Drug Discovery and Development

Drug discovery and development is a multidisciplinary science that incorporates a wide variety of state-of-the-art scientific tools to design and develop the molecular therapies of the future.

At the University of Arizona, our DDD faculty is distinguished by a broad range of drug-directed expertise covering synthetic medicinal chemistry, structure-based design, molecular modeling, phenotypic screening, and molecular biology (including transcriptional control, DNA repair, cell signaling, and oxidative damage mechanisms).

This includes tools long associated with medicinal and natural products chemistry such as the synthesis and characterization of new compounds and the isolation and characterization of new compounds from natural products. Drug discovery and development in the 21st century also involves protein and nucleic acid chemistry, molecular biology, structural biology, cell biology, transgenic animals and plants, proteomics, genomics and more.

The degree offered in this track is the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Pharmaceutical Sciences with an emphasis in drug discovery and development.


Application Requirements

Application requirements include a bachelor's degree in pharmacy, chemistry or the biological sciences or a doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) degree with adequate preparation in mathematics. Applications are accepted through the Arizona Biological and Biomedical Sciences Program (ABBS).


The goal of the PhD program is to teach the researcher to use cutting-edge technology to create new agents for specific biological targets.

Apply to ABBS


Georg Wondrak, PhD
Associate Professor, Pharmacology and Toxicology
Track Director, Drug Discovery & Development
Member, University of Arizona Cancer Center
Arizona Cancer Center 3971 and 3977C