Skip to main content Skip to navigation
Washington State University Factsheets

Doctor of Philosophy in Pharmaceutical Sciences

Faculty working with Students: 39
Students: 29
Students receiving assistantships or scholarships: 82.76%
Priority deadline:
  • Fall December 5
Campus:
  • Spokane: Yes
Tests required:
  • 550 TOEFL (International Students Only) Minimum score
  • 7.0 IELTS (International Students Only) Minimum score
  • 80 TOEFLI (International Students Only) Minimum score
  • GRE less than 5 years old

Degree Description:

We prepare students to be successful professionals in academia, industry, health care, and private institutions dedicated to the promotion of human health and wellness. Our curriculum provides exposure to research in molecular and cellular biochemistry, basic and clinical pharmacology, neuropharmacology, immunology, gene therapy, pharmacokinetics, pharmacogenomics and pharmacogenetics.

Admission Requirements:

Completion of Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science level degree program or a professional degree; GPA of 3.0 or above. Students applying to this programs in the College of Pharmacy must submit a Statement of Purpose–a written statement which should include your professional goals,an explanation of why you are interested in attending the program, and a description of your research experience, if any. Please include the name(s)of (a) faculty member(s) in the program whose research interests you.

Student Learning Outcomes:

All graduates will be able to:

  1. Achieve mastery of knowledge in the general field of Pharmaceutical Sciences.
  2. Develop the expertise to use appropriate methodologies to solve novel and emerging problems related to Pharmaceutical Sciences.
  3. Disseminate research findings to local, regional, national, and international audiences primarily through publication in peer-­‐reviewed journals and presentations at conferences.
  4. Participate in professional organizations, including becoming members, attending meetings, and taking leadership roles where appropriate.
  5. Participate in teaching, internships, fellowships, workshops, credentialing and grant applications to enhance competitiveness for career opportunities as appropriate.
  6. Train students in critical, integrative, and evaluative thinking at the highest levels of rigor.
  7. Develop advanced written and oral communication skills.
  8. Become independent, self-­‐motivated researchers with the ability to identify specific problems in their field of expertise and to formulate solutions to these problems.
  9. Develop a comprehensive knowledge of previous and current research in their field of expertise and be able to demonstrate that knowledge capability in a review of the literature at a level  that is potentially publishable.
  10. Generate innovative questions within their field of expertise and pose hypotheses related to those questions
  11. Apply sound methodological approaches to test hypotheses related to specific research questions and describe the methods effectively.
  12. Perform statistical analyses of research data and present the results in a way that clearly describes the data.

Career Opportunities:

The wide array of disciplines within the College of Pharmacy Graduate Programs provides an extensive range of career opportunities in pharmaceutical industry, biotechnology companies, specialty laboratories, government agencies, and academia.

Faculty Members:

Ahmed, Ayesha, Ph.D.

Serves as: co-chair or member on graduate committee

Ahmed, Salah-Uddin, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair, co-chair, or member on graduate committee

Research Interests

Ahmed’s primary research interest is in testing the efficiency of the active compound in green tea for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. People suffering from rheumatoid arthritis tend to develop cardiovascular complications, and Ahmed’s research team also is focused on that complication and studies a specific category of small proteins – cytokines – and the cells that are activated in response to them.

Avtandilashvili, Maia, Ph.D.

Serves as: co-chair or member on graduate committee

Research Interests

United States Transuranium and Uranium Registries (USTUR)

1) Biokinetic modeling of deposition, translocation, excretion, and retention of actinides (plutonium, americium, uranium) in human body
2) Application of advanced conventional and Bayesian statistical methods for analysis of bioassay measurement data and evaluation of internal radiation dose from occupational exposure to actinides
3) Investigation of effects and mechanisms of actinide decorporation using chelating agents

Chai, Weihang, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair, co-chair, or member on graduate committee

Research Interests

Telomere structure, maintenance and function.

