Total Synthesis of Bio Active Natural Products (3) (Jin): 

Total synthesis of natural products; use of strategies, tactics, efficiency, selectivity, synthetic maneuvering. Consent of instructor required.

Spring 2019, 2021, 2023

PHAR:6501 Principles and Mechanisms of Chemical Toxicology (1) (Doorn):

 Principles and mechanisms of chemical toxicology related to drugs and environmental agents. Modern methods used to conduct toxicological research.

Fall 2019, 2021, 2023

PHAR:6502 Toxic Agents and Concepts in Toxicology (1) (Doorn): 

Specific classes of toxicants and non‑organ directed toxicity, including chemical carcinogenesis, oxidative stress, teratogenesis; clinical toxicology, antidotes, methods and models in toxicology.

Fall 2019, 2021, 2023

PHAR:6503 Target-Organ Toxicity (1) (Doorn):

 Role of drugs/toxicants in systems toxicity (target organ); hepatotoxicity, neurotoxicity, cardiotoxicity, and toxic responses of immune system.

Fall 2019, 2021, 2023

PHAR:5545 Current Medicinal Chemistry (3) (Kerns): 

Modern techniques used in drug discovery; important drug classes, their chemical mechanism of action.

Fall 2020, 2022, 2024

PHAR:5549 Analytical Biochemistry (3) (Rice): 

Application of modern chromatographic and detection methods used to isolate, characterize, and quantify drugs and macromolecules.

Spring 2019, 2021, 2023

PHAR:5542 Enzyme Kinetics and Enzyme Mechanisms (1) (Spies):

Examination of chemical mechanisms of pharmaceutically relevant enzymes. In addition to classical methods for elucidating enzyme chemical mechanisms, the course material also incorporates principles of structure-based and computer-aided drug design and discovery.

Spring, every year

PHAR:5521 High Throughput Screening for Biomed Sci (1) (Wu): 

Broad introduction to high throughput screening (HTS) and its application in pharmaceutical and biomedical sciences; HTS as a modern technology platform integrated with robust detection systems and robotic liquid handling instruments; use of HTS platforms to identify biologically active small organic molecules to validate drug targets, screen compound libraries; identification of biologically active small molecules for use as probes, tool compounds, drug leads; systematic, unbiased, and/or focused hypothesis-based approaches for mechanistic studies in biological and medical sciences. Recommendations: bachelor degree in biochemistry, chemistry, molecular biology, pharmacology, or equivalent.

Spring, every year

 

PHAR:5510 Medicinal & Natural Products Chemistry Seminar (1,2) (Roman): 

MNPC Seminar is a 1 or 2 semester hour required course for all students, including first-year students. Attendance is required.  It meets once per week (usually on Tuesday).  Every week there is a different guest speaker.  Guest speakers come from both on-campus and off-campus and include professors from other institutions, previous students (alumni), and industry professionals.  Second-year students give a literature review and presentation and will register for 2 semester hours. To prepare students for seminar by guest speakers, a journal club meeting is offered during the prior week.

Fall, Spring, every year