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PhD in Toxicology

Mission and Goals

The School of Pharmacy is characterized by a vigorous research environment. A major research emphasis area is toxicology which studies the adverse effects of drugs and xenobiotics on the body. Toxicology is the biomedical science concerned with understanding the adverse effects of chemicals and other dangerous substances on living organisms.

Toxicologists seek to identify th​e toxic effects of drugs and chemicals on living organisms, and to understand the underlying molecular and cellular mechanisms associated with toxic injury. In doing so, toxicologists use state-of-the-art biological and chemical techniques to answer questions such as: how dangerous are chemicals to man? How much exposure is required to cause harm? What are the effects of such chemical exposures

The objective of the toxicology graduate program at the University of Colorado is to educate pre-doctoral students to develop independent research careers in molecular and environmental toxicology. Upon completion of the toxicology graduate program, students will receive a PhD degree in toxicology and utilize their training in academia, industry or government.

The current program consists of 28 full time pre-doctoral students and 37 full time toxicology graduate faculty members. The toxicology graduate faculty have primary appointments in the School of Pharmacy, the School of Medicine, the Webb-Waring Antioxidant Research Institute, the National Jewish Medical Center or the Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Center.

Research opportunities for trainees cover the breadth of toxicology with major strengths in cancer/carcinogenesis/chemoprevention, oxidative stress and antioxidants, neurotoxicology, pulmonary toxicology, hepatotoxicology, pharmacogenetics, pharmacogenomics, immunotoxicology, nanotoxicology and clinical toxicology.

In addition to graduate students, there are many postdoctoral fellows, highly trained technicians and undergraduate researchers within the Toxicology program. After students complete their coursework and choose a project, they become essentially full-time researchers until the dissertation is submitted to the faculty. Students normally attend and present their research results at national scientific meetings. Communication with scientists at other institutions is considered an important facet of research training.