Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences

Program Director: Ghee Tan, Ph.D.
Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy (DKICP)
722 S. A'ohoku St.
Hilo, HI 96720
Email: gheetan@hawaii.edu

University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo
Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy (DKICP)
Office of Student Services (OSS)
Ph.D. Program Admissions
200 W. Kāwili Street
Hilo, HI 96720
Fax: (808) 933-3889
Email: pharmacy@hawaii.edu

Faculty:

Program Description

Utilizing the extraordinary intellectual, biological, physical and cultural diversity of its geographic region as a focus of investigation and study, the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo’s College of Pharmacy is proud to offer a Ph.D. program in the Pharmaceutical Sciences.

This program, which is the only program of its type in the Pacific region, provides graduate training in the Pharmaceutical Sciences including Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmacology, Pharmaceutics, and Pharmacognosy. It is aimed at students with B.S., M.S., or Pharm.D. degrees, and those currently working in the field. Studies culminate with the award of a Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences, with an emphasis on natural products discovery and development and their importance in pharmacy and healthcare.

Students will be prepared for senior leadership positions in the pharmaceutical sciences in academia, research, education, government, industry and related fields and become leaders who can identify, research, and solve problems related to the pharmaceutical sciences. The Ph.D. program is designed to foster student development as critical thinkers, team players, self-directed interdisciplinary scholars and communicators.

Mission

The mission of the Ph.D. program in Pharmaceutical Sciences is to train students to be skilled researchers and critical thinkers who will play key leadership roles in furthering the development of the Pharmaceutical Sciences and related fields now and into the future.

Program Goals

  • To provide a high-quality graduate program culminating in the award of a Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences, including the areas of Pharmaceutics, Pharmacognosy, Medicinal Chemistry, and Pharmacology.
  • To foster the development of students as critical thinkers, team players, self-directed interdisciplinary scholars, and communicators.
  • To prepare students for senior leadership positions in the pharmaceutical sciences in academia, research, education, government, industry, and related fields. These leaders will be able to identify, research, and solve problems related to the pharmaceutical sciences.
  • To train students by utilizing the extraordinary intellectual, biological, physical, and cultural assets available on the Island of Hawaii, the State, and the Asia-Pacific region.
  • To promote the transfer of cutting-edge technology through developing a community research partnership, process, and protocol for understanding the diversity of natural products originating in Hawaii, the Pacific, and around the world and their applications to healing in a culturally respectful way.

Student Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of the PhD program a graduate should be able to:

  1. Perform scientific research that will advance knowledge in the interdisciplinary field of Pharmaceutical Sciences.
  2. Use advanced technological equipment in order to perform quantitative analysis and be able to interpret complex data.
  3. Analyze, apply, and present research findings.
  4. Prepare, interpret, and critique scientific publications and proposals.
  5. Identify which aspects of their individual program may be usefully transferred to some applied research program.
  6. Complete the seven stages for a successful PhD in any technical discipline, thereby becoming an independent researcher:
    • Identify a problem/question
    • Form an hypothesis
    • Develop a model
    • Design an experimental strategy to test the hypothesis
    • Execute an experimental plan
    • Interpret the data against the hypothesis
    • Report the results in a dissertation and peer reviewed publications

Admission Requirements

Acceptance is granted at the discretion of the Pharmaceutical Science Ph.D. Admissions Committee based on the criteria below.

