The objective of the Clinical Pharmacy Translational Science (CPTS) PhD Program is to provide intensive didactic and mentored research training to post-graduates (PharmD, BS, etc.) with an interest in pursuing careers as independent investigators in research. Each student will select from two tracks for focused learning and training; Health Services Research (HSR) focuses on how health policy and our health systems and providers can impact and improve medication use, while Precision Pharmacotherapy focuses on the discovery and translation of physiological biomarkers that can be used to predict, monitor, or understand treatment outcomes.

Curriculum

All students will receive general instruction in translational pharmaceutical sciences, research study design, and grant proposal development, and participate in a Seminar series with departmental faculty. In-depth knowledge and skills in HSR or Precision Pharmacotherapy will be developed. We anticipate that students in the CPTS PhD Program will complete their doctoral studies in about four years. A general outline of the anticipated timeline and curricula for students within each track are provided in the below sections. Faculty of interest should be mentioned in application materials; however, we do not accept students into the program to do PhD work with specific faculty. There is no MS available. 

  • Year 1 Fall

    Students will meet with all professors in month one, and work in the lab of two to three professors who will be potential advisors.

    All students will take the following courses

    CPTS 801 Research grant proposal I (2 credit). The purpose of this course is for the learner to gain knowledge and experience in writing innovative research questions and hypotheses for grant applications. The course consists of several interactive lectures and workshops about the process of grant writing. Students will select a topic from one of several options, and complete most aspects of an NIH R21/R02 grant. A writing group discussion and/or presentation to the group for peer feedback is expected several times throughout the course.

    BIOSTAT 521 Applied Biostatistics (4.0). Fundamental statistical concepts related to the practice of public health: descriptive statistics; probability; sampling; statistical distributions; estimation; hypothesis testing; chi-square tests; simple and multiple linear regression; one-way ANOVA. Taught at a more advanced mathematical level than Biostat 503. Use of the computer in statistical analysis.

    MC 600: Responsible conduct of research and scholarship in pharmaceutical sciences (0.5). This course teaches students about ethics and integrity in science.  It takes advantage of case studies that link basic principles with specific examples, providing students with opportunities to discuss and develop concepts related to ethics and scientific integrity.  A major teaching tool will be the use of case studies where students discuss model cases and are challenged to apply their own knowledge as well as their personal experiences and insights in order to derive appropriate solutions to the problems posed.  

    CPTS 850 (former SAS 839) Clinical Pharmacy Seminar (1-2 credits). Weekly presentations of graduate students, faculty and/or visitors regarding current studies in pharmaceutical clinical and translational sciences. Professional development and skill development such as writing specific aims or giving job/chalk talks will also be included. 

  • Year 1 Winter

    Students will indicate their primary mentor and work on a project in their mentor’s lab while working towards identifying their future research project.

    All students will take the following shared courses:

    BIOSTAT 522: Biostatistical Analysis for Health-related studies (3.0). A second course in applied biostatistical methods and data analysis. Concepts of data analysis and experimental design for health-related studies. Emphasis on categorical data analysis, multiple regression, analysis of variance and covariance.

    Pharm 647 Clinical trial and observational research designs (2 credits). The purpose of this course is for the learner to gain knowledge in designing and conducting clinical and observational trials, with a focus on threats to internal and external validity. This interprofessional course will also include a longitudinal group project to develop a clinical trial protocol and informed consent document. 

    CPTS 802 Research grant proposal II (2 credit). The purpose of this course is for the learner to gain knowledge and experience in synthesizing literature and writing a review article. The course consists of several interactive lectures and workshops about the process of researching and writing a review. Students will write a review article within the topic of their dissertation research and submit it for publication as a review article. 

    CPTS 850 (former SAS 839) Clinical Pharmacy Seminar (1-2 credits). Weekly presentations of graduate students, faculty and/or visitors regarding current studies in pharmaceutical clinical and translational sciences. Professional development and skill development such as writing specific aims or giving job/chalk talks will also be included.

    MC 660: Responsible conduct of research and scholarship in pharmaceutical sciences (0.5). See description above

    Students in the Precision Pharmacotherapy track will also take the following courses:

    CPTS 822: Research and Clinical Translation in Pharmacogenomics (3.0). This course focuses on methods for research and clinical translation of DNA (genetics and epigenetics) and RNA (transcriptomics) in precision pharmacotherapy, which we globally refer to as "pharmacogenomics". Students will learn research methods such as genomic data generation, analysis, and experimental models. Students will also learn methods for clinical translation such as genomics-driven clinical trials and how pharmacogenetics is currently used in clinical practice. 

