BA in Chemistry with Concentration in Pharmacology Program By Duke University | Top Universities

BA in Chemistry with Concentration in Pharmacology

BA in Chemistry with Concentration in Pharmacology

  • QS World University Rankings
  • Degree BA
  • Study Level Bachelors
  • Duration 48 months
  • Scholarships No
Chemistry is typically described in introductory texts as the study of the properties and behavior of matter. A more modern definition might take the microscopic view and describe chemistry as the science of atoms, molecules, and their interactions. As such, chemistry crosses scales from isolated, individual atoms and molecules to complex interacting collections of molecules such as those found in the cell, and disciplines from biology and medicine to materials science and engineering. This broad range of applicability is why chemistry is often referred to as the central science. The field has traditionally been divided into sub-disciplines including analytical, biological, inorganic, organic, physical and theoretical chemistry, but the increasingly interdisciplinary nature of chemistry makes such categorizations limiting (although they largely persist within the undergraduate chemistry curriculum). Indeed some would describe chemistry in terms of what chemists do, for example designing and synthesizing new molecules and materials, developing new experimental methods and instrumentation to probe, characterize and manipulate molecules, and developing new theories and computational methods to understand and predict molecular behavior. Current interdisciplinary applications of chemistry at Duke range from elucidating and controlling signaling in biological systems, to designing chemical separation and identification technologies for genomics and proteomics, to developing new chemical contrast agents and imaging methods in biomedicine, to the synthesis, assembly, and theory of nanoscale materials and devices. Training in the discipline must then go beyond the traditional areas of chemistry and provide sufficiently general skills and a sufficiently broad understanding of molecular science that the power of chemical thinking can be brought to bear on complex scientific and technological problems for the betterment of society. In conjunction with the Department of Pharmacology in the Duke Medical Center, the Chemistry Department offers an A.B. degree in chemistry with a Concentration in Pharmacology. Certification of the concentration is designated on the official transcript. Pharmacology is more than the study of the mode of action of drugs. It is a science which uses the basic concepts of biology and chemistry to determine how drugs affect the organism; it gives a unique perspective in understanding how cells, organ systems, and organisms function. Unlike other basic science fields, pharmacology combines many disciplines so that one can investigate systematically the mechanisms underlying a biological event—from the molecular level to the whole animal. Pharmacology also allows us to study how biological systems fail, providing information on the etiology of disease and on the mechanisms underlying toxic reactions. Pharmacologic research is essential for the development, testing and use of drugs and other bioactive molecules such as pesticides or industrial chemicals. The objective of Pharmacology as an Area of Concentration for Chemistry Majors is to provide students with knowledge of the basic principles underlying the design and actions of drugs and toxic substances. In addition, it provides the opportunity to apply these principles in a research setting. Ultimately, an introduction of pharmacology to undergraduates will encourage interested students to consider graduate study in the fields of pharmacology and/or medicinal chemistry, leading to a career in academic research, in governmental regulatory agencies, or in industry. This area of concentration requires that students take specific courses in biological sciences and chemistry in addition to pharmacology, and two semesters of research in Pharmacology.

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