Prestigious NIH grant helps UC Davis train researchers in drug discovery and development

UC Davis

UC Davis Health

has received a renewal of the prestigious National Institutes of Health (NIH) T32 training program grant. The award will help fund the Pharmacology Training Program, which educates the next generation of biomedical researchers in the concepts of drug discovery and development, inclusive of a clinical perspective.

This renewal marks the third time the Pharmacology Training Program has received the T32 Training Grant, which has already supported over 54 graduate students in the last 10 years.

Spearheaded by Johannes W. Hell and Donald M. Bers of the Department of Pharmacology at UC Davis Health, the program includes diverse faculty members from 14 departments in six UC Davis colleges, where extensive collaboration already exists.

Trainers provide in-depth expertise on a range of topics. These include identifying novel therapeutic molecular targets and the development of therapeutic molecules, as well as clinical drug and stem cell trials at the NIH-funded UC Davis Clinical and Translational Science Center and NIH-designated UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Johannes Hell wearing a white collared shirt

The Program fosters interactions among investigators and predoctoral fellows that share an interest in pharmacological sciences. It increases understanding of and interest in the concepts, challenges, and opportunities in pharmacological research and therapeutics.” -Johannes W. Hell

“With this renewal, we will be able to continue supporting the training of graduate students in the pharmacology field for years to come,” said Hell, professor of pharmacology. “The program fosters interactions among investigators and predoctoral fellows that share an interest in pharmacological sciences. It increases understanding of and interest in the concepts, challenges, and opportunities in pharmacological research and therapeutics.”

The National Institutes of Health T32 training program grant seeks to equip scientists with the knowledge and skills to advance biomedical research. Institutions throughout the country, including those in higher education, are eligible to apply for these grants. The hope is that they will advance graduate training and mentorship to keep up with the needs of the biomedical field.

The UC Davis Pharmacology Training Program primarily focuses on:

  • Presenting trainees with a detailed “inside look” at and understanding of drug development from target identification into the clinic
  • Providing focused and student-tailored small group training in the core principles of pharmacology for non-pharmacology trainees, and integrate these students with pharmacology students for interdisciplinary group learning in drug development
Donald Bers wearing a blue shirt and tie

Our program produces experts with a variety of backgrounds that can effectively communicate and collaborate with experts from other related disciplines in the increasingly complex realm of drug development.” -Donald M. Bers

“Our training program allows all trainees to communicate and collaborate across the large array of research disciplines they represent,” said Bers, professor and chair of pharmacology. “In this way, our program produces experts with a variety of backgrounds that can effectively communicate and collaborate with experts from other related disciplines in the increasingly complex realm of drug development.”

Students eligible to apply to the Pharmacology Training Program are in their first year of a graduate program and are working on a thesis project related to pharmacology. The program strives to recruit a diverse group of students from different areas across campus. Students must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents and be in good academic standing.

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