Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences

The Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences offers undergraduate and graduate students unparalleled training for future careers in pharmacy, medicine, and biomedical research. Our innovative, rigorous curriculum integrates concepts from biology, chemistry, chemical engineering, pharmacology and physiology. Alumni purse exciting professional opportunities that improve our societies health and well-being.
Pharmaceutical Scientists are rapidly changing the field of drug discovery and development. Graduates of our program are well qualified to seek employment in the public and private sectors, or pursue graduate degrees such as Ph.D., M.D., or Pharm.D.

Pharmaceutical Sciences News

Sign up for our newsletter!

Recieve updates on our planned school, faculty research and outstanding students.

What are the Pharmaceutical Sciences?

Drug Discovery & Design

Pharmacists are trusted medication experts who are responsible for ensuring that the specific complex, combination of prescribed and over-the-counter drugs, along with any supplements and complementary medications, are safe and effective for a particular individual. 

Drug Delivery

Drug Delivery is concerned with the design of dosage forms — such as tablets, injections or patches — that will deliver the drug to the site of action in a patient. The purpose is to ensure that the drug arrives in the right concentration and at the right time. Specialty fields within Drug Delivery include pharmaceutics, biomaterials, and pharmacokinetics.

Drug Action

Drug Delivery is concerned with the design of dosage forms — such as tablets, injections or patches — that will deliver the drug to the site of action in a patient. The purpose is to ensure that the drug arrives in the right concentration and at the right time. Specialty fields within Drug Delivery include pharmaceutics, biomaterials, and pharmacokinetics.

Clinical Sciences

Clinical Sciences are concerned with the use of drugs in the treatment of diseases. Particular properties of new drugs — such as efficacy, adverse effects, drug-to-drug interaction, bioavailability — are determined in clinical trials in humans.

Cost Effectiveness of Medicine

Cost Effectiveness of Medicines (Pharmacoeconomics) examines the economic savings from the use of one drug rather than others, with regard to costs for the drug itself and patient management (e.g., compliance, quality of life, physician visits, potential hospitalization).

Drug Analysis

Drug Analysis involves separating, identifying, and quantifying the components of a sample. Analytical chemistry is an important component of all areas of the pharmaceutical sciences.

Regulatory Affairs

Regulatory Affairs promotes communication, understanding, and cooperation between scientists from industry and academia and the regulatory authorities worldwide who govern approval and distribution, by means of developing regulatory guidelines.

More and more, these categories are beginning to overlap. For example, a scientific engineer working in Drug Delivery needs to understand how toxicology affects Drug Action, and a chemist working in Drug Discovery and Design must know about the pharmacokinetics of Drug Delivery. For this reason, pharmaceutical scientists are required to have a broad base of knowledge in a variety of sciences.

Career Opportunities

Over the years, pharmaceutical scientists have been instrumental in discovering and developing innovative drugs that save thousands of people’s lives and improve the quality of life for many others. Pharmaceutical scientists can pursue a variety of jobs. They are employed by pharmaceutical companies, they work as pharmacists, doctors, and as researchers and professors at universities, as regulatory scientists for agencies like the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and as researchers at national laboratories such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Excerpted from information produced by the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS)

Learn More about the history of Drug Discovery

Pharmaceutical Sciences Faculty

 NameTitleEmail
Amal AlachkarProfessor of Teaching (LSOE)aalachka@uci.edu
Claudia BenaventeAssistant ProfessorClaudia.benavente@uci.edu
Richard ChamberlinChair, Professor
Emeritus
Richard.chamberlin@uci.edu
John ChaputProfessorjchaput@uci.edu
Olivier CivelliProfessorocivelli@uci.edu
Frederick EhlertProfessor
Emeritus
fjehlert@uci.edu
Kelvin GeeProfessor kwgee@uci.edu
Celia GouldingProfessorcelia.goulding@uci.edu
Stephen HanessianProfessorshanessi@uci.edu
Jan HirschDirector, Founding Deanjdhirsch@uci.edu
Naoto HoshiAssociate Professornhoshi@uci.edu
Mahtab JafariProfessormjafari@uci.edu
Young Jik KwonProfessorkwonyj@uci.edu
Frances LeslieProfessorfmleslie@uci.edu
Andrej LuptakProfessoraluptak@uci.edu
David MobleyProfessor
Vice Chair
dmobley@uci.edu
Brian PaegelProfessorbpaegel@uci.edu
Larry PlonAssistant Adjunct Professor lplon@uci.edu
Thomas PoulosProfessorpoulos@uci.edu
Sam SchrinerProfessor of Teaching (LPSOE)
Vice Chair
schriner@uci.edu
Robert SpitaleAssociate Professorrspitale@uci.edu
Qun-Yong ZhouProfessorqzhou@uci.edu
Weian ZhaoAssociate Professorweianz@uci.edu