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Education and Training
 Education and Training

Education : The Data Intensive Discovery Initiative seeks to address specific training needs identified in part at the NIH ‘ Quantitative & Systems Pharmacology Workshop’ in 2008. The main specific aim is the design and establishment of specific plans for: (i) broad, integrated, and bi-directional training of graduate students and post-doctoral fellows in Computational Science (CS) and in Quantitative Pharmacology (QP), (ii) workshops for training established scientists in academia, research institutions, and industry in the techniques and tools developed at the DI2. The primary educational thrust is two-way multi-disciplinary pre-doctoral and post-doctoral training of quantitative pharmacologists in the computational sciences and the training of computational scientists in quantitative pharmacology.

Certificate Program: The DI2 is developing a Graduate Certificate in High Performance Computing, which is a credentialing program equivalent to about half the effort and requirements of a Master’s degree. This course of study requires two courses in parallel computing. The Center for Computational Research (CCR) staff team-teach the key course in that program, a one semester Introduction to High Performance Computing. Dr. Chaudhary, co-investigator in this Center, teaches a course in Parallel and Distributed Systems, which includes General-Purpose computation on Graphics Processing Units (GPU) programming, as well as the Netezza architecture and data model. Elective courses are chosen from a range of departmentally approved offerings. All courses required for the certificate can contribute to fulfillment of the student’s target degree requirements.

MS in Pharmacometrics: Students from academic programs in quantitative and computational sciences who are interested in obtaining a formal degree in quantitative pharmacology will be encouraged to consider the accelerated Master of Science in Pharmacometrics, which is a unique, approved course of study offered by the PHC. This program generally can be completed in a year, and emphasizes quantitative pharmacology and pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic analysis. The program combines examination and analysis of experimental data from individuals and groups of biologic preparations, animals, and human subjects, as well as theoretical and computational studies of drug uptake and action. Appropriate analyses of such data require an understanding of the underlying pathobiology and pharmacology, as well as use of biostatistics, computational methods, and modeling. In addition to required courses in Pharmacokinetics and Biostatistics, this degree includes elective courses in the CSE.

The Pharmaceutical Sciences Department offers two popular and well-received mini-courses annually in Pharmacokinetic-Pharmacodynamic Modeling. One is held in Buffalo in mid-May (in its 17th year) and the other is held at the University of Paris Descartes in January. These courses attract over 100 participants from academia, regulatory agencies and the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry every year. A variety of add-on modules have been addressed to meet demand in ancillary topics, and are offered immediately before or after the course. These have included hands-on computation on the topics of the workshops described above, and plans include development of modules in pharmacogenomic modeling and the role of high performance computing in quantitative pharmacology.

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