Pharmacology

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Course Requirements

In the first year, students will complete a core curriculum that includes the courses outlined below.

2018-2019 Academic Year

Quarter I: August 27, 2018-August 31, 2018

Essential Principles of Pharmacology

  • One week introduction to all Pharmacology courses.

Dr. Charles Inturrisi, Director

September 5, 2018-October 30, 2018

Principles of Pharmacology I: Chemical Biology

Chemical biology is a diverse and evolving field involving chemical approaches to studying and manipulating biological systems. In this course, students will develop an understanding of chemical reactions used in the synthesis and biosynthesis of small molecules and macromolecules, and of the chemical principles that underlie enzyme function and receptor pharmacology. These topics are at the core of modern molecular pharmacology and are essential to understanding how drugs are currently developed in the pharmaceutical industry. At the end of the course, students give an oral presentation on a current topic in chemical biology of their choosing.

Drs. Sauve and Luo, Co-Directors

Quarter I: September 5, 2018-October 30, 2018

Next-Gen Methods For Neuroscience and Pharmacology

This multidisciplinary course combines lectures about the fundamental biochemical, cellular, molecular, immunological, genetic, and bioinformatics approaches that are used in biomedical research with critical discussion of research papers. In addition to lectures, each meeting will have provisions for a discussion period. Generally, the discussion period will be used to discuss an original research paper, but occasionally it will be used for a model building laboratory, or a review session. The development of a research proposal is a major component of the course. The course is open to all students and fellows and it is a core course for both neuroscience and pharmacology. (students can be exempted from this course if they pass the exam given at the beginning of the course. If they are exempted, they would then take Methods in Pharmacology instead as a requirement.)

Dr. John Wagner (Neuroscience), Director, Dr. Michael Kharas, Course Co-Director

September 14, 2018 - December 14, 2018

Critical Analysis of the Scientific Literature in Pharmacology

This course focuses on the underlying logic behind the design of scientific experiments. An emphasis is placed on understanding how hypotheses are generated, and how variables, assays, rationales, and model building are utilized in experimental design. Each class focuses on a recent paper in the scientific literature, and uses the paper as a starting point for discussion. Students are expected to propose and justify novel experiments based on the paper and discussion. Students are encouraged to use "Protocols in Molecular Biology," as well as other resources to become familiar with the methodology, advantages, and limitations of the experimental approaches used in the papers. It is expected that students will have to read background papers for each of the papers discussed in class.

Drs. Jaffrey and Gross, Co-Directors

Quarter I: To Be Announced

Tri-Institutional Responsible Conduct of Research Course (RCR)

The responsible conduct of research is the practice of scientific investigation with integrity. Training in this area is an essential component of research training; awareness and application of established professional norms and ethical principles is required in the performance of all activities related to scientific research. Weill Cornell Medical College is committed to fostering an environment that promotes the practice of scientific investigation with integrity. This course is intended to help fulfill that commitment.

Dr. Randi Silver, Director, Associate Dean

Quarter II: October 22, 2018 - December 14, 2018

Principles of Pharmacology II: Signal Transduction

This is an advanced course on the molecular pharmacology of cellular signal transduction mechanisms. The course will provide students with a fundamental understanding of the recurring themes that have evolved to enable cell-cell communication - lectures cover all major mammalian signaling pathways. An emphasis is placed on the use of pharmacologic and chemical tools to study problems in signal transduction and on structural insights into signaling mechanisms that have been gained by the application of X-ray, NMR, and computational approaches. Major topics to be covered include: (1) Signaling through G-protein coupled receptors; (2) Heterotrimeric and monomeric G proteins; (3) Signaling through enzyme-linked receptors; (4) Receptors with tyrosine kinase activity; (5) Signaling via ion channels; (6) Lipid-mediated cell signaling; (7) Signaling via reactive molecules/redox; and (8) Signaling through nuclear receptors. The course is intended to expose students to the most current progress in the field of cell signaling. Upon completion, it is expected that students will comprehend and appreciate the merits of journal articles that report the latest findings in signal transduction research.

