PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences | Faculty of Pharmacy

Date/Time: May 23 -26, 2022

Course in Portuguese and English

The course will be online

No. of extra vacancies: 7

Course length: 22h

Objectives and significance: Pharmacology is a core discipline that underpins research in drug discovery and development. Encompassing fundamental and clinical pharmacology, Pharmacology is the branch of biomedical science that studies the interactions between chemicals and living beings directed to prevent, ameliorate or cure the deleterious consequences of their diseases. These interactions are reciprocal: the living organism affects the drug or medicine (pharmacokinetics), and the drug or medicine affects the organism (pharmacodynamics).
Strong efforts are made during drug discovery and development to attain new effective and safe drugs. However, clinical failure rate for treatments that slow or stop disease progression is extremely high, attaining, for example, nearly 100% for the major neurodegenerative disorders with innumerous compounds failing in expensive and time-consuming clinical trials for lack of efficacy.
Mostly new medicines are designed to bind to receptors or enzymes and are tested in cells, tissues, whole organisms and, subsequently, administered to humans to follow the famous four phases of development. This linear sequence is efficient for those projects for which the uncertainty about the development is low. There is, however, an increasing number of innovative compounds resulting from the enhanced biological knowledge with a high level of uncertainty, requiring a more innovative drug development approach, which must proceed in a much more adaptive manner, using tailor-made objectives, special methodologies and a cyclical, rather than a linear, type of project management.
This course will cover key issues in fundamental and applied pharmacology with special focus on in silico, in vitro and in vivo quantitative and qualitative methods for drug mechanism of action identification, pre-clinical drug screening and drug repositioning. High throughout put in silico/in vitro screening assays for pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics characterization and the use of small-animal models in basic and preclinical pharmacology research will be specified through this course, discussing successful protocols and projects in neurodegenerative, cardiovascular and oncological diseases. Application of pre-clinical imaging techniques (e.g. Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Nuclear Molecular Imaging & Positron Emission Tomography) in small rodent animals will be also exploited when used for assessment of new chemical entities safety and efficacy.
This course is expected to endow the student with strategic reasoning to drive preclinical R&D productivity and develop innovative therapeutic drugs. Students are strongly encouraged to participate interactively during classes, and will complete a final test on the topics exposed.


Vacancies exclusive for PhD students at the School of Health.