  1. Successful completion of the Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences Application process.
  2. Each applicant must hold a baccalaureate degree or graduate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. college or university, or its equivalent from a recognized non-U.S. institution of learning
  3. Applicants must have a minimum Grade Point Average of 3.0 out of 4.0 or the equivalent in the last 60 semester credits of undergraduate and in all post-baccalaureate work.
  4. Applicants are recommended to have successfully completed with a grade “C” or higher: General Biology I and II for Science Majors with Labs, General Chemistry I and II for Science Majors with Labs, Organic Chemistry I and II for Science Majors with Labs, Calculus 1 or Advanced Calculus. Students may have to take additional courses if proficiency cannot be demonstrated.
  5. A personal statement of objectives is required which includes applicant's background, professional goals and academic and research interests.
  6. Resume.
  7. Official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores sent directly from ETS.
  8. Three Letters of Recommendation using the “Ph.D. Letter of Recommendation Form”. The letters should be written by people who can speak to the applicant's educational ability, motivation, and character, and/or leadership experiences. At least one of your letters MUST be written by a Professor of one of the Natural or Physical Sciences. Please allow the Recommenders plenty of time to complete this form, and have them mail the letter directly to the UH Hilo Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy, Office of Student Services, PhD Program Admissions, 200 W. Kawili Street; Hilo, HI 96720-4091.
  9. Completed SKYPE or equivalent electronic interview.

Foreign applicants must also submit:

  1. Official TOEFL score report unless the degree was conferred by an institution whose language of instruction is English. International students seeking Graduate Assistant positions with any instructional responsibility must demonstrate proficiency in English, defined as a TOEFL score of at least 600 on paper-based or 100 on internet-based test or its equivalent or an IELTS score of 7.0 or its equivalent. Graduate Student Employment Policy.
  2. International Graduate Student Supplemental Information Form.

Further information on the details of fulfilling admissions requirements are available from the Ph.D. Program Admissions Office pharmacy@hawaii.edu, and on the DKICP Graduate Admissions website.

Graduation Requirements

  1. Successful achievement of the requirements for year one of the student’s program.

  2. Regardless of any previous graduate experience, a minimum of 24 graduate didactic credit hours must be taken at UH Hilo before the Ph.D. degree can be granted.

  3. Completion of all first year graduate courses each with a grade no less than a “B” (3.0) and, thereafter, maintenance of a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better.

  4. Completion of one seminar each year; a minimum grade of “B” (3.0) should be achieved for this presentation. The Proposal Defense and Dissertation Defense seminars will satisfy the seminar presentation requirement for that particular academic year.

  5. No later than the fourth semester of the program, successful completion of a written and/or oral Comprehensive Examination to demonstrate competence in the chosen area(s) of Pharmaceutical Sciences.

  6. No later than the fifth semester of the program, completion of an original dissertation research proposal, presentation of a public seminar on the student’s research proposal, and successful defense in a comprehensive oral examination (Proposal Defense) on the proposal and any other topics that the Graduate Committee deems necessary. In this examination the student’s Graduate Committee will determine if the student is sufficiently prepared in the selected field of study to continue with their dissertation. Once the student passes the Comprehensive Examination and the Proposal Defense, he/she will be eligible to be admitted to Candidacy for the Ph. D. degree.

  7. Successful completion of a dissertation, with enrollment in a minimum of 56 credits of dissertation research (PHPS 799V Directed Studies (To Be Arranged) and PHPS 800 Resrch Dissertation-Phrm Sci (1–15)). Upon completion of the dissertation, a final public seminar and oral dissertation defense (Dissertation Defense) will follow.

  8. Completion of at least 96 combined credits of graduate courses and dissertation; including PHPS 700-level and PHPS 800-level courses.

  9. The publication of one or more first author research manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals.

  10. Compliance with UH Hilo rules and regulations for graduation.

Curricula

To successfully complete the PhD degree candidates must complete; year 1 with a minimum grade of B in each graded course (Minimum GPA = 3.0); after the first year, courses must be completed with a cumulative GPA of no less than 3.0; a minimum of 24 graduate level didactic credits and a minimum of 56 credits of research courses (PHPS 799 and PHPS 800); a minimum of 96 credit hours overall (Minimum cumulative GPA = 3.0).

