WSU Applebaum launches doctoral program in pharmaceutical sciences and urban sustainability

Wayne State University doctoral students in pharmaceutical sciences can now apply to earn a dual title in urban sustainability. This PhD program is offered by the Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences in partnership with WSU's interdisciplinary Transformative Research in Urban Sustainability Training (T-RUST), which is funded by the National Science Foundation.

The program is designed to train pharmaceutical scientists with a foundation in theoretical and applied expertise in urban sustainability, preparing them to solve complex challenges that require an integrated understanding of scientific, engineering and social science approaches.

"One such challenge is the environmental risks associated with the discharge of waste pharmaceuticals commonly found in the effluent of most wastewater treatment plants, or more simply put: drugs in our water," said Associate Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences David Pitts, who led the creation of the dual-title program. "Graduates of this program will be ready to get to work on issues in environmental toxicology, pursue green chemistry for sustainable product development, assist government agencies like the EPA, and more."

Students in the dual-title program will take all credits required for the existing PhD in pharmaceutical sciences, plus additional credits in urban sustainability. Core courses span the disciplines of anthropology, biology, civil and environmental engineering, communication and urban planning. Electives include urban archaeology, molecular aquatic ecology, ecotoxicology, environmental law, crisis communication and more.

In addition to completing this interdisciplinary coursework, students in the program also will participate in two community service events or an equivalent commitment to citizen science, stewardship or outreach projects with community partners; help develop and attend an annual colloquium series featuring visiting lecturers across disciplines; and prepare a proposal to send to an external funding agency.

Elective activities include internships, video documentary production, capstone course development, and undergraduate research mentoring.

"Pharmaceutical scientists have the potential to positively impact the health of the public and our environment," said Pitts. "Our department is excited to see the difference graduates of this program will make."

← Back to listing