Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences faculty members teach tomorrow’s PhD scientists, clinicians, and clinical scientists to think critically and holistically as they approach scientific questions and clinical problems, and to work across disciplines as a matter of course. Through this way of learning, the hope is that graduates will continue to work across fields and with partners inside and outside academia.

Faculty members in the department also share their expertise with industry, government, and academic leaders in other universities. As part of a public university, faculty members believe it is their responsibility to actively share their research and knowledge with partners beyond UC San Francisco, enabling the development of therapeutics that will improve the health of people everywhere.

Degree programs

The department is responsible for aspects of the following degree programs:

PhD graduate degree programs

Department faculty members teach in many PhD graduate degree programs.

The School of Pharmacy administers these five programs:

The five PhD programs administered by the School sit under the broader umbrella of the Quantitative Biosciences Consortium (QBC).

PharmD degree program

The PharmD professional program prepares pharmacists to lead and innovate in pharmacy practice, policy, and science; to remain lifelong experts in the safe and effective use of medicines; and to contribute to patient-centered care within health care teams.

Faculty members in the three School of Pharmacy departments develop and deliver the School’s Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree program, which is administered by the Dean’s Office. Faculty members outside the School also teach in the PharmD program.

Doctor of Medicine degree program

Department faculty members teach in the Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree program, which is administered by the School of Medicine Dean’s Office. The MD professional program emphasizes self-directed learning, connections across disciplines, and competency-based education.

Master of Science in Artificial Intelligence and Computational Drug Discovery and Development degree program (MS in AICD3)

  • Director: Joanne Chun, PharmD, PhD

The Master of Science in Artificial Intelligence and Computational Drug Discovery and Development (AICD3) graduate degree program trains students to apply computer science, data science, statistical analysis, machine learning, and other data-driven methods to redefine the discovery and development of new drugs and therapies. The program enables graduates to gain a competitive edge for some of the most desirable jobs in the biopharmaceutical industry and in academia, both of which increasingly require interdisciplinary training.

Master of Translational Medicine degree program

  • Director: Shuvo Roy, PhD

The department co-directs the Master of Translational Medicine (MTM) degree program, designed to train students to apply translational research and engineering approaches to solve fundamental problems in health care delivery. The program links the Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences at UCSF with the Department of Bioengineering at UC Berkeley.

Combined degree programs

  • PharmD/PhD combined program
    There is a growing need for clinical scientists in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries to design and carry out clinical studies. UCSF is one of only a few universities in a position to train top-flight PharmD/PhD scientists. The Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences administers the PharmD/PhD program.
  • PharmD-MSCR - The Training in Clinical Research (TICR) program offers students in our PharmD program the opportunity to earn a master of science in clinical research (MSCR) degree.
  • PharmD-MSAICD3 - Our Master of Science in Artificial Intelligence and Computational Drug Discovery and Development (AICD3) program can be combined with the PharmD program in a sequential manner. It is not a combined or expedited degree. However, students will be able to transition directly into the MS in AICD3 after completing the PharmD curriculum. We recommend the PharmD first because the pharmacy background is especially helpful for the AICD3.

Postdoctoral programs

Fellowship programs

Fellowships provide early-career PharmD, PhD, and MD graduates with specialized training ranging from the lab to the clinic, company, and government agencies. Explore fellowship opportunities supported by UCSF and the UCSF School of Pharmacy.

Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences fellowship programs

Postdoctoral research

Postdoctoral research fellowships support scholars whose work is critical to the research mission of UCSF. Department faculty members welcome inquiries from postdoctoral research fellows who have already received fellowship funding for postdoctoral study by an external agency.

At UCSF, faculty members usually prefer to receive the names of prospective postdoctoral scholars directly from research colleagues. See: Office for Postdoctoral Scholars and Finding a Postdoctoral Advisor. Some but not all postdoc positions are listed at OCPD Opportunities and Jobs Board.

Career-development and leadership courses

The department shares its expertise nationally and internationally through the following courses, offered to professionals in industry, regulatory agencies, academia, and health care.

Drug development: American Course on Drug Development and Regulatory Sciences (ACDRS)

  • Executive Board Members: Kathy Giacomini, PhD, and Leslie Benet, PhD

This course provides education and training in the field of medical product development at an advanced level. It focuses on the drug development pipeline, with emphasis on clinical trials and regulatory sciences.

The program is targeted to:

  • Scientists in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries who are involved in clinical drug development
  • Academic and government scientists
  • Decision- and policy-makers who already have a good grounding in the basics and will benefit from a more in-depth, comprehensive, and systematic immersion into modern medical product development regulation and market introduction

See American Course on Drug Development and Regulatory Sciences.

Pharmacokinetics: Pharmacokinetics for Pharmaceutical Scientists (PK Course)

  • Directors: Leslie Benet, PhD, and Robert Upton, PhD

This course covers the basic principles of pharmacokinetics with emphasis on physiologic conceptualization and problem solving. Course content aims to greatly enhance pharmacokinetic knowledge and to integrate pharmacokinetic principles and concepts into everyday practice.

The program is targeted to:

  • Pharmacists
  • Physicians
  • Pharmacologists
  • Others in the pharmaceutical sciences who will use pharmacokinetics in the development and testing of drugs

The course is presented in one five-day block in San Francisco, California. See Pharmacokinetics for Pharmaceutical Scientists.

Inter­dis­ci­pli­nary approach

PhD education is a highly interdisciplinary endeavor at UC San Francisco—a natural outgrowth of UCSF’s hallmark interdisciplinary approach to research.

The education of health professional students is becoming increasingly interdisciplinary as issues of health care cost, quality, access, and disparities in the United States call for dramatic changes in how care is delivered.