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Education & Training Opportunities at the San Diego PPRU

The overall objective of the training program is to educate pre- and post-doctoral physicians, pharmacists, Ph.D.s, and others in clinical pharmacology as it pertains to the use of therapeutic drugs in treatment of diseases and disorders of infants and children. The San Diego PPRU has developed a rigorous educational and training program for individuals with M.D., Ph.D., or Pharm.D. degrees interested in pursuing a career in pediatric pharmacology. Activities include working on PPRU research studies at all levels of development and providing clinical pharmacology consulting to UCSD neonatal, pediatric and adult patients.

The emphasis of the program is as follows:

  • Understanding in detail the developmental aspects of drug absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion and action.
  • Development of skills in population pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic analysis with NONMEM software program.
  • Development of clinical trials knowledge and experience to enable individuals to work in the field of clinical trials in industry and academia.
  • Experience in clinical trials design including Monte Carlo simulations with NONMEM and Pharsight’s Computer-Assisted Trial Design (CATD) software.

Post-doctoral students interested in pursuing careers in academia will have opportunities to teach and precept students and residents from the UCSD School of Medicine and the UCSD Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

AIMS of the San Diego Post-doctoral Training Program:

  1. Research Experience: The trainee is directly involved in the design, implementation, data collection and analysis of a PPRU research project. The trainee will also gain experience in competitive grant writing with the opportunity to contribute to at least one grant proposal.
  2. Clinical Pharmacology Training: The trainee will participate in PPRU Pediatric Pharmacology Rounds. The trainee will complete a rotation with the Applied Pharmacokinetics Service at either UCSD or CHHC, participating in clinical therapeutic drug monitoring and pharmacology consultations. Other rotations will be tailored to the experience and career direction of the trainee.
  3. Clinical Pharmacology Laboratory Training: The trainee will conduct drug concentration assays in the Clinical Pharmacology and Assay Laboratory. (S)he may also work with the UCSD Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) Genomics Laboratory learning DNA extraction, PCR thermocycling, restrictive digesting and gel electrophoresis.
  4. CREST Program: This is a structured K series grant that enhances development of investigators with specialized clinical and laboratory skills, who use rigorous methods to address research questions by working directly with human populations. The two-year curriculum covers principles of epidemiology, biostatistics, patient-oriented research, health services/outcomes research, data management and informations, scientific and grant writing and presentation skills.
  5. Statistical Orientation: The trainee will learn and utilize biostatistics to assist data analysis of ongoing PPRU studies under supervision of the PPRU biostatistician.