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Pharmacology and Toxicology


The program leading to the Master of Science degree in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology will prepare students for careers in industry, government, education, and research organizations or for further professional training. It is offered in close cooperation with the U.S. Air Force and Navy Toxicology Laboratories located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

This program differs from other undergraduate major or master’s-level programs currently offered at Wright State University, both conceptually and with respect to employment and career options. It provides a comprehensive introduction to the broad range of theoretical concepts that comprise these disciplines, providing both historical context and state-of-the-art technical approaches to solving pharmacological and toxicological problems. This goal of providing students with a career-oriented yet theoretically based education will be accomplished within the core curriculum through the combination of text and literature-based lectures, complemented by laboratory instruction and journal club type seminars, and culminating with a thesis research project.


Applicants must fulfill the requirements for admission established by the School of Graduate Studies. A baccalaureate degree in physical, chemical, or life sciences with undergraduate level courses in biochemistry, molecular biology, molecular genetics, and cell biology is generally required. Preference is given to applicants with a GPA of 3.0 or greater. The Graduate Record Examination scores, a personal goals statement and three letters of recommendation are required. For international students, a TOEFL score of at least 600/250 will also be required.

Degree Requirements

To qualify for the Master of Science degree, students must satisfy the requirements of the School of Graduate Studies, as well as the program requirements. During the first three quarters, students will be required to enroll in 26–30 hours of didactic course work supplemented by laboratory rotations and research activities. During the second year, students will focus on developing a research-based thesis culminating with an oral thesis defense. PTX 990 (Seminar) is required each academic year quarter.

Administrative Organization of the Program

Responsibility for program administration lies within the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, School of Medicine. The program director will coordinate all aspects of the M.S. program and serve as ex-officio member of all committees. A program advisor will initially advise new program entrants until such time as a research advisor is selected by the student and approved by the program director. A thesis committee consisting of two graduate faculty members in addition to the research advisor will be selected by the student in consultation with the research advisor.


The Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology occupies the second floor of the Health Sciences Building on the main campus of Wright State University. Resources include seven well-equipped biomedical research laboratories and common equipment facilities. Wright-Patterson Air Force Base (WPAFB) is located immediately adjacent to Wright State University, where the facilities of the Air Force and Naval Toxicology laboratories are available to students in the program. In addition to providing a training site for thesis research, these sites also serve as a window to potential career opportunities for graduates of this program. The laboratories at WPAFB conduct research on the health effects of a wide variety of agents for military and other government agencies including the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). The university has an agreement of cooperation with WPAFB promoting educational and research interactions applicable to this M.S. program.

Molecular Biology and Imaging Research Facilities
Students will have the opportunity to utilize state-of-the-art equipment in this core facility maintained within the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology. The core facility contains a sophisticated protein SELDI-TOF mass spectrometer, a laser scanning confocal microscope (Leica SP-2), an epifluorescence microscope (Leica DM-5), a phosphorimager (Fuji FLA-2000), and a multi-functional microplate reader (Packard Fusion). Computer workstations for storage, quantification, and analysis of data, and high-resolution printers for making images are available.

Integrative Pharmacology Facility
Students will also have the opportunity to utilize computerized behavioral and cardiovascular monitoring equipment to monitor the effects of stress, drugs, and toxicants on these physiological parameters in mice.


Norma C. Adragna, regulation of endothelial cell ion transport
James N. McDougal, dermal toxicology, pharmacokinetic modeling
Mariana Morris (chair), neuoroendocrinology, hypertension

Associate Professors
David R. Cool, neuroendocrinology, intracellular protein sorting
John M. Frazier, predictive toxicokinetics
James B. Lucot (program director), neuro/behavioral pharmacology, stress-toxicity interactions
Thomas D. Lockwood, regulation of cellular proteolysis, control of cardiac blood flow
Javier E. Stern, neurophysiology/neuroanatomy, peptidergic regulation of ion channels

Assistant Professor
Yanfang Chen, Ccrdiovascular diseases — hypertension and stroke, molecular physiology
Khalid Elased, mechanisms of disease—hypertension and diabetes
Courtney E. W. Sulentic, cellular and molecular immunotoxicology


Faculty Research Areas
The program faculty have active research projects in overlapping areas, reflecting a multidisciplinary approach to investigating cardiovascular, toxicological, behavioral, and neuroscience problems. Specific areas of research include: cellular ion transport, prohormone processing and sorting in neurodegeneration, predictive toxicokinetics/hepatic toxicology, protein degradation/myocardial blow flow regulation, neurochemical/behavioral response to toxins, dermal toxicokinetics, molecular and cellular immunotoxicology, neuroendocrinology/cardiovascular function, and electrophysiological studies on peptide control of neuroendocrine/autonomic system.

Course of Study

Program of study62-78

Common core course requirements are:
PTX 700 Research Techniques 3
CMH 601 Biostatistics4
PTX 710 Principles of Biokinetics4
PTX 750 Principles of Biodynamics4
PTX 751 Molecular Toxicology4
PTS 990 Seminar3

Graduate School
E344 Student Union
Voice: (937) 775-2976
Fax: (937) 775-2453
E-mail: wsugrad@wright.edu
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