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Program in Molecular and Systems Pharmacology Division of Biological and Biomedical Sciences Emory University

  • Atlanta, GA
  • Private
  • Suburban
  • 9%91%
    student ratio
  • 257
    total students
  • $34,800 | $34,800
    in-state tuition | out-of-state tuition
  • December 1
    fall application deadline
  • 14%
    acceptance rate
  • 1 Degree
    degrees offered


A Top Graduate Program in Molecular and Systems Pharmacology

Emory University is widely regarded as a leader in pharmacology. "The Scientist" ranks Emory as number one university in the country in the research impact in pharmacology. "The Chronicle for Higher Education" ranks Emory as number one in molecular pharmacology and number 4 in pharmacology overall. Emory University offers a Ph.D. program in molecular and systems pharmacology (MSP) through its Graduate Division of Biological and Biomedical Sciences (GDBBS).

The molecular and systems pharmacology doctoral program at Emory University offers broad training in the biomedical sciences for students interested in learning how the drugs of today work and how the novel therapeutics of tomorrow can be developed.

GDBBS is home to almost 350 faculty members from Emory's School of Medicine, American Cancer Society, and Centers for Disease Control. Its research is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and other prominent organizations.

The MSP doctoral program offers graduate students competitive financial support.

Research and Career Opportunities

Emory is a leader in research in cancer pharmacology, neuropharmacology, and infectious diseases, as well as in cardiovascular pharmacology, inflammation, toxicology, chemical biology, and structural biology of target drugs.

Graduate students conduct research into cancer pharmacology at the Winship Cancer Center, which combines cutting-edge research facilities with patient treatment. The Yerkes Primate Research Center is world renowned for its research into addiction and neurodegeneration within the field of neuropharmacology. Students may also benefit from Emory's close relationship with the CDC to conduct ground-breaking anti-viral research.

Graduates of the molecular and systems pharmacology program at Emory are prepared for successfully careers in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries as well as in academic research, government research, patent law, and other pharmacological-related fields.

Specialization in Chemical Biology or Toxicology

The MSP program is cross-disciplinary encompassing molecular biology, biochemistry, cell biology, structural biology, physiology, chemistry, and other related fields. All students complete core curriculum in pharmacology, drug metabolism, toxicology, and ethics. Students also have the option to specialize in either chemical biology or toxicology.

Students who specialize in chemical biology take classes in drug discovery and chemistry and may conduct research at the Emory Chemical Biology Discovery Center (ECBDC), which is part of the National Cancer Institute's Chemical Biology Consortium. The purpose of the ECBDC is to discover new chemical leads targeted to disease-related proteins and to serve as a robust platform for drug screen and development and high-throughput biology.

Students who specialize in toxicology each complete the recommended curriculum, participate in a monthly journal club, and receive funds to travel to international toxicology conferences each year.

Laboratory Rotations and Research

The MSP student at Emory University completes 3 research rotations during his or her1st year in order to acquaint him or herself with potential advisers and dissertation topics. Students begin their dissertation research in their 2nd years while taking a handful of upper-level courses in specialized areas such as cancer biology, molecular toxicology, signal receptors, ion channels, and transduction.

Outstanding Faculty

The MSP faculty members have made outstanding contributions to the field. Professor Young Sup Yoon, for example, has helped identify new stem cells and their molecular mechanisms. He has proved their therapeutical efficacies in vascular, cardiac, and neural disease models. Professor David Weinshenker has published over 75 articles on aspects of neurobiology and diseases such as drug addiction and epilepsy. His lab is currently exploring both genetic and pharmacological approaches to studying norepinephrine.

Professor Rita Nahta investigates the mechanisms by which some types of metastatic breast cancer develop resistance to trastuzumab and laptinib, clinically approved HER2-targeted agents. Her research has identified novel molecular targets for drug development. Professor T.J. Murphy studies the mechanisms of gene expression regulation. Professor Criss Hartzell has published almost 70 articles in the field of pharmacology. His lab specializes in the study of ion channels and calcium signaling.

Competitive Financial Support

Students at the Graduate Division of Biological and Biomedical Sciences at Emory receive tuition scholarships, health insurance, and stipends. They enjoy a low cost of living in suburban Atlanta, Georgia.