  1. PhD Year 1 Fall Courses (minimum 12 credits)
    • PHPS 718 Lab Visits & Supervisor Select (1)
    • PHPS 749 Overview of Pharm Sciences I (2)
    • Area-specific courses (9 credits minimum chosen from among the recommended courses below for a specific area and supplemented with other electives as needed)
      • Cancer Biology Emphasis
        • PHPS 703 Cancer Biology (2)
        • PHPS 710 Lab Animal Care, Mgt & Med I (2)
        • PHPS 751 Biochemistry I - Biomolecules (3)
        • PHPS 735 Cell Cycle Progression (2)
        • Or other appropriate electives to make up a minimum of 9 credits
      • Medicinal Chemistry Emphasis
        • PHPS 704 Com Chem & High Throughput Tec (2)
        • PHPS 709 Inst Meth & Struct Elucidation (2)
        • PHPS 713 Organic Medicinal Chemistry I (2)
        • PHPS 717 Med Chem CNS Drugs & Develop (2)
        • Or other appropriate electives to make up a minimum of 9 credits
      • Pharmacognosy Emphasis
        • PHPS 709 Inst Meth & Struct Elucidation (2)
        • PHPS 723 Pharmacognosy (2)
        • PHPS 751 Biochemistry I - Biomolecules (3)
        • Or other appropriate electives to make up a minimum of 9 credits
      • Pharmaceutics Emphasis
        • PHPS 709 Inst Meth & Struct Elucidation (2)
        • PHPS 755 Advanced Pharmaceutics I (3)
        • PHPS 733 Aerosol Physics in Medicine (1)
        • Or other appropriate electives to make up a minimum of 9 credits
      • Pharmacology Emphasis
        • PHPS 703 Cancer Biology (2)
        • PHPS 706 Environmental Toxicology (2)
        • PHPS 721 Neuropsychopharmacology (2)
        • PHPS 724 Pharmacology I (3)
        • PHPS 735 Cell Cycle Progression (2)
        • Or other appropriate electives to make up a minimum of 9 credits
  2. PhD Year 1 (Qualifying Year) Spring Courses (minimum 12 credits)
    • PHPS 750 Overview of Pharm Sciences II (2)
    • PHPS 780 Research Seminar (1)
    • PHPS 799 Directed Studies (To Be Arranged)
    • Area-specific courses (5 credits minimum chosen from among the recommended courses below for a specific area and supplemented with other electives as needed)
      • Cancer Biology Emphasis
        • PHPS 711 Lab Animal Care, Mgt & Med II (2)
        • PHPS 720 Nat Prod & Cancer Chemoprevent (2)
        • PHPS 729 Receptor Theory & Signal Trans (2)
        • PHPS 752 Biochemistry II - Metabolism (3)
        • PHPS 734 Biotechnology Laboratory (2)
        • Or other appropriate electives to make up a minimum of 5 credits
      • Medicinal Chemistry Emphasis
        • PHPS 714 Organic Medicinal Chemistry II (2)
        • PHPS 720 Nat Prod & Cancer Chemoprevent (2)
        • Or other appropriate electives to make up a minimum of 5 credits
      • Pharmacognosy Emphasis
        • PHPS 702 Bio Dev:Prin&Prac in Drug Disc (1)
        • PHPS 720 Nat Prod & Cancer Chemoprevent (2)
        • PHPS 730 Sample Coll, Documnt & Presrv (1)
        • PHPS 752 Biochemistry II - Metabolism (3)
        • Or other appropriate electives to make up a minimum of 5 credits
      • Pharmaceutics Emphasis
        • PHPS 756 Advanced Pharmaceutics II (3)
        • Or other appropriate electives to make up a minimum of 5 credits
      • Pharmacology Emphasis
        • PHPS 725 Pharmacology II (3)
        • PHPS 729 Receptor Theory & Signal Trans (2)
        • Or other appropriate electives to make up a minimum of 5 credits
  3. PhD Year 2 Fall Courses (minimum 12 credits)
    • PHPS 799 Directed Studies (To Be Arranged) (minimum 7 credits)
    • Electives as needed, electives plus PHPS 780 Research Seminar (1) PHPS 799 should total a minimum of 12 credits
  4. PhD Year 2 Spring Courses (minimum 12 credits)
    • PHPS 780 Research Seminar (1)
    • PHPS 799 Directed Studies (To Be Arranged) (minimum 7 credits)
    • Electives as needed, electives plus PHPS 799 should total a minimum of 12 credits
  5. PhD Year 3 Fall Courses (minimum 12 credits)
    • PHPS 780 Research Seminar (1)
    • PHPS 799 Directed Studies (To Be Arranged) (minimum 7 credits)
    • Electives as needed, electives plus PHPS 780 Research Seminar (1) and PHPS 799 should total a minimum of 12 credits
  6. PhD Year 3 Spring Courses (minimum 12 credits)
    • PHPS 799 Directed Studies (To Be Arranged) (minimum 7 credits)
    • Electives as needed, electives plus PHPS 799 should total a minimum of 12 credits
  7. PhD Year 4 Fall Courses (minimum 12 credits)
    • PHPS 799 Directed Studies (To Be Arranged) (minimum 7 credits)
    • Electives as needed, electives plus PHPS 799 should total a minimum of 12 credits
  8. PhD Year 4 Spring Courses (minimum 12 credits)
    • PHPS 799 Directed Studies (To Be Arranged) (minimum 6 credits)
    • For final semester in program: PHPS 800 Resrch Dissertation-Phrm Sci (1–15) (1 credit required)
    • Electives as needed, electives plus PHPS 799 and PHPS 800 should total a minimum of 12 credits
  9. PhD Year 5 and beyond are taken on an as required basis. (minimum 12 credits)
    • PHPS 799 Directed Studies (To Be Arranged) (minimum 6 credits)
    • For final semester in program: PHPS 800 Resrch Dissertation-Phrm Sci (1–15) (1 credit required)
    • Electives as needed, electives plus PHPS 799 and PHPS 800 should total a minimum of 12 credits

