Summer Fellowships
SURP-ASPET

Goal

The goal of the SURP program in Molecular Pharmacology is to offer undergraduate students interested in molecular pharmacology the opportunity for an exceptional research experience in a cutting-edge research facility. The research laboratory experience provides students with an enhanced understanding of the scientific process as well as hands-on experience in state-of- the- art techniques. The primary goal of the program is to guide and encourage the interests of highly motivated students considering the pursuit of an advanced degree in molecular pharmacology. 

 


Program Description


Under the guidance of experienced faculty members, students will participate in the ongoing research efforts of their host laboratory. During the ten week program, students will develop their knowledge of basic laboratory skills and experience the scientific process in action. There will also be opportunities to collaborate with other skilled research professionals and graduate students in the lab. In addition, students will participate in activities within the Molecular Pharmacology Program, including an Ethics Workshop, a bi-weekly lunchtime lecture series with selected faculty speakers who will introduce students to career opportunities in molecular pharmacology, lab meetings, weekly Graduate Student Summer Seminars showcasing current students’ research as well as selected social activities with other SURP fellows. The program will conclude with a colloquium where students will have the opportunity to present the results of their research.



Participating Faculty and SURP Program Details

For additional detailed information about the research focus of individual participating faculty members, please click on the faculty member’s name below. For overall SURP program details please click on Program Details link at the top of the page.


 

Benign Urologic Disorders


Faculty

jmbeckel@pitt.edu
412-383-5004
lbirder@pitt.edu
412-383-7368
dod1@pitt.edu
412-624-4259
wangz2@upmc.edu
412-623-3903
nyos@pitt.edu
412-692-4137

Cancer Pharmacology

Research efforts in cancer pharmacology include studies of the basic mechanisms of signal transduction associated with cell proliferation and apoptosis, the mechanisms of action of anti-neoplastic agents, the design and discovery of new drugs, basic mechanisms of DNA repair and DNA damage tolerance and the development of novel strategies for gene therapy

Emphasis is placed on the description and characterization of basic signaling mechanisms that constitute the targets of molecules used for cancer therapy and DNA damage and repair mechanisms that contribute to anti-neoplastic drug resistance. The regulation of tyrosine kinases, processing of proto-oncogenes, regulation of small GTPases and their effectors, cell-cycle-specific kinases and DNA repair gene products are being studied as potential targets or to enhance the efficacy of existing chemotherapeutic agents. The role of growth factors in the progression of solid and hematopoietic tumors is being studied; new receptors and signal transduction pathways are being identified in normal and malignant tissues.

Other areas of research include investigations on interleukin therapy, free radical generation, molecular mechanisms of antioxidant regulation and detoxification, aberrations in the mechanisms of programmed cell death (apoptosis) associated with tumoral growth and alterations in DNA repair and DNA damage response genes associated with tumor growth and chemotherapeutic resistance.

Faculty

feg5@pitt.edu
412-648-2047
svs2@pitt.edu
412-623-3262
tsmithga@pitt.edu
412-648-8106
wangz2@upmc.edu
412-623-3903
zhanglx@upmc.edu
412-623-1009

Cardiac Mechanisms of Pathogenesis


Faculty

freerad@pitt.edu
412-648-9319

Cardiac Pharmacology


Faculty

freerad@pitt.edu
412-648-9319
pagano@pitt.edu
412-383-6505

Cardiovascular and Renal Pharmacology


Faculty

freerad@pitt.edu
412-648-9319

Drug Discovery

Drug Discovery is an emerging pharmacological science that seeks to identify novel small molecule probes and to understand at a molecular level how compounds affect macromolecular process. Cell-based, in vitro mix-and-read, and whole organism assays suitable for rapid or high throughput analysis are being designed and implemented by members of the Molecular Pharmacology Program. Current molecular targets include Gprotein coupled receptors, vanilloid receptors, cathepsins, apoptosis-inducing proteins, ion channels, steroid receptors, orphan nuclear receptors, kinases, phosphatases, DNA repair enzymes, and DNA polymerases. Chemical libraries and automated screening instrumentation are emphasized, which permit rapid interrogation of optimized assays. Computational approaches and high content cell screening methodologies are employed to facilitate the identification of new chemical probes.

