Campus News

New master’s degree targets personalized drug therapy

Conceptual illustration of drug targeting.

By KARA SWEET

Published August 16, 2019

“This is a highly innovative program that draws on the strengths of the department and school.”
James M. O'Donnell, dean
School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

The School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences now offers an innovative new master’s degree program in pharmacometrics and personalized pharmacotherapy.

With the fast-paced advancements in personalized medicine, there is a growing need for highly skilled pharmacometricians to fulfill critical roles in drug discovery and development in pharmaceutical industries, regulatory agencies and academia. UB’s novel program is one of only a few in the country providing this evidence-based instruction in drug therapy optimization.

“This is a highly innovative program that draws on the strengths of the department and school,” says Dean James M. O’Donnell. “Advanced training in pharmacometric principles and approaches provides an excellent foundation for those in academia or industry interested in personalized pharmacotherapy.”

The curriculum combines conceptual training with hands-on computational training in the integration of health and biomedical data, allowing students to partner with internationally renowned faculty in high-level research and garner real-world job experience while still completing coursework. Graduates of the program have the skills necessary to deliver precision medicine and individualized therapies.

“The PharmD/MS in Pharmacometrics will help me to develop an extensive and useful knowledge base required for safety and efficacy research in the pharmaceutical sciences and clinical translation,” says Christopher Banker, PharmD/MS ’21.

Demand is strong for those with pharmacy degrees, as well as non-pharmacy degrees. Those with a PharmD can apply enhanced clinical research skills in hospitals, clinics, clinical trials and drug therapy.  Non-pharmacy graduates can elevate work within the pharmaceutical industry, analyzing experimental data, improving drug development and supporting drug approval.

The fall 2019 inaugural class is comprised of 11 students, far surpassing initial enrollment expectations. The program takes approximately one to one-and-a-half years to complete; a minimum of 30 graduate credit hours is required.

“With the additional faculty being hired through the Empire Innovation and Disciplinary Excellence awards and the growth of computational needs of the pharmaceutical industry, this program will likely expand further in the future,” says program director William Jusko, SUNY Distinguished Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences.

For more information on the MS in Pharmacometrics and Personalized Pharmacotherapy, visit the program’s webpage. For application information, contact the program staff at pharmsci-admissions@buffalo.edu.