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Department of Pharmacological & Physiology
Room M 362 || 1402 South Grand Blvd
St. Louis, Missouri 63104
NIGMS T32 Training Program
Objectives and Mission of Training in Pharmacological Sciences
The goal of this training program is to prepare individuals for a research and teaching career in Pharmacological Sciences. Pharmacological Sciences involves a study of the action of chemical substances on living systems and on material derived from living systems. It has evolved through the years, to a dynamic and broad discipline of study that utilizes the fundamental principles of biology, chemistry and physics. Not only is it important to understand the actions and mechanisms of action of drugs, but drugs have become important tools to probe normal physiological processes as well as those at the biochemical and molecular level. The level of sophistication of modern research has increased steadily over the past years, so that training must be obtained in a variety of areas previously thought to be beyond the bounds of Pharmacology. This training program in Pharmacological Sciences is based on the assumption that it is a broadly based subject requiring a multidisciplinary and integrative approach.
We have identified a group of dynamic scientists at Saint Louis University who are focusing their research around a general theme of "Cellular Communication and Control." The emphasis of this proposed training program will be to offer research training in this broad area of the pharmacological sciences. This training program provides a coherent course of basic and advanced study and research under the direction of a core faculty assembled from various departments in addition to the Department of Pharmacological and Physiological Sciences. Faculty participating in this Training Program had their formal training in numerous fields including: biochemistry, cell biology, endocrinology, molecular biology, medicine and neuroscience in addition to pharmacology and physiology. Predoctoral students will satisfy the objectives of the program by either obtaining a Ph.D. in Pharmacological and Physiological Science with sub specialization in a related area or obtaining a Ph.D. in another discipline with sub specialization in Pharmacological and Physiological Science.
Research training is offered in a broad area with particular emphasis on cellular communication and control exerted through the endocrine, cardiovascular and nervous systems as well as developmental biology. The broad objectives of the research programs are: 1) to elucidate interrelationships between these systems, 2) to determine the mechanisms by which a neurotransmitter, neuromodulator autacoid or hormone is produced, stored, inactivated or secreted, 3) to investigate the mechanisms and action of receptors and intracellular signal transduction systems at the cellular and molecular level and how they ultimately lead to biological responses, 4) to understand how various drugs perturb these communication systems at the biochemical and molecular level and 5) to gain a better understanding of the pathophysiological mechanisms involved in disrupting cellular communications. It must be stressed that this program in pharmacological sciences is in no way restrictive or exclusive. Strict attention is given to the integration of advances made with simplified systems (genes, enzyme or receptor) into more complex systems (cell or organ) and finally into in vivo integrated studies. This approach affords the development of an appreciation of drug action from an effect on a gene, receptor or enzyme to the use of a drug therapeutically in disease states in man.