Pharmaceutical Sciences




Jafari OCR

New Pharm Sci Course, Life 101, is Featured in the OC Register!


Dr. Mahtab Jafari offered Pharm Sci 42: Life 101 for the first time last winter and plans to offer again during the Winter 2014 Quarter this year. She developed this course to help students find a balance outside of class and to begin making changes toward a healthier lifestyle. To read more about this interesting new course click here to view the full article. Also be sure to learn more about the exciting research going on in Dr. Jafari's lab on page 2!





Hanessian Textbook Cover

MCP Program Director Releases Organic Synthesis Textbook!

The Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences is pleased to announce that the Director of the Medicinal Chemistry & Pharmacology program, Professor Stephen Hanessian, has recently released a graduate level textbook titled,"Design and Strategy in Organic Synthesis."




Congratulations to Randi Jimenez, who has been awarded a National Institutes of Health NRSA Predoctoral Fellowship. The first student to have entered UCI through PharmSci's MCP graduate gateway to have achieved this honor, Randi completed the MCP program in 2010 and chose Professor Luptak's group for her PhD research.

Pharm Sci Professors Make the News!

Click here to read the full story on the grant that was awarded to Dr. Weian Zhao to support research for novel diabetes treatments.


In Dr. Mahtab Jafari's lab, they have discovered that rhodiola rosea increases the lifespan of fruit fly populations by nearly 25 percent! Click here to read UCI's press release or visit the OC Register to view the full article:


Mahtab Jafari

Prof. Jafari Wins Teaching Award

The Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences is pleased to announce that Professor Mahtab Jafari has been named as recipient of the 2013-2014 Distinguished Faculty Award for Teaching. This prestegious award is conferred by the Academic Senate on tenured faculty who have made "significant contributions to the university through distinguished teaching."



Interface Focus Cover

Pharm Sci Faculty Featured on Journal Cover

The Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences is pleased to announce that Professor Weian Zhao's research was recently featured in Interface Focus. To read the full article, please visit




The Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences is proud to announce that the 2010 survey of PhD programs by Academic Analytics ranked the Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacology Gateway Program and our Graduate Program in the top ten in the nation (out of 89 similar programs)!

PharmSci Students Admitted to UCSF

Congratulations to the PharmSci Alumni!

Three Pharm Sci Alumni were admitted to the UCSF School of Pharmacy, the nation's top-ranked School of Pharmacy, for Fall 2012!

The Pharmaceutical Sciences Department wishes you best of luck in the pursuit of your educational and career goals. Keep up the hard work!




picture of Weian  Zhao

New Faculty Member Earns Award for Research

The Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences is pleased to announce that one of our new faculty members, Professor Weian Zhao, has been selected as the recipient of a 2012 TR35 award for his creative research on stem cell sensors. This prize is awarded annually by MIT'sTechnology Review to some of the world’s top innovators under the age of 35 in emerging fields of technology. For more information about this prestigious award please visit





Paolo Sassone-Corsi

Congratulations Dr. Sassone-Corsi!

The Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences is pleased to announce that Dr. Sassone-Corsi has been awarded the IPSEN Prize! This prize is awarded by la Fondation IPSEN to a researcher or a physician who has carried out work essential to a better understanding of the role of endocrine interactions in regulating the body's major metabolic functions. It is bestowed for a particularly significant  body of work rather than a single discovery. For more infomration about this prestigious award please visit The Center for Epigenetics and Metabolism (CEM).




NEW Professional Internship Program now available for Pharm Sci students this Summer Session 2012! Visit the Undergraduate Opportunities page for more details!




Congratulations Dr. Steve Hanessian!

The Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences is pleased to announce that our very own Steve Hanessian has been awarded the 2012 Richter Medicinal Chemistry Prize, awarded by the IUPAC. The prize is awarded to an internationally recognized scientist, preferably a medicinal chemist, whose activities or published accounts have made an outstanding contribution to the practice of medicinal chemistry or to an outstanding example of new drug discovery. The Prize will be presented to Steve in June 2012 at the ACS National Medicinal Chemistry Symposium at the University of Arizona, Tucson, USA, where he will also give a plenary lecture on his research.





Dr. Sheryl Tsai

University Communications has just published an article highlighting Dr. Tsai and her ground-breaking research. Click here for the full story.








Congratulations Dr. Steve Hanessian!

We are pleased to announce that our own Steve Hanessian is set to receive the 2012 Ernest Guenther Award in the Chemistry of Natural Products, one of the American Chemical Society's most prestigious awards, which will be presented to him in March 2012.



Great news for Pharmaceutical Sciences Undergraduates who are planning on applying to Pharmacy School!  The Human Physiology course, PharmSci 120 has been approved to fulfill the physiology requirement for application to UCSF. Updated approved courses are viewable on


About Pharmaceutical Sciences

Our undergraduate and graduate programs offer rigorous grounding in a broad range of disciplines critical to success as a pharmaceutical scientist in academia or in industry.

The field of pharmaceutical sciences has traditionally encompassed all elements of drug discovery and development, offering exciting and meaningful professional opportunities to work towards the improvement of society’s health and well-being.

UC Irvine’s Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences offers interdisciplinary educational programs integrating concepts from fields as diverse as biology, chemistry, cell and molecular biology, chemical engineering, materials science, pharmaceutics, pharmacology and physiology. As a student in our department you will be an integral part of such explorations …and the resulting discoveries.

Our faculty includes world-renowned scientists encompassing a variety of backgrounds with wide-ranging research programs that cover every facet of pharmaceutical research.

Undergraduate Program

The PharmSci undergraduate program is intended for those students interested in one of the following pathways:

  1. Professional positions in the pharmaceutical production, control, and development sectors of the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry, or
  2. Graduate degree programs in medicinal chemistry, chemical biology, structural biology, pharmacology, pharmaceutics, and many other disciplines at the interface of chemistry and biology.
  3. Professional degree programs such as pharmacy, medical, or dental school.

Graduate Program

The Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacology graduate program is an interdepartmental gateway program leading to a PhD degree in either Chemistry, Molecular Biology & Biochemistry, or Pharmacology.

Upon successful completion of the first-year curriculum, students select a research advisor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sceinces, Chemistry, Molecular Biology & Biochemistry, or Pharmacology, and transition into that department to complete the remaining degree requirements.

Students receive their PhD from the department of their chosen advisor. The program offers a unique curriculum providing students with state-of-the-art practical and theoretical training in their specific field of interest while at the same time emphasizing an integrated, interdisciplinary approach.