Drs. Gross and Jaffrey, Co-Directors

Next-Gen Methods For Neuroscience and Pharmacology

This multidisciplinary course combines lectures about the fundamental biochemical, cellular, molecular, immunological, genetic, and bioinformatics approaches that are used in biomedical research with critical discussion of research papers. In addition to lectures, each meeting will have provisions for a discussion period. Generally, the discussion period will be used to discuss an original research paper, but occasionally it will be used for a model building laboratory, or a review session. The development of a research proposal is a major component of the course. The course is open to all students and fellows and it is a core course for both neuroscience and pharmacology.

Dr. John Wagner (Neuroscience), Director, Dr. Michael Kharas, Course Co-Director

Critical Analysis of the Scientific Literature in Pharmacology

This course focuses on the underlying logic behind the design of scientific experiments. An emphasis is placed on understanding how hypotheses are generated, and how variables, assays, rationales, and model building are utilized in experimental design. Each class focuses on a recent paper in the scientific literature, and uses the paper as a starting point for discussion. Students are expected to propose and justify novel experiments based on the paper and discussion. Students are encouraged to use "Protocols in Molecular Biology," as well as other resources to become familiar with the methodology, advantages, and limitations of the experimental approaches used in the papers. It is expected that students will have to read background papers for each of the papers discussed in class.

Drs. Jaffrey and Gross, Co-Directors

Quarter III: January 7, 2019-January 18, 2019

Principles of Pharmacology III: Principles and Systems Pharmacology

The Systems Pharmacology Module occupies the third quarter of the year-long Introduction to Pharmacological Principles. It is a 9-week course arranged into three modules: 5 sessions in the first module cover general pharmacological principles, 9 sessions in the second module focus on nervous and circulatory systems, and 10 sessions in the third and final module cover host defense, renal and endocrine systems. An understanding of systems pharmacology is necessary and valuable for all Pharmacology Graduate Students.

Drs. Levi and Levin, Co-Directors

Neuropharmacology I: Genes, Drugs and Behavior

This course is jointly sponsored by the Neuroscience and Pharmacology Programs. It is designed to present current concepts of the major central nervous system (CNS) neurotransmitters and their functional neuroanatomy. The course will integrate discussions of the mechanisms of neurotransmitter biosynthesis and release, receptor signal transduction, and the alterations produced by CNS drugs.

Dr. Miklos Toth, Director, Dr. Karin Hochrainer, Co-Director

Pharmacology Seminar Series

The Pharmacology Seminar Series is a series of presentations by invited speakers from universities and the pharmaceutical industry discussing topics of importance in the broad field of pharmacology. These topics include both scientific and policy presentations. Students may choose to have lunch with the speaker to discuss a wide range of topics in an informal atmosphere. In addition, each student meets, as a part of a small group, with one speaker after the seminar when the discussion focuses on the topic discussed in the seminar.

Dr. Rifkind, Director

Electives

Students will also complete one 2-quarter elective and a one 1-quarter required course, titled, Quantitative Biology by course director, Dr. Jason Banfelder, by June of their second year. The 2-quarter elective must be selected from the following:

Drug Development Course: From Molecule to Prescription (New in 2018)

Drs. Paul Gillespie, Hitesh Chokshi (directors), Gudas and Heller (course facilitators)

Quarters III and IV of the course cover in more depth T and B cell-mediated immunity and topics of clinical relevance, such as microbial immunity, allergy, autoimmunity, tumor immunology, congenital and acquired immunodeficiencies, transplantation immunology, and immunotherapy. All the topics are studied though lectures and in-depth review of selected articles. This course has been designed in collaboration with drug development experts from Roche and provides a foundation of integrated knowledge of the multi-disciplined process of developing a new medication. It includes real world challenges encountered in the areas of discovery, development, manufacturing, global regulatory approval and commercialization of new medicines. In addition, the impact of emerging technologies to healthcare and the development process will be considered. While each lecture could be a topic for one (or more) graduate course, the goal of this integrated program is to provide an introduction to the whole drug development process, to raise awareness of all the different aspects that need to be considered to bring new medicines to patients, and to elicit interest for young investigators.
 
