MUSC Pharmacy Students Succeed

Graduating student satisfaction, on-time graduation, and residency placement exceed 90 percent. We are a top academic medical center located in historic Charleston, SC focused on interprofessional education and research.

MUSC College of Pharmacy students in white coats

Drug Discovery & Biomedical Sciences

The Department of Drug Discovery and Biomedical Sciences (DDBS) provides training in the basic sciences to professional (Pharm.D.) and graduate students (Ph.D.). Training provides fundamentals in the health sciences including; biochemistry, cell and molecular biology, pharmacology, oncology, and neuroscience. Research training in DDBS encompasses the understanding of disease mechanisms, drug action, and toxicity, the design and development of new pharmaceutical agents, and the identification of new drug targets. Graduates of the program (Pharm.D./Ph.D. or Ph.D.) can pursue diverse and exciting career opportunities in academia, pharmaceutical, and biotechnology companies, or with government agencies. DDBS has 11 faculty members. 

Research efforts in DDBS include the following areas: chemical biology/medicinal chemistry, translational cancer therapeutics, mitochondrial biology, cell death, injury and regeneration, pharmacogenomics, targeted therapeutics, pharmacology, neuroscience, and personalized medicine.

Graduate Program

The Doctor of Philosophy degree is considered the mark of highest achievement in preparation for creative scholarship and research. It is the highest degree conferred by our universities and, by nature and tradition, is a research degree.

Doctor of Philosophy Program Objectives and Requirements

Research Centers & Initiatives

The Center for Cell Death, Injury, & Regeneration

The Center for Cell Death, Injury, & Regeneration was established in 2007 and is headed by John J. Lemasters. The center provides imaging facility through the use of six confocal and multiphoton microscopes which are also a part of the Hollings Cell and Molecular Imaging Facility. The center also is home to a multiwell plate reader and Seahorse Bioscience facility. Anna-Liisa Nieminen is co-director of the imaging facility.

In addition the center also houses imaging workstations, surgery benches, and tissue culture hoods for specimen preparation and data analysis.

Center for Cancer Drug Discovery and Drug Discovery Core

The Center for Cancer Drug Discovery provides mechanisms for target identification and generation of lead compounds in the drug discovery process, thus creating a productive interface between academics and the biotechnology/pharmaceutical industries. The center and the MUSC Drug Discovery Core are headed by Yuri Peterson. 

Medication Safety

The Doris Lesvkoff Meddin Medication Safety Education Program is an education and outreach program designed to help reduce adverse drug effects by disseminating current and emerging knowledge about ADEs to Health care professionals and the general public.

Endowed Chairs

Dr. John J. Lemasters

GlaxoSmithKline Distinguished Endowed Chair at MUSC, CoEE in Cancer Drug Discovery

Lemasters is a pioneer of techniques that allow scientists to see what happens inside an individual cell during reoxygenation - the restoration of oxygen to an organ following oxygen deprivation, which sometimes occurs following a heart attack or stroke. The process of redistributing oxygen to an organ can be stressful on tissue, leading to possible trauma, and even cell death. Lemasters specializes in a kind of microscopy that allows scientists to view slices of an individual cell, much like CAT or MRI scans complement the more traditional X-ray by allowing doctors to view the body in layers. Other applications for Lemasters’ work include understanding the mechanisms through which the liver is injured by chronic alcohol use and donated organs are damaged while being held for transplant surgery. Lemasters is director of the Center for Cell Death, Injury, and Regeneration. The Center for Cell Death, Injury, and Regeneration was established in 2006 and provides imaging facility through the use of five confocal microscopes which are also a part of the Hollings Cell and Molecular Imaging Facility. The center also is home to a multiwell plate reader. Ongoing projects in the center’s laboratory using the microscopes include Intravital Imaging of Liver Function using Multiphoton Microscopy, Autophagy/Mitophagy, Mitochondrial Permeability Transition (MPT) and Luminescence Lifetime Imaging Microscopy.


Dr. Mark Hamann

Charles & Carol Cooper Endowed Chair

Mark Hamann is the Charles and Carol Cooper Chair in Pharmacy Endowed SmartState Chair in the Cancer Drug Discovery Center of Economic Excellence. His team looks at the role of natural products in the discovery and development of therapeutics. It focuses on the discovery and development of new treatments for drug resistant cancer and infectious diseases from natural product prototypes. His group has identified potential new and innovative solutions to pancreatic cancer, leukemia, breast, and lung cancer as well as MRSA and depression.


SmartState Endowed Chair in Medicinal Chemistry



Vincent T. Peng, M.D. Pharmaceutical Chemistry Professorship