National Meeting of Directors of Graduate Studies in Pharmacology and Physiology

The National Meeting of Directors of Graduate Studies in Pharmacology and Physiology is a biennial meeting that is the forum for exchanging information among those training graduate students in the disciplines of Pharmacology and Physiology.  As a collaboration between the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET) and the American Physiological Society (APS), the meeting has broad participation among colleagues with a common cause and similar challenges.

The integration of our scientific knowledge at the molecular, cellular, and organismal levels is critical to impacting disease in humans. As our insight into molecular and cellular processes has grown, emphasis in many Ph.D. training programs has shifted away from integrated (whole animal or systems) biology, including the biology of humans. The lack of an available scientific workforce with an understanding of integrated or human biology, including drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics, and an appreciation of the unique challenges of converting discoveries into therapies will delay the application of discoveries at the molecular and cellular levels to human disease. Scientists trained in the disciplines of Pharmacology and Physiology form an important part of this necessary workforce. This meeting addresses critical issues related to training Pharmacologists and Physiologists and has been planned in response to a perceived and real decline in training programs in these disciplines. The goals of this meeting are to identify common problems and opportunities that face Ph.D. training programs in Pharmacology and Physiology and how best to provide training in these disciplines that are key to translational research. The target audience for this meeting is Directors of Graduate Training Programs in Pharmacology, Physiology, or other biomedical sciences. This meeting will provide a unique opportunity for these scientists to exchange information and to interact with leaders in industry, government, and academia who help shape these disciplines. A continuing dialogue among Directors of training programs and other scientists with an interest in Ph.D. training is identified as a desired major outcome.

Navigating the New NIGMS Training Guidelines - February 12, 2018

Pilot NIGMS T32 Funding Opportunity Announcement (PAR-17-341) as presented at EB in April 2018

Previous Meetings

2017 Meeting Photo.jpg

National Directors of Graduate Studies (NDoGS) Conference 2017,
which will take place June 28-30th, 2017 at Stony Brook University, NY.
Visit the website for the schedule, registration and accommodation information:
The focus of the meeting will be on graduate students career paths abd options and outcomes, experimental rigor and reproducibility, and effective communication of science. talks on diversity by the director of the award winning Center for Inclusive Education, topics in careers in science,curriculum reform, reproducibility, and much more!

Panel discussions on Diversity and effective Curricula in Pharmacology and Physiology and topics relevant to graduate education.

2015 National Directors of Graduate Studies Meeting

The 2015 National DGS Meeting was held July 10-12 at the University of Cincinnati, Vontz  Center for Molecular Studies.

Meeting Schedule with Maps

Link to Meeting Presentations



2013 National Directors of Graduate Studies Meeting

The 2013 National DGS Meeting was held June 14-16 at the University of North Texas HSC-Ft. Worth.


2011 National Directors of Graduate Studies Meeting

The 2011 National DGS Meeting was held at Michigan State University in East Lansing, MI from July 7-9, 2011.

Additional Information can be found at the Meeting's website.

2009 National Directors of Graduate Studies Meeting 

The 2009 National DGS Meeting was held jointly at LSU and Tulane University in New Orleans from April 22-24, 2009, following ASPET's Experimental Biology meeting.

Additional Information can be found at the Meeting's website.

The 2007 National DGS Meeting was held at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah from July 25-28, 2007.


Preliminary Program

Registration and Reservations

Facilities Information & Maps


Meeting History

This meeting evolved in response to discussions over the past two years amongst training program directors at the Graduate Student Colloquium at FASEB. In the spring of 2004 at the FASEB meeting in Washington, an informal meeting of Directors of Graduate Studies identified a number of challenges faced by training programs and some innovative solutions used by others. At this meeting, a strong consensus was reached that a national meeting dedicated to exchanging information concerning these challenges and solutions would benefit all. Further, many Directors felt that this forum could be used as an opportunity to build a healthy lobby for the discipline of Pharmacology and the training programs run under this discipline.

Some of the issues identified include:

Umbrella programs - Can they help or hurt our ability to recruit and train the best students?

How can training programs respond to reorganization of medical school curriculums, i.e. movement to organ based instruction, that often prevent participation of graduate students in core curriculum courses?

Medical Pharmacology - Do we train students in the medical school course or develop a special course for graduate students?

How can we increase the visibility of Pharmacology as a discipline in undergraduate curriculums? Do current undergraduate programs in Pharmacology represent a fertile ground for recruiting students?

What core knowledge and approaches do all Pharmacology trainees need?

What emerging skills will be required by our students to become leaders in academia, industry, and regulatory affairs?

What funding opportunities and priorities exist at the NIH and other sources?

These are but a few of the common issues faced as Directors. An impressive list of scientists who have agreed to participate in the meeting has already begun to be complied.

Peter Preusch, NIGMS; Predoctoral Training Programs in Pharmacology

Anne Zajicek, Deputy Director NICHD; Pediatric Pharmacology Initiatives

Rochelle Schwartz-Bloom, Duke University; Undergraduate Programs

Robert Gould, Vice President Merck; Industry Training Needs

Lee Limbird, Meharry Medical College; Perspectives from a Pharmacologist

Lou DeFelice, Vanderbilt University; Minority Recruitment and Retention

Roger Chalkley, Vanderbilt University; Umbrella Programs

The meeting in July 2005 addressed these issues, allowed ample time for discussion, and identified additional issues. This meeting was an informal and working gathering of scientists who carry out the day-to-day operation of training programs and who have a passion and interest in graduate training. A major goal was to initiate a continuing dialogue on graduate training in pharmacology.


Meeting Participants

Meeting Presentations

Who to Contact