Program Goals

The mission of our graduate program is to train and support students who investigate the molecular and cellular mechanisms that underlie human diseases, with the ultimate goal of identifying therapeutic targets and developing new drugs that improve human health.  The program is affiliated with the newly re-vamped Department of Molecular Pharmacology and Therapeutics.  The goal of the program is well-aligned with the mission of the Department, which aims to leverage analyses of basic cellular mechanisms and model organisms to identify molecular targets that will help us guide translational interventions.  The educational and research opportunities, as well as the environment of our graduate program, encompasses several aspects of biomedical research related to this mission, and are envisioned as a central hub to link basic research findings with the clinical enterprise.  Importantly, our program has two major scientific focuses: 

  1. Molecular signaling and pharmacology in cancer; 
  2. Drug development in human genetic diseases including cardiovascular diseases, neurodegenerative disorders and psychiatry. 
Masayuki Yazawa, PhD
Masayuki Yazawa, PhD

To realize this vision, we have new leadership in the graduate program, Dr. Masayuki Yazawa, whose own research is focused in these areas and who has successfully mentored our graduate students over many years.  Dr. Yazawa is building the graduate program to focus on areas that lie at the interface among basic mechanisms, pathophysiology and drug discovery in the fields of cancer, cardiovascular study and neuroscience.  To establish strong technological platform and scientific expertise in this program, we have been particularly keen to recruit program thesis sponsors with expertise in systems biology, medicinal chemistry, pharmacogenomics, omics, epigenetics and metabolism.