Chen, Gang, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair, co-chair, or member on graduate committee

Cheng, Zhaokang, Ph.D

Serves as: chair, co-chair, or member on graduate committee

Research Interests

Abnormal cell death often leads to diseases. My laboratory uses cutting-edge technology to understand how cell death can be controlled. Our goal is to identify novel drug targets that can be used in the development of new therapies for cardiovascular diseases, the number one cause of death in the world.

Clarke, John, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair, co-chair, or member on graduate committee

Research Interests

Toxicities from xenobiotic exposures are a significant burden on human health. These exposures occur both intentionally (drugs and dietary supplements) and unintentionally (environmental contamination and naturally occurring toxins), and there are several factors in individual variability that determine who is at greater risk for these toxicities. Clarke’s laboratory seeks to address two fundamental research questions regarding populations at risk for toxicities:
Precision medicine: This project investigates how perturbations in two or more factors in drug absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion affect drug exposures and toxicities.
Toxicities in progressive nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD): NAFLD is the most common liver disease in the United States that progresses through multiple stages including simple fatty liver, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma. This project seeks to identify xenobiotics that can drive the progression of NAFLD and the molecular mechanisms behind each toxicity.

Results from this work will help to inform clinicians, drug companies and regulators regarding at-risk populations for xenobiotic toxicities

Daoud, Sayed, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair, co-chair, or member on graduate committee

Research Interests

Translational cancer therapeutics, with a major emphasis on integrating high throughput genomics and proteomics approaches for biomarker discovery and classification for better utility in the molecular pharmacology of cancer.

Denton, Travis, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair, co-chair, or member on graduate committee

Research Interests

Synthetic Medicinal Chemistry, Neuroscience, Drug Metabolism and Disposition, and Pharmacokinetics.

Du, Min, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair, co-chair, or member on graduate committee

Research Interests

Our research is focused on the development of skeletal muscle and adipose tissue. Specifically, we are interested in exploring epigenetic mechanisms regulating the differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells into myocytes and adipocytes. Our studies have applications to both animal agriculture and human health.

Fisher, Darrell, Ph.D.

Serves as: member only on graduate committee

Gaddameedhi, Shobhan, PhD,

Serves as: chair, co-chair, or member on graduate committee

Research Interests

Research expertise in gene-environment interactions, genotoxic stress, circadian disruption, environmental carcinogenesis and chronopharmacology of anticancer drugs.

Gibson, Michael, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair, co-chair, or member on graduate committee

Research Interests

Research focus includes understanding the pathophysiology of selected disorders, and developing novel pre-clinical treatment approaches with translational relevance. His laboratory employs pharmacological, cellular and dietary treatment approaches in disorders such as succinic semialdehyde dehydrogenase deficiency, phenylketonuria, maple syrup urine disease, galactosemia and transaldolase deficiency, a defect of the pentose phosphate pathway.

Lazarus, Andrea, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair, co-chair, or member on graduate committee

Research Interests

As assistant vice president for Research Clinical Health Sciences, Andrea Lazarus is responsible for helping WSU Health Sciences develop a competitive environment for pursuing health-related research, including clinical studies. This will allow WSU Health Sciences in Spokane to translate basic science discoveries into new treatment approaches.

Lazarus, Philip, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair, co-chair, or member on graduate committee

Research Interests

The elucidation of carcinogenic mechanisms with an underlying theme of cancer prevention, focusing primarily on mechanisms involved in the induction and progression of tobacco-related cancers.

Li, Weimin, M.D., Ph.D.

Serves as: chair, co-chair, or member on graduate committee

Research Interests

The main research focus of our laboratory is studying the mechanisms of tumor cell survival and growth using cell- and animal-based models.

Liu, David, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair, co-chair, or member on graduate committee

Research Interests

Dr. David Liu’s laboratory studies the molecular and cellular mechanisms that control cell proliferation, survival, genomic stability, and the organization of subcellular structures. Our research has provided major insights into the mechanism that underlies the pathology of several human developmental diseases including cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, ciliopathy, and dwarfism. Our work is relevant to prevention and treatment of these diseases.

