Pharmacology and Therapeutic Discovery (PTD)




Mount Sinai’s multidisciplinary training area in Pharmacology and Therapeutic Discovery (PTD) provides cutting-edge training in molecular Pharmacology and Therapeutic Discovery. Biophysics is an established discipline that uses the principles and methods of physics, chemistry, mathematics, engineering, and computation to address fundamental biological and biomedical questions, such as what are the structural determinants and molecular mechanisms underlying protein function and how this information can be used to design small-molecule modulators with exciting biological or therapeutic properties. Systems Pharmacology is an emerging interdisciplinary field of research that seeks to translate molecular-level information on diseases and drug action into predictions of effects seen at the organismal level and across heterogeneous populations. The integration of these experimental and computational methodologies is an imperative innovation for the discovery of new therapeutics and the development of personalized medicine.

The PTD program welcomes students from both traditional and non-traditional paths into PhD programs in medical schools, including undergraduate degrees in mathematics, physics, computer science, engineering, chemistry, biochemistry, biology, pharmacology, genetics and many more. While students with a more biological background get the opportunity to obtain rigorous training in biophysical, chemical, and computational approaches to biological research, trainees from more technical disciplines get their first sustained exposure to biological research during their PhD training at Mount Sinai.

This is enabled by PTD’s personalized curriculum and multidisciplinary research programs, which provide a platform for education at the intersection between computation and experiments for the next generation of physicians and biomedical scientists. In particular, trainees are prepared to apply a thorough understanding of molecular recognition, protein-protein interactions, and networks of molecular interactions within and between cells to the design and synthesis of new molecules with potentially improved therapeutic properties in relevant human disease models. We are extremely proud that many of our graduates find employment opportunities (several in the biotech industry and private sector, but also in academia, government, etc.) before their thesis defenses.


PTD provides an educational environment in which students receive the training needed to discover and design new drug-like molecules that can modulate the function of biological systems. Trainees gain a thorough understanding of drugs and drug targets under investigation using a variety of approaches ranging from structural, computational, molecular, and cell biology to biochemistry and synthetic chemistry. Our students also gain a deep understanding of biological systems and disease states through training that emphasizes a quantitative, predictive understanding of physiology, pharmacology, organ level research, and animal studies.

Program Directors

Avner Schlessinger, PhD


Eric Sobie, PhD


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