The stipend for the 2013-14 academic year, for example, was $28,000. In addition, several competitive fellowships are offered to outstanding applicants each year. These fellowships provide students with supplements to their stipends that range from $2,000 to $5,000 per year for 5 years, depending on the award.

Living in Atlanta

Emory University is located in a beautiful, wooded area of northeast Atlanta, Georgia, just 4 miles from downtown. The area serves as a hub of medical research, encompassing both the CDC and the American Cancer Society.

Midtown Atlanta is home to museums, galleries, and cultural activities that students enjoy. Atlanta's temperate climate affords students many opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking, rafting, and camping.

Location & Contact

Program in Molecular and Systems Pharmacology

Division of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Emory University

201 Dowman Drive
Atlanta, GA 30322-1100
United States

Dr. Randy Hall

Program Director

Phone: 404-727-3699
Fax: 404-727-0365

Ms. Kathy Smith

Director of Recruitment and Admissions

Phone: 404-727-2547
Fax: 404-727-3322

Contact school now

Degrees & Award

  • Degrees Offered
    • Major Degree Levels Offered
    • Pharmacology Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
  • Degrees Awarded
    • Master's Degrees 21
    • Doctoral Degrees 104
    • First Professional Degrees Not reported
    • Other Advanced Degrees Not reported
    • * Shows the number of degrees awarded for the last academic year that data was reported.
  • Earning Your Degree
    • Part-time study available? No
    • Evening/weekend programs available? No
    • Distance learning programs available? No
    • Terminal master's degree available? Yes
  • Degree Requirements
    • Master's Degrees Not reported
    • Doctoral Degrees Required and Required
    • First Professional Degrees Not reported
    • Other Advanced Degrees Not reported


14% of applicants are admitted.
  • Acceptance Rate
    • Applied 89
    • Accepted 13
    • Acceptance Rate 14
    • Enrolled 9
  • Applying
    • Application Fee - Domestic $75
    • Application Fee - International $75
    • Electronic applications accepted? Yes
    • Applications processed on a rolling basis? Not Reported
  • Application Deadlines
    • Type Domestic International Priority Date
    • Fall deadline December 1st December 1st Not Reported
    • Winter deadline Not Reported Not Reported Not Reported
    • Spring deadline Not Reported Not Reported Not Reported
  • Entrance Requirements
    • Master's DegreesNot Reported
    • Doctoral's DegreesGRE General Test, minimum GPA of 3.0 in science course work (recommended)
    • First-Professional's DegreesNot Reported
    • Other Advanced DegreesNot Reported
    • International DegreesTOEFL required

Tuition & Fees

  • Tuition & Fees
    • In-state tuition *$34,800
    • Out-of-state tuition *$34,800
    • International student tuitionNot Reported
    • *Typical tuition for this insitution for full-time graduate students per academic year
  • Fees
    • Per-academic year fees$1,300.00
    • Per-term feesNot Reported
    • One-time feeNot Reported
    • *Typical fees for this insitution for full-time graduate students per academic year
  • Financial Support
    • Financial award applicants must submitNot Reported
    • Application deadlines for financial awardsNot Reported
    • Types of financial support availableFellowships, Tuition Waivers, Health Care Benefits, Institutionally-sponsored Loans, Scholarship and/or loans

Student Body

  • Gender
    • Total Graduate Students257
    • Female Percentage9%
    • Male Percentage91%
  • Participation
    • Total Graduate Students257
    • Part-time Percentage0%
    • Full-time Percentage100%
  • Ethnicity
    • Hispanic / Latino7%
    • Black / African American11%
    • White / Caucasian61%
    • American Indian / Alaskan Native0%
    • Asian5%
    • Native Hawaiian / Other Pacific Islander2%
    • Two or more races0%
    • Unknown14%


  • Faculty Breakout
    • Total Faculty51
    • Full-time Percentage100%
    • Part-time Percentage0%
    • Female Percentage22%
    • Male Percentage78%


  • Existing Research
    • Focus of faculty researchTransmembrane signaling, neuropharmacology, neurophysiology and neurodegeneration, metabolism and molecular toxicology, cell and developmental biology
    • Externally sponsored research expenditures last yearNot Reported




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