Pharmacology & Physiology PhD Program

The Pharmacology and Physiology PhD program is centered on research that seeks to understand normal functions of systems within organisms and how these are altered by pathological states such as hypertension, stress, alcohol and exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals and drugs. Many of these projects are integrative and emphasize the interactions between different systems.

Graduate students in the program can receive training in a variety of systems. These include the impact on the cardiovascular and renal systems in obesity and hypertension. Other areas include autonomic regulation of respiration and brainstem function, neural control of blood pressure and heart rate, post-traumatic stress disorder, cardiovascular diseases, and pharmacogenetic determinants of drug responses. Pharmacogenomics includes a study identifying genetic variants leading to increased health risks in African American populations.

PhD programs in the biomedical sciences are designed to meet key goals in contemporary graduate research education including 1) discipline-specific knowledge, 2) research skill development, 3) research communication skills, 4) research leadership, 5) research professionalism, and prepare graduates for a variety of science careers. To apply, please visit IBS Admissions.

Faculty members are from the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences, including scientists from the Children’s Research Institute of Children’s National Health System. Students have access to cutting-edge core facilities for whole animal imaging, flow cytometry, confocal and other imaging, and computational biology.

The PhD in Pharmacology and Physiology begins with interdisciplinary coursework in molecular, cellular and systems biology in the first semester. In the second and third semester students take in-depth courses in pharmacogenomics, physiology and pharmacology. Career development coursework in scientific writing, oral communication, and research ethics; and laboratory rotations are offered through GW’s Integrated Biomedical Sciences curriculum. Following required laboratory rotations, students work with their research advisor and the Graduate Program Directors to complete remaining Pharmacology & Physiology degree requirements, including the dissertation.

Pharmacology & Physiology Core:

PHAR 6116: Pharmacogenomics & Personalized Medicine

PHAR 6205: Pharmacology

PHAR 8211: Physiology

PHAR 8281: Molecular Pharmacology & Neurobiology of Excitable Tissues

Seminars/Journal Clubs:

The Pharmacology and Physiology seminar series meets weekly at noon on Thursdays.

Graduate Program Directors:

Colin Young, PhD

Associate Professor of Pharmacology & Physiology

GWU; Ross Hall

Nikki Posnack, PhD

Associate Professor of Pharmacology & Physiology

Children’s National Health System, GWU

How to apply to the IBS and Pharmacology and Physiology PhD Program

For IBS Application Questions, contact Colleen Kennedy, IBS Program Manager.