Pharmaceutics and Pharmacokinetics

Pharmaceutics deals with the design and development of pharmaceutical dosage forms. This track trains future scientists to create formulations to optimally control the bioavailability of pharmaceuticals.

Drug delivery science and technology emphasis is on topical, sustained-release injectables, inhalable dosage forms and novel drug delivery systems. Advanced formulations are developed to maximize the bioavailability, stability, performance, and disease-targeting efficiency of novel drugs. This involves the study of the factors that govern solubility in aqueous and non-aqueous vehicles, the development of stability-indicating assays, and the study of the effects of formulation components on physicochemical stability, formulation performance, and therapeutic properties. It also involves the development of various types of nanocarriers composed of biocompatible and biodegradable polymers and lipids for the targeted delivery of a variety of therapeutic agents. These therapeutic payloads include small molecular weight drugs from a variety of therapeutic classes, oligonucleotides/genes (e.g. DNA, RNA, siRNA, and miRNA), and large molecular weight drugs/biologics (e.g. peptides and proteins).

Current research is multidisciplinary and involves targeted drug delivery, nanomedicine, and nano-enabled immunoengineering, physical pharmacy, pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics, FDA/USP performance testing for formulation optimization, and translational medicine.

Program Goal

The goal of this program track is to provide the student with an advanced knowledge base and extensive research skills in the area of pharmaceutical sciences. A dissertation based upon original research is required for the PhD degree, and the degree offered is the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Pharmaceutical Sciences with an emphasis in pharmaceutics. Students are required to select a minor field of study. Acceptable minor fields for doctoral students include biology, chemistry, engineering, mathematics, microbiology, pharmacology, toxicology or physiology.

Application Requirements I

Individuals with a bachelor's degree in pharmacy, chemistry, engineering or physical or biological science are encouraged to apply. If you are interested in this program you can submit an application at Certain prerequisites may be waived, however, students should have taken: 

One Semester:
  • Analytical Chemistry
Two Semesters:
  • Calculus
  • Life Sciences
  • Organic Chemistry




Jianqin Lu, BPharm, PhD
Assistant Professor, Pharmaceutical Sciences
Director, Pharmaceutics and Pharmacokinetics Track
Skaggs Building 422