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Directors of Graduate Studies in Pharmacology and Physiology National Meeting

This biennial meeting 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

Upcoming Meeting:

2020 Meeting

We are in the midst of planning the 2020 National DGS Meeting at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN.  Stay tuned for additional information.

Coming Soon:

  • Meeting Registration (link)
  • Meeting Schedule (link)
  • Area Hotels
    • PREFERRED HOTEL with negotiated room block for meeting attendees:  Homewood Suites Nashville Vanderbilt (Closest and easiest for walking to SLC)
      • 615-340-8000
      • 2400 West End Ave, Nashville, TN 37203-1710
      • 0.3 miles from Vanderbilt University’s Student Life Center
      • Please use the above link when making reservations at this hotel
      • $219.00 per night, plus applicable taxes – Reservations must be made by May 11, 2020 to secure this rate.
      • To avoid cancellation fees, reservations must be canceled 48 hours in advance of scheduled arrival
      • Check In: 3PM; Check Out 12PM
      • PARKING: Valet Parking $35/day; Discounted Self-Parking $25/day
      • Free Wi-Fi
      • Free Shuttle Service
      • Breakfast included
      • Evening Manager Reception M-Th
    • Nashville Marriott at Vanderbilt University
      • 615-321-1300
      • 2555 West End Avenue, Nashville, TN 37203
      • 0.3 miles from Vanderbilt University’s Student Life Center
      • Rates start at $234 per night, plus applicable taxes.  Rates will fluctuate based on availability
      • Check In: 4PM; Check Out 11AM
      • PARKING: Valet Parking $37 daily; Self-Parking $20 per hour; $37 daily
    • Hampton Inn & Suites Nashville – Vanderbilt – Elliston Place
      •  615-320-6060
      • 2330 Elliston Place, Nashville, TN 37203-1703
      • 0.4 miles from Vanderbilt University’s Student Life Center
      • Rates start at $179/night, plus applicable taxes, King or 2Dbl. Rates will fluctuate based on availability
      • Check In: 3PM; Check Out 12PM
      • PARKING: Free self-parking; No shuttle service; No valet parking;
      • Free Wi-Fi
      • Breakfast included
    • Holiday Inn Nashville-Vanderbilt (Downtown)
      • 615-327-4707
      • 2613 West End Avenue, Nashville, TN 37203-1424
      • 0.5 miles from Vanderbilt University’s Student Life Center
      • Rates start at $189/night, plus applicable taxes, King or 2Q.  Rates will fluctuate based on availability
      • Check In: 3PM; Check Out 11AM
      • PARKING: No shuttle service; Valet Parking $25 per night; Self-Parking $22 per night
      • Free Wi-Fi
  • Meeting Contacts
  • Sessions/Events (link)
  • Meeting Sponsors (link)
  • Meeting Participants (secure link)
  • Meeting Presentations (secure link)
  • Additional Resources

Previous Meetings

2017 Meeting

2017 Meeting Photo.jpg

Meeting Information and Schedule

Meeting Contacts

Dr. Miguel Garcia-Diaz
Dr. Stella Tsirka (
Ms. Odalis Hernandez (

Meeting Sponsors:


Stony Brook University Logo


2015 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 Meeting

the UNT HSC logo in green and black



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

Meeting Schedule

2011 Meeting

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

Meeting Schedule

Meeting Presentations

2009 Meeting

Image result for tulane university school of medicine logo          Image result for lsuhsc


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.

Meeting Schedule

2007 Meeting

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

2005 Meeting

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