Pharmacy program aims to combine research and clinical work

The USC School of Pharmacy recently began a new Ph.D program in Clinical and Experimental Therapeutics (CXPT) designed to bridge the gap between experimentation and implementation in medicine.

The program, which is part of the Titus Family Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Economics and Policy, arose because of a movement in the pharmacy community to better integrate research and clinical therapeutics. An interdisciplinary degree, the degree program aims to train graduate students as translational scientists who can cross connect between basic scientific discoveries and clinical applications.

“There is a national shortage of scientists who could really bridge clinical care of patients with basic science and investigation at the molecular level. This program is unique in that its goal is to train scientists who could be “bilingual” in both worlds,” said Dr. Annie Wong-Beringer, vice chair of the Titus Family Department, who led the development of this program.

The USC School of Pharmacy is the first on the West Coast to offer such a program. The program is different in that students work with human samples as well as patients in clinical trials.

As of now, there are only three students enrolled in the program and, as Wong-Beringer said, the program will most likely accept a maximum of only 10 students at a time.