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Curriculum

The Molecular Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics (MPET) curriculum is a visionary, comprehensive, and didactic program tailored specifically to our students' needs and designed to train our students to:

  • Integrate across scientific disciplines
  • Perform cutting-edge, discovery-oriented research
  • Further the understanding of human biology
  • Enhance patient care through the development of novel disease therapies

The MPET curriculum is immediately applicable to the best possible biomedical research, drug discovery, genetics exploration, and cancer and biology therapy, all directly applicable to the challenges of patient care in the 21st century.

The MPET Curriculum
First and Second Years
During the first two years of MPET study, our students will complete the didactic course work required for a Ph.D.

The first and second year core curriculum courses provide a broad foundation of knowledge needed to interpret current research findings and successfully perform laboratory research. Core curriculum courses include:

  • Genome Biology
  • Chemical Principles of Biological Systems
  • Biostatistics
  • Molecular Cell Biology

Additional classes such as Molecular Pharmacology, Receptor Biology and General Pharmacology, focus on the basic principles of drug action and metabolism and the rapidly evolving concepts of receptor and signal transduction mechanisms relevant to pharmacology and all of biology.

Based on research interests, students also select from a menu of small-group tutorials that provide in-depth learning experiences covering-

  • Pharmacogenomics/genetics
  • Drug discovery
  • Cell signaling
  • Drug metabolism
  • DNA damage signaling and repair
  • Cardiovascular biology
  • Neurodegeneration

Complete MPET Course Listing
Enhancing the MPET course work, first year students have the opportunity to rotate with three research mentors. Second year students may select a mentor that best matches their scientific interests and goals.

Students have the option of taking the qualifying exam at the end of their first year or second year.

Third, Fourth, and Fifth Years
The third, fourth, and fifth year of the MPET program focus on the thesis research portion of the Ph.D degree. After completing class work and passing the qualifying exam, students work full time on their thesis research. Average time to earn a Ph.D. degree is just over five years.

Presentation Opportunities
Throughout graduate training, MPET students gain effective communication skills by participating in weekly student seminars, lab meetings, and class tutorials. In addition, MPET students may present their work at national scientific meetings.

Additional Learning Opportunities
A crucial component to broader scientific education, MPET students have excellent opportunities to learn from national and international experts inside and outside of Mayo Clinic. Active seminar programs in each department bring many distinguished scientists to the Mayo Clinic campus. Students have ample opportunity to interact with these distinguished visitors in formal and informal settings and are encouraged to attend seminars sponsored by any of the graduate school departments and programs.

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