Electives–Listed Alphabetically

Alpha/Number Course Title Credits
PHPS 701 Apoptosis and Angiogenesis in Disease Processes and Drug Development 1
PHPS 702 Bioassay Development: Principles & Practices in Drug Discovery 3
PHPS 703 Cancer Biology 2
PHPS 704 Combinatorial Chemistry and High Throughput Technologies in Drug Discovery 2
PHPS 705 Designing Clinical Research 3
PHPS 706 Environmental Toxicology 2
PHPS 707 Genetics in Medicine 2
PHPS 708 Isolation Methods for Natural Product Discovery 2
PHPS 709 Instrumental Methods and Structure Elucidation of Mainly Natural Products 2
PHPS 710 Laboratory Animal Care, Management and Medicine I 2
PHPS 711 Laboratory Animal Care, Management and Medicine II 2
PHPS 712 Medical Cell Biology 2
PHPS 713 Medicinal Chemistry I 2
PHPS 714 Medicinal Chemistry II 2
PHPS 715 Medicinal Chemistry III 2
PHPS 716 Medicinal Chemistry IV 2
PHPS 717 Medicinal Chemistry of CNS Drugs and Development of in vivo CNS Tracers 2
PHPS 719 Molecular Biology Techniques and Applications for Healthcare Professionals 2
PHPS 720 Natural Products and Cancer Chemoprevention 2
PHPS 721 Neuropsychopharmacology 2
PHPS 722 Pharmaceutical Marketing 2
PHPS 723 Pharmacognosy I 2
PHPS 724 Pharmacology I 3
PHPS 725 Pharmacology II 3
PHPS 726 Pharmacology III 3
PHPS 727 Pharmacology IV 3
PHPS 728 Phytochemistry of Terrestrial Plants 2
PHPS 729 Receptor Theory and Signal Transduction 2
PHPS 730 Sample Collection, Documentation and Preservation 1
PHPS 731 Toxicants and Toxicity 3
PHPS 732 Toxic Plant Natural Products and Their Therapeutic Potential 2
PHPS 733 Advanced Aerosol Physics in Medicine: Inhaled Drug Therapy 1
PHPS 734 Biotechnology Laboratory 2
PHPS 735 Cell Cycle Progression and Apoptosis, Methodological Approaches 2