Predoctoral Pharmacology Training Program (PPTP)

Students that are accepted in to the Predoctoral Pharmacology Training Program (PPTP) will be offered a unique training experience focused in the pharmaceutical sciences. The objectives of the PPTP are to train graduate students for a research career in academia, pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, or government research agencies in the general area of pharmacology.

The PPTP is designed to equip students with modern-day cutting-edge skills sets. Students in the PPTP will have unique opportunities to gain insight in to various aspects of the drug discovery process such as target validation, the drug approval process through the Food and Drug Administration, pre-clinical and clinical trials processes as well as entrepreneurial strategies used by start-up biotechnology companies.

PPTP trainees will participate in course work tailored to building an in-depth “hands-on” experience in drug design, drug discovery, high throughput screening, state-of-the-art proteomics and target validation through the Systems Pharmacology and Integrated Therapeutics (SPIT) course. This will be a mandatory course for all PPTP trainees.

Mandatory PPTP course - Systems Pharmacology and Integrated Therapeutics (PHAR 537b):

This course comprises four modules with lecture, faculty and student-led panel discussion and workshops.

Module 1: 

Lectures from faculty experts to include the following topics. This will include topics such as Informatics, computational chemistry and pharmacogenomics, Combinatorial chemistry and drug development, pharmacokinetic modeling, development and design of clinical trials, use of animal models in drug development, targeted use of structural Biology in Drug Discovery and drug delivery mechanisms in pharmaceutical development

Module 2:

Faculty led panel discussions based on video lectures on Principles of Drug Discovery and Development, and Principles of Clinical Research and Design.

Module 3:

Workshops will allow student to gain hands-on experience with Yale’s cutting-edge instrumentation that is utilized in the drug discovery process. These workshops will take advantage of state of the art facilities located on Yale’s West Campus, and will be supervised by PPTP trainers, some in collaboration with core facility directors and staff.  Workshops will introduce students to the concepts of sample handling, equipment instrumentation, data analysis and reporting. Workshops will cover areas including high throughput drug screening, genome analysis, mass spectrometry-based proteomics, antibody engineering and structure-based drug design.

Module 4:

Navigating drug development in real-life (PPTP student-led discussion): 

PPTP trainers will assign case studies to PPTP students on real-life examples of how drugs were discovered and brought to market. PPTP trainers will guide discussions, using case studies as a springboard for discussions. The goal will be to provide a platform for PPTP students to synthesize what they have learned throughout the course to critically evaluate real-life drug development scenarios. Discussions will focus on regulatory and safety issues, the path to IND filing as well as start-up venture strategies in drug development. 

How to apply to the PPTP

Students interested in the PPTP can apply to the program after labs are chosen at the end of the Spring semester of their 1st year. The application includes the following: 

1. Yale graduate school grades for the first year. 

2. A one-page description on proposed research and commitment to the mission of the PPTP. 

3. Written feedback of the students’ performance during the laboratory rotation from the prospective mentor. 

PPTP applications will be evaluated by the PPTP Executive Committee and students will be notified of their acceptance before the end of their 1st year. For additional information on the PPTP contact the training grant director, Anton Bennett, Ph.D. (anton.bennett@yale.edu). The PPTP is supported by NIGMS T32 GM007324