The Pharmaceutical & Translational Sciences (PHTS) Program brings together, under one umbrella, the school’s three laboratory-based PhD programs—CXPT, MPTX, PSCI. This promotes a more cohesive interdisciplinary experience advancing education and offering opportunities to sample the entire range of innovative research options.
This doctoral training program prepares students for careers in the pharmaceutical industry, academia and advanced scientific research in a broad range of settings. The training encompasses a unique scientific framework from drug discovery, delivery and development to application of genetics and genomics to experimental and clinical translational research.
The umbrella structure allows students to attend courses and seminars together, and rotate through laboratories across programs during their first year. This fosters interdisciplinary crosstalk among students and faculty, helping students find an ideal laboratory and faculty mentor as well as a specialized track of study they want to pursue. Upon successful completion of the first year, students will select an area of study from one of the three listed below, in which they will earn the Doctor of Philosophy degree following successful completion of the PhD Program.
“There is something about the culture of the school at USC that motivates people to strike out and be creative in how things get done. Since graduating I’ve been a postdoctoral researcher contributing new and exciting lines of study to an existing research program, I’ve provided research support in fields outside of my primary training (e.g., cancer therapy and early detection), to now serving in leadership roles focused on enhancing institutional equity in graduate programs and training the next generation of scientists.”
Letisha R. Wyatt
PhD, Molecular Pharmacology and Toxicology ’13
Assistant Professor of Neurology at Oregon Health and Science University
Why did you choose USC?
“Faculty and staff are able to help you with whatever path you choose: academics, industry or government. There is always someone who can help you. USC makes a promise and can keep that promise.”
PhD Molecular Pharmacology and Toxicology ‘23, MS Regulatory Science ‘23
Why was USC a good fit for you?
“USC was a good fit for me because it had provided me with opportunities to develop necessary scientific skills and grow a professional network for a postgrad career in the pharmaceutical industry.”
MS, Regulatory Science ’17, PhD, Molecular Pharmacology and Toxicology ’22
Scientist at Bristol Myers Squibb
Why was this program attractive to you?
“I chose the Clinical and Experimental Therapeutics program because it afforded me a foot in the biomedical research doors of both clinical and foundational science. It’s truly translational in that it involves going to the clinic and then pursuing solutions in the lab.”
PharmD ’11, PhD Clinical and Experimental Therapeutics ’16
What inspired you to pursue a PharmD/PhD at USC?
“I only applied to pharmacy schools that advertised a dual degree program; plus USC is the number-one private pharmacy school in the country. While it was a struggle to take PharmD and PhD classes at the same time, the School’s dual degree program allowed me to complete my clinical and research training two years faster than if I had pursued the degrees separately.”
PharmD ’17, PhD Molecular Pharmacology and Toxicology ’21
Field Application Scientist at Agilent Technologies
Why did you choose USC Mann?
“One of the appealing factors that sold me was the famous USC alumni network, the focus on translational science at various levels, and the option to earn a masters in either regulatory science or drug development. Taken together I believe they contribute to making me more competitive in the job market after my PhD.”
PhD, Pharmaceutical and Translational Sciences ’21
Advisor, Eli Lilly and Company
What is your advice to new or prospective students?
“The Pharmaceutical & Translational Sciences (PHTS) Program offers students a broad range of research labs. The school is constantly expanding its research capability in both personnel and hardware. If you intend to join the field of pharmaceutical and translational research, this is the program you will love.”
Zhefu (Jeff) Dai
PhD, Pharmaceutical Sciences ’21
Scientist at IGM Biosciences, Inc.
What was your experience like at USC?
“Overall, my experience at USC was excellent and it really did set me up for my career. The alumni connection was strong which helped my transition to the industry a smooth one. The ‘Trojan family’ is really a great one and I see that whenever I visit USC as an adjunct faculty or when I attend USC receptions at conferences or when I get in touch with faculty at USC who are always willing to listen and are always looking to get the alumni involved in bettering the various programs at the school.”
Ashutosh (Ash) Kulkarni
PhD Pharmaceutical and Translational Sciences ’04
Head of Clinical Pharmacology and DMPK at Stealth Biotech Startup
Why did you choose USC School of Pharmacy?
“I chose USC Mann because the program is geared towards developing researchers who are prepared for highly competitive industry spots after graduation. PhD students are also eligible to enroll in a regulatory science masters degree program to compliment their research and coursework. This program is part of what helps PhD graduates from USC Mann to successfully move into industry positions.”