dmoney41

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I've done some preliminary browsing, considering MSTP, and I've noticed most MD/PhD programs seem to put people in their various biomedical departments, like Immunology, etc. However, I've been considering a MD/PhD in medicinal chemistry, which is obviously not generally in the School of Medicine. One or two schools have explicitly mentioned the chem dept as a possible place, while others just hint that it's not limited to biomedical departments. Anybody know about how hard it is to do this sort of thing? Would you have to apply separately to the chem grad program since it's not in the School of Medicine?
 

NGN47

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There are a number of MSTP students in my year doing their PhD's in chemistry. I am in bio-organic chemistry. Other students are doing their PhD's in chemical fields such as computational chemistry, structural biology (crystallography), and materials/surface chemistry. These are all labs within the chemistry department. I have heard that some MD/PhD trainees even do their PhD's in labs doing total synthesis, although not anyone that I know personally. If you want to do medicinal chemistry I am sure you can do it without question at any program provided there are suitable labs available. Applying separately to the graduate programs is probably not usually necessary. Acceptance to the MSTP is a sort of semi-automatic acceptance to whatever department you decide to do the PhD in. At least, that has been my experience.
 

stillsmilin

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be careful. some md/phd programs, particularly the non-mstp will limit your phd funding to certain departments. if you call the admissions office, you can usually find this information out. but another thing to consider is that some professors in chemistry will have double appointments in a department in biological sciences, so you could still work with them. "med chem" as a specific phd is not found at many schools, but chemical biology, pharmaceutical chemistry, and biological chemistry will all give similar opportunities, and chemistry research applied to medicine could be taking place in other departments.

dmoney41 said:
I've done some preliminary browsing, considering MSTP, and I've noticed most MD/PhD programs seem to put people in their various biomedical departments, like Immunology, etc. However, I've been considering a MD/PhD in medicinal chemistry, which is obviously not generally in the School of Medicine. One or two schools have explicitly mentioned the chem dept as a possible place, while others just hint that it's not limited to biomedical departments. Anybody know about how hard it is to do this sort of thing? Would you have to apply separately to the chem grad program since it's not in the School of Medicine?
 

mercaptovizadeh

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Neuronix said:
I'm confused. How is what you're proposing different from pharmacology or biochemistry?
I could be wrong about this, but it seems to me that pharmacology is more hit-and-miss, or at best, combinatorial, and that there is a lot of concern about pharmacokinetics, animal testing, etc.

It seems to me that medicinal chemistry is oftentimes more concerned with rational synthesis based on crystal structures, or of analogs, and there is less concern about actually testing the drugs on the animals.

Where I am right now (doing some master's research), there is an MD/PhD in an X-ray crystallography lab. They try to design drugs that will fit into the crystal structure, hence 'rational,' and collaborate with a pharmacologist (or biochemist, not sure), who tests the stuff on rodents.
 

Neuronix

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There's a number of labs here that do that work. They fit under the Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics department (BMB). That's a focus of a friend of mine's research, so I know a bit about it and can put anyone in touch with him if they so desire. I don't see why MD/PhD programs would be against this if they have the grad group for it. I would suspect that any program that isn't for this kind of work, just doesn't have a strong department in it.