Marsh, Susan, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair, co-chair, or member on graduate committee

Research Interests

Mechanisms of exercise-induced cardioprotection
Protein O-GlcNAcylation in the heart
Cell signaling events in the heart in response to high fat diets and diabetes

Regular exercise provides protection against cardiovascular disease through a reduction of risk factors such as obesity, hypertension and blood lipids. Acute and short term exercise also provide protection against myocardial infarction (heart attack) by upregulation of protective proteins in heart muscle cells and this is independent of any change in risk factors.

My laboratory investigates the role of post-translational modification of proteins in exercise-induced cardioprotection, in addition to the cardiac response of the O-GlcNAc pathway to high fat diets and diabetes. Experimental techniques include in vivo mouse model (including forced and voluntary exercise training), cell culture, isolated heart perfusion, fluorescent microscopy, western blotting and PCR.

Meadows, Gary, PhD

Serves as: co-chair or member on graduate committee

Research Interests

– Tumor biology and tumor immunology, cellular signaling mechanisms involved in immune modulation of tumor growth and metastasis & mechanisms of cell death.
– Role of chronic alcohol consumption on innate and cellular immune responses that influence tumor growth and metastasis.
– Effects of amino acids and phytochemicals on cancer growth and progression.

Meier, Kathryn, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair, co-chair, or member on graduate committee

Research Interests

Molecular and cellular aspects of cell signaling, with a focus on the interface between phospholipid metabolism and protein phosphorylation. Model systems include several types of cancer cells, including lymphoma, prostate cancer, breast cancer, and ovarian cancer. We are particularly interested in lysophosphatidic acid (LPA), a ligand for G protein-coupled receptors, as an autocrine and paracrine mediator of growth and inflammation. Our group continues to study the role of phospholipase D2 in cell signaling. Other interests include proteins involved in adhesion signaling (e.g.

Natesan, Senthil, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair, co-chair, or member on graduate committee

Research Interests

Natesan’s primary research interests are in the area of computational drug design, investigating drug action and disposition through mathematical modeling and simulation. His laboratory’s research goals are directed towards two important aspects of preclinical drug discovery:

1.Modeling protein-ligand, protein-peptide interactions using advanced structure-based techniques such as molecular docking, pharmacophore-based screening, molecular dynamics simulation, and hybrid QM/MM methods.

2.Developing high resolution predictive models to quantitatively estimate bilayer transport and accumulation, serum albumin binding and P-glycoprotein efflux.

He also actively collaborates with clinical pharmacists in developing population-based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) models for optimizing antibiotic therapies.

Padowski, Jeannie, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair, co-chair, or member on graduate committee

Research Interests

Pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic modeling of CNS drug disposition, including noncompartmental and compartmental modeling, as well as simulation of different types of pharmacokinetic systems to explore system behavior. Other areas of research include nasal drug delivery for brain-targeted therapeutics, and magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy-based analysis of neurodegenerative disorders including Parkinson’s, Huntington’s and Alzheimer’s disease, with a focus on the role of the antioxidant glutathione in neurodegeneration.

Paine, Mary, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair, co-chair, or member on graduate committee

Research Interests

The Paine Lab is applying a translational research approach that encompasses human-derived in vitro systems, mathematical modeling, and proof-of-concept clinical studies to advance the mechanistic understanding of pharmacokinetic interactions between conventional medications and natural products, including herbal supplements and foods. Results will help provide evidenced-based recommendations to health care providers and consumers about the risk of supplementing prescribed drug therapies with certain natural products.

Pollack, Gary, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair, co-chair, or member on graduate committee

Research Interests

The disposition and action of drugs and toxicants in the central nervous system.

