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NIGMS T32 Training Program

The Department of Pharmacology & Physiology has a 30-year history of T32-funded training in the Pharmacological Sciences (5T32GM008306-30).

The leadership team includes three experienced research educators (Egan, Walker, and Yosten) who guide the efforts of 31 well-funded preceptors from eight departments in the Colleges of Medicine, Arts & Sciences, and Biomedical Engineering. Our training program is based on the premise that pharmacology is a broadly-based subject requiring a multidisciplinary and integrative approach.

We have two goals. The first and most immediate goal is to ensure competency in modern principles of drug action and related disciplines. Our second and long-term goal is to develop a diverse pool of competent scientists trained to address the challenges presented by barriers to successful treatment of human disease. To achieve these objectives, we designed a training program that includes didactic and interactive instruction in the principles of drug action, grant construction, responsible conduct of research, and methods to enhance reproducibility; seminar and journal club series specifically targeted to drug discovery and medicinal chemistry; career development seminars that include presentations by scientists pursuing alternative career paths; instruction in presentation and teaching skills including an active role as teacher in an undergraduate course completely administered and taught by pharmacology graduate students; and, competitive student presentations at a yearly retreat. Past graduates of our training program now pursue successful careers in research, academics, and industry, including several trainees who hold significant leadership positions in universities and businesses 


Historically, most students successfully navigated the requirements of their respective Ph.D. or M.D./Ph.D. programs. For example, in a span of 15 years, 74% of the matriculating Core Biomedical students graduated with a Ph.D. (116/158), 10% graduated with a M.S. (16/158), and 16% did not complete a degree program (6/158). The mean time to successful completion was 5.4 ± 0.6 years (n = 116). According to U.S. News and World Report, both the average completion rate (74%) and the median time to graduation (5 years for SLU) exceed those of the national average for students seeking Ph.D.s in the life-sciences. Further, in the 29 years of NIH T32 support for our current Training Program in Pharmacological Sciences, 96% of our T32 funded students obtained a Ph.D. degree.

Most of our Ph.D. graduates continued in science as post-doctoral fellows before securing more permanent positions in academia or industry. Past graduates include a number of senior level principal scientists in the pharmaceutical industry (AbbVie, Accredo, Amgen, Bayer/Monsanto, Canopy Biosciences, Charles River Laboratories, FujiFilm, GSK, Jackson Laboratory, Kantar Health, Merck USA, Merck KGaA, Millipore Sigma, Novartis, PPD, Sanofi, and others), federal government (CDMRP, FDA and NASA), and academia (tenured faculty at Boston University, Oklahoma State University, Indiana University, Saint Louis University, University of Northern Colorado, University of Pittsburgh, University of Virginia, University of Washington, and Washington University in St. Louis, and Wayne State University). Further, three of our graduates are chairs of medical school departments (University of Chile, University of Houston, and City University of New York School of Medicine), and one is the Dean of the Graduate School at the University of Alabama-Birmingham. We have also populated the teaching faculty of universities and colleges including Briar Cliff University, Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine, Massachusetts College of Pharmacy, McKendree University, Missouri Baptist University, Missouri Valley College, Saint Louis College of Pharmacy, Truman State University, University of Missouri-St. Louis, Washington University in St. Louis, and others.

Participating Faculty

  • Edward Antony (Biochemistry & Molecular Biology)

  • Christopher Arnatt (Chemistry)

  • Yuna Ayala (Biochemistry & Molecular Biology)

  • Angel Baldan (Biochemistry & Molecular Biology)

  • James Brien (Microbiology & Molecular Immunology)

  • Andrew Butler (Pharmacology & Physiology)

  • Anutosh Chakraborty (Pharmacology & Physiology)

  • Richard DiPaolo (Microbiology & Molecular Immunology)

  • John Edwards (Internal Medicine)

  • James Edwards (Chemistry)

  • Terrance Egan (Pharmacology & Physiology)

  • Susan Farr (Internal Medicine)

  • Colin Flaveny (Pharmacology & Physiology)

  • David Ford (Biochemistry & Molecular Biology)

  • Sergey Korolev (Biochemistry & Molecular Biology)

  • Robert Scott Martin (Chemistry)

  • Kyle McCommis (Biochemistry & Molecular Biology)

  • Marvin Meyers (Chemistry)

  • Adriana Montaño (Biochemistry & Molecular Biology)

  • Andrew Nguyen (Internal Medicine)

  • Amelia Pinto (Microbiology & Molecular Immunology)

  • Nicola Pozzi (Biochemistry & Molecular Biology)

  • Daniela Salvemini (Pharmacology & Physiology)

  • Willis Samson (Pharmacology & Physiology)

  • Francis Sverdrup (Microbiology & Molecular Immunology)

  • John Tavis (Microbiology & Molecular Immunology)

  • Ryan Teague (Microbiology & Molecular Immunology)

  • John Walker (Pharmacology & Physiology)

  • Fenglian Xu (Biology)

  • Gina Yosten (Pharmacology & Physiology)

  • Silviya Zustiak (Biomedical Engineering)