Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry

Pharmaceutical Chemistry Graduate Programs

Pharmaceutical Chemistry is a broad discipline that integrates diverse areas of science ranging from biological to chemical sciences. Students in the program will become familiar with aspects of physical, organic and analytical chemistry, chemical kinetics, biopharmaceutics and pharmacokinetics, and biotechnology including vaccines. To address these needs, the department offers a series of eight (8) core coursesdesigned to hone the student’s skills in these topical areas, which are considered essential in understanding problems of biological, biophysical and chemical processes at the molecular level. Refer to the website ( then consult the links Coursework Research Overview and Department Graduate Student Handbook for details. Every student entering the program is expected to complete the core courses during the first three semesters of graduate study. Students can choose from a variety of elective courses that allow them to gain knowledge and skills in areas specific to individual research project interests. The department places emphasis on excellence in research making every effort to ensure that students can maximize efforts on their research projects toward earning the Ph.D. degree in a timely fashion.

Currently, the department has 16 faculty members, about 35 graduate students, and a similar number of postdoctoral fellows and research scientists. The department is recognized nationally and internationally, with most graduates and researchers going on to successful careers in the pharmaceutical industry, government positions and academia. The department serves as the home department for the long-standing NIH training grant in pharmaceutical biotechnology.


The department is located on KU’s west campus in the Simons Biosciences Research Laboratories and the Multidisciplinary Research Building (MRB). Recently renovated and expanded, Simons is a modern, well-equipped research facility. MRB houses researchers from the pharmaceutical chemistry and a variety of other disciplines, thus encouraging interdisciplinary interaction and collaboration. The department is well equipped for biochemical, biophysical and chemical research, having state-of-the-art spectroscopic, physical characterization, chromatographic and mass spectrometry instrumentation. Within the department there are facilities for cell culture, several advanced fluorescence microscopes, and numerous components and software for proteomic analysis. Furthermore, the faculty has established the Macromolecule and Vaccine Stabilization Center (MVSC) and Kansas Vaccine Institute (KVI), which contain an extensive array of instrumentation for the characterization of both small and macromolecules. Examples of analytical instrumentation include circular dichroism spectrophotometers, FTIR, capillary LCQ-Tof mass spectrometry, and particulate analysis. Additionally the university offers state of the art equipment and service facilities to assist with many aspects of research. For example, the Molecular Structures Group (MSG) is a campus-wide facility encompassing NMR, MS, X-ray Crystallography, Protein Production, Fragment-based Drug Discovery, and Molecular Graphics and Modeling Laboratories available to all campus members for a nominal fee. Near the Simons building, the structural biology wing of the MSG houses an 800-mHz NMR along with many other instruments and services.