    Students in the HSR track will also take the following courses:

    CPTS 830e: Health Services Research (3.0)  (Pai, Coe, Erickson, Farris) Patient behavior is an important factor in how medications are used and the ultimate impact that they have on health. The purpose of this course is to introduce the learner to relevant theory and study designs that are used to study medication use outcomes. Health behavior and topics including medication adherence, care transitions, health disparities and pharmacy practice form the context for this course, in that all methods will use these contexts as examples.. Specific methods for health services rsearch will include survey designs, qualitative methods, mixed methods, practice-based research and secondary datasets/analyses. 

  • Year 1 Summer

    Students will continue to work with their primary advisor in the lab full-time, working to identify their dissertation research.

  • Year 2 Fall

    Students will write a proposal and present it in December of their second year, outlining the focus of their dissertation research in the graduate program. The proposal writing and defense will be the candidacy examination for the student. The proposal will be in the format of an R03 and may be supplemented by comprehensive literature review of 10-15 pages, as required by the primary mentor. The proposal will be defended in an oral examination, and the department faculty will serve as examiners of the candidacy examination.

    All students will take the following shared courses:

    CPTS 803 Research Grant Proposal III (2 credit). Students will build upon the proposal skills obtained in CP 801 and the background information reviewed in CP 802 to draft a research proposal in the format of an NIH R03/R21-type grant for submission. The finished product will serve as the dissertation proposal for candidacy, which will be orally presented to the CP faculty.

    CPTS 850 (former SAS 839) Clinical Pharmacy Seminar (1-2 credits). Weekly presentations of graduate students, faculty and/or visitors regarding current studies in pharmaceutical clinical and translational sciences. Professional development and skill development such as writing specific aims or giving job/chalk talks will also be included. 

    BIOINF 527 Introduciton to Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (4 credits). Students will be introduced to the fundamental theories and practices of Bioinformatics through a series of integrated lectures and labs. A broad range of topics will be covered illustrating how bioinformatics is shaping the modern landscape of biomedical research. Students develop practical skills for processing, visualizing, and analyzing high-throughput biomedical data.

    Students in the Precision Pharmacotherapy track will also take the following courses:

    CPTS 824: Research and Clinical Translation in Metabolomics and Proteomics (3.0) The proteome and metabolome are critical to understanding functional genomics and systems biology of diseases and drug response. The close proximity of the proteome and metabolome (i.e., enzymes are proteins) make them important for the discovery and validation of biomarkers for precision pharmacotherapy and for the identification of molecular targets for therapy and prevention. This course will introduce students to the basic theories, analytical methods, data analysis approaches and bioinformatics for data interpretation in proteomics and metabolomics. The complexity of specimens, nuances of sample collection and the extreme dynamic range of protein and metabolite concentrations will also be discussed. 

    Students in the HSR track will also take the following courses:

    CPTS 834: (formerly P780) Patient Reported Outcomes (2.0) Erickson. This course examines the role of patient-reported outcome measures in studying the impact of illness and the effects of pharmaceutical products and services. The course provides an overview of the theoretical foundations underlying the assessment of patient-reported outcomes, reviews methods used to develop and assess the psychometric properties of patient-reported outcome measures, and examines how these measures are currently used in research and practice. 

  • Year 2 Winter to Completion

    Students will continue working in the laboratory of their primary mentor until they have completed their dissertation research. Students are expected to complete all of their graduate training in the Winter or Summer of Year 4.  

    All students will take the following shared course:

    CPTS 850 (former SAS 839) Clinical Pharmacy Seminar (1-2 credits). Weekly presentations of graduate students, faculty and/or visitors regarding current studies in pharmaceutical clinical and translational sciences. Professional development and skill development such as writing specific aims or giving job/chalk talks will also be included. 

    Students may also take up to one course per semester to supplement their training. 

Faculty Advisors

Our faculty conduct collaborative clinical-translational research that generally focuses within Precision Pharmacotherapy and Health Services Research. CPTS PhD Students will be matched with a primary advisor from the below list of tenure-track faculty members.

Precision Pharmacotherapy

Amy Barton Pai
Vicki Ellingrod
Daniel Hertz
Jasmine Luzum
Bruce Mueller
Amit Pai
Kathleen Stringer 
Haojie Zhu

Health Services Research

Antoinette Coe
Michael P Dorsch
Karen B. Farris
Corey Lester

Admissions

Successful applicants must demonstrate adequate preparation in pharmacy, chemistry, biochemistry and biology for the Precision Pharmacotherapy track and pharmacy, informatics, economics or sociology for the HSR track. A prior PharmD degree is preferred, but not required. Some applicants may be required to take additional courses to enhance their background in any of these areas.

  • Procedures for applying to the CPTS PhD Program can be found HERE.
  • All materials must be submitted to Rackham Graduate School.
  • Applications are only accepted for Fall admission
  • Applications are made available in mid-September of the preceding year,
  • Application deadline is December 1, and decision notification letters are sent between January 15 and April 30.

Questions? Please e-mail UMCPTSPhD@umich.edu

Listing Row

Monday, October 16, 2017
Monday, October 16, 2017