Faculty

lbirder@pitt.edu
412-383-7368
freerad@pitt.edu
412-648-9319
pagano@pitt.edu
412-383-6505
svs2@pitt.edu
412-623-3262
tsmithga@pitt.edu
412-648-8106
wangz2@upmc.edu
412-623-3903
zhanglx@upmc.edu
412-623-1009

Endocrine Pharmacology/Physiology


Faculty

jmbeckel@pitt.edu
412-383-5004
lbirder@pitt.edu
412-383-7368
dod1@pitt.edu
412-624-4259
wangz2@upmc.edu
412-623-3903
nyos@pitt.edu
412-692-4137

Hormone Pharmacology


Faculty

dod1@pitt.edu
412-624-4259
wex6@pitt.edu
412-648-9941

Hormone Signaling and Action


Faculty

dod1@pitt.edu
412-624-4259
wex6@pitt.edu
412-648-9941

Metabolic Syndrome Pharmacology


Faculty

kjf38@pitt.edu
412-383-5901
freerad@pitt.edu
412-648-9319
wex6@pitt.edu
412-648-9941

Neuropharmacology

The physiological basis of neuronal toxicity caused by various insults including excitatory amino acids, oxidative stress and cerebral ischemia is being studied using quantitative imaging techniques, confocal microscopy, genetic approaches in model organisms, and molecular approaches in cultured cell lines, cultured primary neurons and in intact animals. These studies aim to develop an understanding of the mechanisms of neuronal injury in acute and chronic disorders. The regulation of the expression of voltage-gated ion channels in cell lines and primary cultures is being studied by molecular and patchclamping techniques. In addition, molecular genetic, electrophysiological and cell biological approaches are being used to explore the relationships between neurotransmitter transporter structure, substrate transport, inhibitor binding and ion permeation. New quantitative imaging approaches are being used to study the basic processes of neuropeptide secretion. Investigators in the Molecular Pharmacology program are also examining the mechanisms of autonomic regulation and synaptic transmission of the urogenital system. These studies include neuroanatomical and neurophysiological research aimed towards the development of agents to modulate neuronal control of the urinary bladder, colon, and sex organs. Targeted disruption of GABA receptors is being used as a tool to investigate the function of these receptors and their specific components in transgenic mice. The mechanism of action of anesthetics is being studied in genetic model organisms and using techniques of magnetic resonance spectroscopy.

Faculty

jmbeckel@pitt.edu
412-383-5004
lbirder@pitt.edu
412-383-7368
dod1@pitt.edu
412-624-4259
kjf38@pitt.edu
412-383-5901
tcj11@pitt.edu
412-648-8136

Pharmacology of Cell and Organ Systems

Investigators in the Molecular Pharmacology program are also examining the mechanisms of autonomic synaptic transmission and the autonomic regulation of the urogenital and renal systems. These studies include: 1) neuroanatomical and neurophysiological research aimed towards the development of agents to modulate neuronal control of the urinary bladder, colon, and sex organs; 2) biochemical/molecular analysis of the role of PP-fold peptides released from autonomic synaptic junctions in the regulation of renovascular tone and arterial blood pressure in genetic hypertension; and 3) the interaction between the sympathetic nervous system and estradiol on renal function.

Faculty

jmbeckel@pitt.edu
412-383-5004
lbirder@pitt.edu
412-383-7368
dod1@pitt.edu
412-624-4259
pagano@pitt.edu
412-383-6505
wex6@pitt.edu
412-648-9941

Protein Kinases & Phosphatases


Faculty

jih25@pitt.edu
412-623-2227
tsmithga@pitt.edu
412-648-8106

Purine Pharmacology


Faculty

jmbeckel@pitt.edu
412-383-5004

Receptor Pharmacology


Faculty

jmbeckel@pitt.edu
412-383-5004
dod1@pitt.edu
412-624-4259
tcj11@pitt.edu
412-648-8136
wangz2@upmc.edu
412-623-3903
wex6@pitt.edu
412-648-9941

Redox Pharmacology


Faculty

kjf38@pitt.edu
412-383-5901
freerad@pitt.edu
412-648-9319
feg5@pitt.edu
412-648-2047
pagano@pitt.edu
412-383-6505

Signal Transduction

The department is rich in research devoted to the analysis of signal transduction pathways and their role in normal physiological processes and disease. These include studies into the basic mechanisms of signaling by oxidizing and free radical inflammatory mediators, nitric oxide, steroids, parathyroid hormone, neurotransmitters, hypothalamic hormones, and rhodopsin. Various cell biological, forward and reverse genetic, molecular biological and biophysical approaches are used to dissect the molecular mechanisms utilized by intracellular mediators of signal transduction including cell surface receptors, nuclear receptors, caveolin, protein kinases, protein phosphatases and lipid kinases.

Faculty

dod1@pitt.edu
412-624-4259
freerad@pitt.edu
412-648-9319
feg5@pitt.edu
412-648-2047
jih25@pitt.edu
412-623-2227
tcj11@pitt.edu
412-648-8136
pagano@pitt.edu
412-383-6505
svs2@pitt.edu
412-623-3262
tsmithga@pitt.edu
412-648-8106
wangz2@upmc.edu
412-623-3903
wex6@pitt.edu
412-648-9941
zhanglx@upmc.edu
412-623-1009

Structural Pharmacology


Faculty

tsmithga@pitt.edu
412-648-8106

Systems Biology of Cancer


Faculty

feg5@pitt.edu
412-648-2047

Systems Pharmacology


Faculty

jmbeckel@pitt.edu
412-383-5004