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Course Requirements for Areas of Specialization

Trainees are required to select an area of specialization (analytical, formulation, delivery, protein structure, or bioinformatics) and satisfy the elective course requirements listed below. The courses required in each area of specialization provide the trainees with exposure to the practical problems associated with formulation, delivery, analysis, and structural and bioinformatics characteristics of biotechnology-derived drug candidates. Such information will be particularly helpful to trainees from departments other than pharmaceutical chemistry.


Trainees selecting the analytical area of specialization are required to successfully complete

  • Pharmaceutical Analysis (Pharmaceutical Chemistry 864, PHCH 864)
  • Bioanalytical Chemistry (Chemistry 959, CHEM 959)
  • Pharmaceutical Chemistry 864 (PHCH 864)
  • Pharmaceutical Analysis - This course emphasizes separation technologies used for the analysis of drugs in media such as the bulk drug substance, drug formulations, and biological fluids and tissues. The following topics are discussed: theory of liquid chromatography, applications of liquid chromatography, sample preparation, method optimization, chromatography of peptides and proteins, and derivatization techniques.
  • Chemistry 959 (CHEM 959): Bioanalytical Chemistry - This course emphasizes the biological aspects of analytical chemistry, including immunoassays, separations of macromolecules, electrophoresis, radiochemical assays, electrochemical assays, enzyme-based assays, biosensors, and spectroscopic techniques such as NMR, CD, etc.


Trainees selecting the delivery area of specialization are required to successfully complete

  • Drug Delivery (Pharmaceutical Chemistry 715, PHCH 715)
  • Advanced Topics in Biopharmaceutics and Pharmacokinetics (Pharmaceutical Chemistry 976, PHCH 976).
  • Pharmaceutical Chemistry 715 (PHCH 715 or CPE 715): Drug Delivery - The objective of this course is to provide students with a breadth of knowledge in the current trends in drug delivery systems utilizing conventional routes of administration. Factors that influence the delivery of drugs, such as drug physicochemical properties, excipients, mechanisms of drug release, and methods of evaluation, will be discussed. The performance of calculations related to the physical and chemical properties of drugs and common dosage forms (solubility, stability, release, dissolution, diffusion, partitioning, dose, absorption, and disposition) will also be taught. Finally, the presence of biological barriers and the mechanisms of sub-cellular trafficking of drugs will be described. The performance of calculations based on a fundamental understanding of mass transport concepts governing the disposition of drugs during administration and upon contact with biological barriers will be covered. Instructor: Professor C. Berkland (Chemical & Petroleum Engineering and Pharmaceutical Chemistry).
  • Pharmaceutical Chemistry 976 (PHCH 976): Advanced Topics in Biopharmaceutics and Pharmacokinetics - This course provides trainees with exposure to the quantitative treatment of the processes involved with drug absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion in living systems. Topics covered in this course include classical pharmacokinetics, non-linear pharmacokinetics, advanced concepts in pharmacokinetic modeling, biological barriers to efficient drug delivery, and pharmacokinetics in dosage form development.


Trainees selecting the formulation area of specialization are required to successfully complete

  • Pharmaceutical Equilibria (Pharmaceutical Chemistry 862, PHCH 862)
  • Mechanisms of Drug Deterioration and Stabilization (Pharmaceutical Chemistry 972, PHCH 972)
  • Pharmaceutical Chemistry 862 (PHCH 862): Pharmaceutical Equilibria - The objective of this course is to review basic thermodynamic and statistical mechanical principles and apply them to systems of interest to pharmaceutical and biotechnological scientists. Physical properties of ideal and nonideal solutions are discussed, including methods for determining and predicting solubility and ionization phenomena. The thermodynamics of ligand binding interactions and macromolecular conformational equilibria are developed, with special attention to small molecule protein binding equilibria.
  • Pharmaceutical Chemistry 972 (PHCH 972): Mechanisms of Drug Deterioration and Stabilization - The objective of this course is to enable students to examine the chemical structures of drug molecules and macromolecules and predict which aspects of their structure are likely to present stability problems under a variety of conditions. The course will present students with the principles necessary to carry out stability evaluations of drugs, including peptides, proteins, and nucleic acids, and the quantitative interpretation of related data. Particular emphasis will be placed on how these degradative processes can be prevented or reduced to allow the formulation of these drugs for therapeutic use.


Trainees selecting the structure area of specialization are required to successfully complete

  • Modern Biochemical and Biophysical methods (Biology 918, BIOL 918)
  • Spectrochemical Methods of Analysis (Chemistry 908, CHEM 908)
  • Biology 918 (BIOL 918): Modern Biochemical and Biophysical methods - This course emphasizes the use of techniques for solving problems of structure and function of biological macromolecules. Students complete several modules that consist of lectures relating to theory and practical aspects of each methodological approach and apply these techniques to solving a specific problem.
  • Chemistry 908 (CHEM 908): Spectrochemical Methods of Analysis - Lecture and laboratory course including general concepts of encoding chemical information as electromagnetic radiation; major instrumental systems for decoding, interpretation, and presentation of the radiation signals; atomic emission, absorption, and fluorescence; ultraviolet, visible, infrared, and microwave absorption; molecular luminescence; scattering methods; mass spectrometry; magnetic resonance; and automated spectrometric systems.


Trainees selecting the bioinformatics area of specialization are required to successfully complete

  • Bioinformatics I (Bioinformatics 601, BINF 601)
  • Bioinformatics II (Bioinformatics 602, BINF 602)
  • Computational Genomics (Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences 700, EECS 700).
  • Bioinformatics 601 (BINF 601): Bioinformatics I. - First semester of a two-semester course in bioinformatics and computational biology. Topics include basic concepts, bioinformatics databases, tools and methods, sequence and structure alignment, secondary structure determination, tertiary structure modeling, and customary structure modeling.
  • Bioinformatics 602 (BINF 602): Bioinformatics II - Second semester of a two-semester course in bioinformatics and computational biology. Topics include computer-aided drug design, molecular dynamics, Monte Carlo methods, biological membranes, structure-function relationships, phylogenetics, and networks.
  • Electrical Engineering and Computer Science 700 (EECS 700): Computational Genomics - Available genome sequences create a wealth of material for research into their role in biological processes such as cell division, cell differentiation and gene expression, solution and adaptation, and disease. In these contexts, methods in eukaryotic genome research from structural, compositional, and physical vantage points will be examined.

Our research projects ranging from traditional pharmaceutics to biotechnology. 

Learn more here.

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