M.S. in Pharmacology & Toxicology

M.S. in Pharmacology & Toxicology

The Master of Science program in Pharmacology and Toxicology prepares students with the knowledge and abilities required for competitive technical positions in pharmacological research and testing, for participating in clinical trials, and for performing toxicological reviews and assessments in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries as well as in academic and governmental research laboratories.

Additionally, graduates are well positioned to continue their studies in Ph.D. programs in pharmacology and other biomedical sciences, while other graduates may find the program ideal for improving their credentials toward gaining admission to medical school or other health professional programs.

Career opportunities and employment may include academic departments involved in research, development, and teaching. Rewarding careers are also possible in pharmaceutical companies, government laboratories and agencies including the Centers for Disease Control, The Food and Drug Administration, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Defense and NASA. Opportunities also exist in areas involving the development of public policy, investment advising, patent law, and scientific writing and editing.

There is excellent potential for rapid advancement in this field due to the importance of the discipline to the drug industry, regulatory agencies, and to the general public.

Graduates of the program have either joined academic departments by securing doctoral fellowships in prestigious laboratories, or obtained jobs in industry. Others have used their degree to facilitate entry into medical and pharmacy schools.

Employment opportunities may include:

  • Designing and performing laboratory experiments
  • Managing research projects
  • Reviewing scientific documents and making recommendations
  • Writing scientific communications and papers for publication and non-publication purposes
  • Oral communication of scientific findings

In addition to strong scientific background and analytical skills, the successful candidate will also need to possess excellent interpersonal and communication skills and high ethical standards.

LIU Pharmacy's M.S. in Pharmacology and Toxicology degree program prepares student lifelong learners with the knowledge and abilities required for competitive technical positions in pharmacological research and testing, for participating in clinical trials, and for performing toxicological reviews and assessments in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries as well as in academic and governmental research laboratories. Additionally, graduates are well-positioned to continue their studies in Ph.D. programs in pharmacology and other biomedical sciences, while other graduates may find the program ideal for improving their credentials toward gaining admission to medical school or other health professional programs.

Students will: a) demonstrate a mastery of a broad didactic foundation in pharmacology and toxicology; b) develop research skills through exposure to significant research opportunities and experiences during which they translate their knowledge base into practice; and c) utilize professional skills such as statistical analysis, written and verbal communication. These abilities will be acquired through specific coursework, labs, seminars, and other professional and personal development offered during the course of study.


Goal 1:  Apply the knowledge of mechanisms of action of drugs and toxicants to discuss the clinical profile of pharmacological agents.

1.1.         Discuss the mechanisms of action of selected drugs/toxicants at the molecular, cellular, organ system, and whole body level;

1.2.         Discuss the toxicity of drugs based on the physiology and the pathophysiology of the disease;

1.3.         Assess and evaluate therapeutic and/or toxic outcomes based on the knowledge of drugs/toxicants accessibility to target sites.

Goal 2:  Apply the knowledge of pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic processes and principles to discuss therapeutic and toxic outcomes of pharmacological agents.

2.1.         Apply the pharmacokinetic processes to discuss the absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion of drugs/toxicants;

2.2.         Apply the pharmacodynamic principles to discuss a drug’s affinity, potency, and efficacy;

2.3.         Evaluate the impact of pharmacokinetic processes on the action of drugs/toxicants and their clinical/toxic outcomes;

2.4.         Use the pharmacodynamic principles to discuss the mechanism of action of drugs/toxicants and clinical/toxic outcomes;

2.5.         Use appropriate concepts, principles, and analysis skills to address drug efficacy/toxicity queries;

2.6.         Discuss the clinical uses and the safety profile of various classes of drugs;

2.7.         Solicit appropriate information required to address drug efficacy/toxicity queries.

Goal 3:  Develop oral and written communication skills necessary to disseminate scientific information.

3.1.         Orally communicate sound evaluations of discipline-specific, peer-reviewed papers;

3.2.         Demonstrate verbal communication skills during seminar presentations and thesis defense;

3.3.         Demonstrate the ability to write scientific reports and evaluations in the area of study;

3.4.         Develop proficiency in writing abstracts;

3.5.         Demonstrate the ability to write a research project;

3.6.         Write a thesis dissertation based on data obtained during laboratory training and investigation.

Goal 4:  Retrieve, analyze, interpret, and critique scientific literature in pharmacology and toxicology.

4.1.         Conduct a literature review independently using appropriate keywords, databases, and select pharmacology and toxicology peer-reviewed papers that pertain to a specific problem;

4.2.         Analyze, interpret, and critique the scientific literature with regard to study design, data interpretation, and appropriateness of conclusions.

Goal 5:  Develop the skills needed to perform analytical and experimental techniques, and research methodology.

5.1.         Develop an experimental technique based on one’s own research area;

5.2.         Design experiments using pharmacological and toxicological tools to investigate a specific research area;

5.3.         Develop and validate research methodologies to investigate specific research questions.

Goal 6:  Identify research opportunities, develop hypotheses and design research projects, and execute independent research. (Thesis option students).

6.1.         Demonstrate the ability to carry out experiments in a laboratory setting;

6.2.         Demonstrate the ability to design experimental protocols;

6.3.         Statistically analyze and generate graphics of the data and interpret experimental findings;

6.4.         Demonstrate the ability to conduct a literature search for a specific area of investigation;

6.5.         Identify areas of unsolved investigation; develop hypotheses and research questions.


Undergraduate Prerequisites:
Biochemistry, Physiology and Pharmacology

M.S. in Pharmacology/Toxicology - Requirements [Program Code: 26233]

Students taking the Non-Thesis Option must complete 36 credits of course work and pass the written comprehensive examination. Students taking the Thesis Option must complete 33 credits of course work of which 6 credits are in PTM 060 Research and Thesis, submit a satisfactory thesis proposal, submit a satisfactory written thesis, and successfully defend (orally) their written thesis. 

The following courses are required for the Master of Science in Pharmacology/Toxicology:

PHA 010 Biostatistics 3
PTM 020 Seminar In Pharmacology/Toxicology 3
PTM 704 Autonomic Pharmacology 3
PTM 705 Biochemical Pharmacology 3
PTM 709 Advanced Pharmacology 3
PTM 802 Experimental Methods in Pharmacology and Toxicology 3
PTM 910 Toxicology of Drugs and Chemicals 3

The following courses may be selected from as electives for the Master of Science in Pharmacology/Toxicology: (*Thesis Option students must take six (6) credits of PTM 060 Research and Thesis)

PTM 060 Research and Thesis 3
PTM 020 Seminar In Pharmacology/Toxicology 3
PTM 070 Special Projects 3
PTM 708 Cardiovascular Pharmacology 3
PTM 711 Current Technologies in Pharmaceutical Research and Development 3
PTM 804 Inborn Errors of Metabolism 3
PTM 905 Principles of Immunotherapy 3
PTM 907 Psychopharmacology 3
PTM 917 Molecular Toxicology 3
PTM 920 Molecular Pharmacology 3
PTM 925 Pharmacogenomics 3
PTM 938 Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine 3

CONTACT

LIU Pharmacy
John M. Pezzuto, A.B., Ph.D.
Dean