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The Doctorate in Pharmaceutical Sciences program at UMass Lowell will prepare students for academic careers, research careers and upper-level executive positions in both public and private institutions. Students will develop relevant, interdisciplinary research skills by applying work to current and future pharmaceutical problems and challenges.

The curriculum of the Pharmaceutical Sciences Ph.D. program is geared toward the development and evaluation of new drug therapies, and research on drug modalities, drug delivery, drug metabolism and pharmaceutical analysis.

Students are expected, early in their program, to identify a research area and, with guidance from their faculty adviser, develop a plan of research supporting this interest. Students will study the scientific framework of their specialty area. They will master highly technical, cutting-edge research methodologies appropriate to their respective specialties and responsive to the latest research findings and pharmaceutical issues.

Graduates of the Ph.D. program in Pharmaceutical Sciences will be able to:

  • Conduct high-quality research Lead and partner effectively in research initiatives with other interested stakeholders
  • Disseminate research findings through publication and conference participation
  • Serve as worldwide “ambassadors” for the UMass system
  • Demonstrate unparalleled ethical perspective on research issues and approaches

For questions about the program please reach out by email to:

Admissions & Degree Requirements

Students from the MS program with a cumulative GPA of a 3.500 or greater may apply to the PhD program and, if accepted, proceed with advanced standing into the PhD program and will be eligible to take the qualifying exam, which must be successfully completed within one year of acceptance. External applicants to the Ph.D. program will be accepted if they have an MS degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences with a cumulative GPA of 3.500 or greater from another college or university, but may be required to take any additional core curriculum courses they have not previously taken.

Learn about admission requirements.


Upon completion of the core curriculum these students will be required to attempt the qualifying exam within six months and must successfully complete the qualifying exam within one year. Students in the Ph.D. program are also required to take a minimum of 12 more credits of Advanced Elective courses. Other Advanced Elective options may be added to this list or be approved by the Graduate Coordinator and the student’s Research Advisor.

The expectation is that full-time students will finish the program in two to three years after the successful completion of their qualifying exam. The Program Director and advisors in the Ph.D. program will guide graduate students through a full-time program of study. Full-time study is equivalent to 9 credit hours per semester.

View the degree pathway

Faculty Research

  • As the only Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) program currently offered by the BNS Department, this advanced degree program in Pharmaceutical Sciences is also interdisciplinary. A diverse group of faculty and graduate students from various basic science, engineering, and applied science departments across the university come together to engage in collaborative work, all under the umbrella of this program housed in the BNS Department. Students engage in advanced research projects in areas like biomarker identification and medical laboratory sciences, drug discovery, pharmacokinetics and drug metabolism, drug delivery, pharmacology/toxicology and safety, environmental health, biopharmaceutical development, and pharmaceutical analysis.

    Dhimiter Bello , Sc.D, MSc.
    Email: Dhimiter Bello
    Adverse human health effects of workplace, consumer, and community exposures to toxic chemicals especially exposure to biomarkers/biology.
    Timothy Ford, Ph.D.
    Email: Timothy Ford
    Environmental microbiology; community-based participatory research; water and health; waterborne disease
    Mahdi O. Garelnabi, Ph.D.
    Email: Mahdi O. Garelnabi
    Our research interest focuses around basic mechanisms of Cardiometabolic disorders, Atherosclerosis, Lipoprotein pathophysiology; and Nutrition and Population Health. We are particularly interested in the role of inflammation, antioxidants, and oxidative stress in these metabolic disorders. In addition, we are also interested on selected topics in clinical toxicology and laboratory analytical method validation.
    Nancy Goodyear, Ph.D. MLS(ASCP)CM
    Email: Nancy Goodyear
    Focused on evaluating safer approaches to disinfection ("green" or low toxicity disinfectants.) Safer approaches include saturated steam vapor, activated water, thymol and other plant-derived chemicals, and do-it-yourself approaches using household products such as vinegar.
    Gui-Xin (Susan) He, Ph.D.
    Email: Gui-Xin (Susan) He
    Researching antibiotic resistance mechanisms and new antimicrobial drugs. Currently, we are focused on the following studies: 1) Investigating biofilm and drug resistance development; 2) Analyzing resistance genes in antibiotic resistant Enteric bacteria; 3) Developing biosensors for drug resistance and pathogens; 4) Screening new antimicrobial agents from ocean microbes and natural products.
    Shannon Kelleher, Ph.D.
    Email: Shannon Kelleher
    Molecular studies focused on mammary gland biology, human milk and lactation; functional genomics; biomarker discovery and validation;  nutritional biochemistry; functional foods and phytochemicals.
    Jonghan Kim, Ph.D.
    Email: Jonghan Kim
    Pharmacokinetics; Pharmacodynamics; Nanomedicine; Drug/Gene Delivery; Iron Disorders and Hematology; Neurodegenerative Diseases; Cardiovascular Pharmacology; Cancer Therapeutics; Toxicology.
    Yuho Kim, Ph.D.
    Email: Yuho Kim
    My research is focused on understanding the roles of mitochondria in muscle physiology and pathophysiology. Research topics include exercise, iron disorder diseases, neurodegenerative diseases, and various disease models (e.g., muscle weakness).
    Thomas A. Wilson, Ph.D.
    Email: Thomas A. Wilson
    Cardiovascular disease, atherosclerosis and blood lipids; macular degeneration; nanotechnology delivery of nutrients and drugs; nutrition and hormone metabolism; diabetes and obesity; nutrition and exercise physiology.
    Seongkyu Yoon, Ph.D.
    Email: Seongkyu Yoon
    Engineering Biology; Systems and Synthetic Biology; Process System Engineering; Biomanufacturing Innovation; Protein Therapeutics; Biotherapeutic Vector Manufacturing; Multivariate Data Analysis.
    Fanfei Meng, Ph.D.
    Email: Fanfei Meng
    Drug delivery, Nanomedicine, Biomaterials, Immunotherapy, Gene therapy, Nanotechnology, Biomedical Engineering. Specifically, we are designing nanomedicine and new drug delivery systems to deliver biomacromolecules such as proteins and nucleic acids that modulate immune functions to fight cancer, autoimmune, and infectious/inflammatory diseases.

Meet Our Students and Alumni

Marita Merheb using a microscope in a UMass Lowell lab
Marita Merheb '24
Pharmaceutical Sciences

As a pharmaceutical sciences major interested in research and business, Marita Merheb pursues all opportunities to advance her goals.

All in all, UML provides high value for a lower cost, which you can’t find at other colleges.
Read More About Marita Merheb 
Christianto Putra poses in a lab at UMass Lowell
Christianto Putra '16, '21
Clinical Laboratory Sciences, Pharmaceutical Sciences

Christianto Putra conducted research on titanium dioxide, a common food additive, for his dissertation and published the results in the Journal of Nutrition.

UMass Lowell offered me a place to learn about nutritional sciences, experience the campus culture and conduct research.
Read More About Christianto Putra 
Katie McGourty works in a lab
Katie McGourty '18, '19
Applied Biomedical Sciences, Pharmaceutical Sciences

Katie McGourty took advantage of UML's Bachelor’s-to-Master’s program and completed her master’s in one year. She landed a job with Pfizer Inc. in the inflammation and immunology department before she graduated.

I decided to do the accelerated B.S.-M.S. program in pharmaceutical sciences because it was a cost-effective way to get my master’s in a growing field.
Read More About Katie McGourty 

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