Remsberg, Connie, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair, co-chair, or member on graduate committee

Research Interests

Pharmacokinetics with an emphasis on understanding transporter-mediated drug-drug interactions and predicting drug disposition through the Biopharmaceutics Drug Disposition Classification System. Additional research interests include methods to increase student engagement in the classroom and the effectiveness of active learning strategies.

Roullet, Jean-Baptiste, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair, co-chair, or member on graduate committee

Research Interests

Roullet is a clinical professor in experimental and systems pharmacology.

Sun, Jingru, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair, co-chair, or member on graduate committee

Research Interests

Employs approaches in genetics, genomics, microbiology, and biochemistry to elucidate the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying neuro-immune interactions during microbial infection.

Tabatadze, George, Ph.D.

Serves as: co-chair or member on graduate committee

Research Interests

United States Transuranium and Uranium Registries (USTUR)

1) Measurement of actinides (plutonium, americium, uranium) in a human body
2) Radiation transport modeling in support of internal and external dosimetry applications
3) Digital autoradiography: radionuclide micro-scale distribution in organs and tissues

Taylor, Mark

Serves as: member only on graduate committee

Tolmachev, Sergei, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair, co-chair, or member on graduate committee

Research Interests

Sergei Y. Tolmachev is an associate research professor at the College of Pharmacy where he directs the U.S. Transuranium and Uranium Registries Research Center and the National Human Tissue Repository.

USTUR research focuses on studying the actinide elements such as uranium, plutonium, americium, etc. deposited within the human body. These studies provide deeper scientific understanding of actinide biokinetics (uptake, translocation, retention and excretion) and are fundamental to validate and improve the mathematical models used in internal radiation dose assessment.
Research Interests
• Modeling actinide biokinetics in human body following occupational exposure to those radioactive elements
• Investigating the effects and mechanisms of actinide decorporation using chelating agents
• Applying advanced statistical methods for data analysis
• Developing techniques for measurement of minor actinides, such as neptunium and curium, in biological specimens.

Trobridge, Grant, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair, co-chair, or member on graduate committee

Research Interests

1) Foamy vectors for hematopoietic stem cell gene therapy (AIDS)
2) Cancer research
3) Vector-mediated genotoxicity/oncogenicity

Wang, Shuwen, Ph.D.

Serves as: co-chair or member on graduate committee

Research Interests

Director, Genomics Core

Wang, Zhenjia, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair, co-chair, or member on graduate committee

Research Interests

Designing and generating therapeutic nanoparticles used to efficiently and effectively prevent and treat inflammatory diseases based on the understanding of molecular mechanism regulating the interactions between therapeutic nanoparticles and biological systems “in vivo”.

Warren, Stephen

Serves as: member only on graduate committee

White, John R, Jr., PA-C, Pharm.D.

Serves as: chair, co-chair, or member on graduate committee

Research Interests

Extensively involved in the field of diabetes

Wu, Boyang 'Jason', Ph.D.

Serves as: chair, co-chair, or member on graduate committee

Research Interests

1) Identification and characterization of novel genes and signaling underlying tumor cell interaction with its microenvironment with focuses on nerve cells and stromal cells.
2) Development of new therapeutic targets and combination treatment strategies to overcome antiandrogen drug resistance in lethal phenotypes of prostate cancer.

Xia, Zuping, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair, co-chair, or member on graduate committee

Research Interests

The correlation of drug metabolism and pharmacogenomics and drug discovery and drug synthesis, especially for the cancer protection, diagnosis, and chemotherapy.

Zhang, Hui, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair, co-chair, or member on graduate committee

Research Interests

Immunotoxicology of alcohol with a specific emphasis on tumor immunology and immunotherapy.

Zhu, Jiyue, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair, co-chair, or member on graduate committee

Research Interests

Dr. Zhu studies molecular mechanisms of telomerase regulation and cellular senescence. The research goal of his laboratory is to identify genetic factors affecting human aging and cancer development.

Contact Information:

Christina Brelia
Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences Building
PBS Room 323
Spokane, WA 99210-1495
509-368-6607