PDF icon Drug Development Syllabus
All newly created PDFs on this website are accessible. For accessible versions of archival PDFs, please contact us.

Accelerating BioVenture Innovation (Qtrs. I & II)

Accelerating BioVenture Innovation teaches basic financial analysis and principles of entrepreneurship. Lectures will cover the process of evaluating the market potential of a technology, building basic financial models, funding mechanisms, and writing and presenting a business plan to potential investors. Lectures are open to members of Cornell University, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Institute, and Rockefeller University. We welcome leaders in the local NYC healthcare and biotechnology sector to participate. To see the syllabus for the 2018 course click here: ABI Syllabus

Fundamental Immunology & Microbiology (Qtrs. I and II)

Quarters I and II of this course provide a comprehensive overview of basic immunology beginning with the innate immune responses, followed by a study of the main aspects of acquired immunity. Specific interactions of target cells and T cells that are regulated by the MHC molecule and peptide antigens on the target cell and the antigen specific T cell receptor are studied. The generation and molecular structure of B and T cell antigen receptors, and signaling through immune receptors are covered in detail. Additionally, the development of antigen specific T and B cells, and specific roles for some cytokines / lymphokines are also explored. Quarters III and IV of the course cover in more depth T and B cell-mediated immunity and topics of clinical relevance, such as microbial immunity, allergy, autoimmunity, tumor immunology, congenital and acquired immunodeficiencies, transplantation immunology, and immunotherapy. All the topics are studied though lectures and in-depth review of selected articles.

Molecular Genetics (Qtrs. I and II)

This course is organized around the principles of genetic analysis, with examples chosen from organisms that best illustrate those principles. The course is based on lectures, problem sets, and discussion sections. Topics covered include: the nature of the gene, linkage and physical maps, recombination mechanisms, nature of mutations, mutations as tools to dissect gene function, transposition, epigenetics, cancer genetics, genetic analysis of development, and cell-cell signaling.

A small group of Pharmacology Ph.D. students meets with the seminar speaker, Dr. Maria Figueroa, on March 30, 2010, to discuss her research in more detail after Dr. Figueroa's seminar. This is part of the Pharmacology Seminar Series course directed by Dr.

A small group of Pharmacology Ph.D. students meets with the seminar speaker, Dr. Maria Figueroa, on March 30, 2010, to discuss her research in more detail after Dr. Figueroa's seminar. This is part of the Pharmacology Seminar Series course directed by Dr. Rifkind. 

Additional Courses

Students may take additional courses chosen from any of the courses offered by the Graduate School.

The Graduate School also has an Exchange Program/Inter-University Registration with CUNY. Please use the following URL to search for graduate courses: Course Listings and Schedule

If you are interested in registering for any of the CUNY courses please contact the graduate school registrar directly.

Journal Club and Research Symposium

In addition to coursework, students are required to participate in a bi-weekly, student-run Pharmacology Journal Club and the annual Vincent DuVigneaud Research Symposium, held every May. During the period of thesis research, students continue to register for and participate in the Pharmacology Seminar Series and attend all Pharmacology Program seminars, including the WMC Department of Pharmacology Seminar Series and the SKI Molecular Pharmacology & Chemistry Seminar Series. Students are also required to attend the Pharmacology Program retreat, usually held int he spring of each year.

Weill Cornell Medicine Pharmacology 1300 York Avenue,
Room E-409
New York, NY 10021 Phone: (212) 746-6250 Fax: (212) 746-8835