The Federal University of Rio de Janeiro Institute of Biomedical Sciences was founded in 1974, under the leadership of Lauro Sollero, Full Professor at the old Basic and Clinical Pharmacology Department, at that time, the only Pharmacology Graduate Programs in Rio de Janeiro and one of the first ones in Brazil, having a considerable impact on the formation of qualified human resources associated to the area of therapeutics.
Renovating its pioneers, the Graduate Program in Biological Sciences (Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutic), which, since 2000, offered a Ph.D. program, became the only Graduate Program in Brazil and in Latin America to formally integrate the subjects of Pharmacology and Medicinal Chemistry, recognizing the importance of trans- and multidisciplinarity for the success of new research projects on new pharmaceuticals.
The approval of 1996’s project “Pharmaceuticals Development: Chemistry, Pharmacology and Toxicology” (in the scope of the Nucleus of Excellence Support Program Announcement nº1 – CNPq-PRONEX, FINEP), the first Brazilian project to congregate specialists in Pharmacology and Medicinal Chemistry, to invest in interdisciplinary work, focused on identifying new prototypes for prospective pharmaceuticals, characterizing their molecular mechanisms of action, conducting efficacy studies, and preclinical safety evaluation, was indeed an emblematic landmark towards redesigning the old Graduate Program in Biological Sciences (Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutic).
Talks about reforms to the Graduate Program have taken place for almost a decade since the early 2000s. However, change began to take place only after 2008, culminating in the adoption of a new name: Program in Biological Sciences (Pharmacology and Medicinal Chemistry). After that, with the insertion of the Graduate Program in Pharmacology and Medicinal Chemistry (PPPGFQM) into the National Institute of Science and Technology of Drugs and Medicines (INCT-INOFAR), in 2012, consolidated the pioneer of this initiative, with an audacious mission of forming qualified human resources to the area of research and development of new pharmaceuticals.
After fourteen years of the official reform in the Graduate Program, its academic and scientific growth is undisputed. Its trans- and multidisciplinarity has only been strengthened. What is recognized and defended by professors and students of the PPGFQM.
The history of our Program’s creation and its development up to now was revisited and recorded, through testimonies of faculty, students, and alumni in an institutional video available on the PPGFQM YouTube channel (watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCssDyePKbPxzhqcJUOkwK9A/featured ).
To better represent the scientific and/or professional abilities of our Program’s graduates, which are typical of a multidisciplinary formation, our students have been awarded Master's or Ph.D. in Sciences (Pharmacology and Medicinal Chemistry) diplomas, since 2018.
With constant improvements in the quest for knowledge, PPGFQM adopted a set of initiatives for its internationalization, which can already be observed in the techno-scientific production of 2018 and 2019. This has been an aim in the Program’s strategic planning and is in tune with its mission and most important vision: maintaining a Graduate Program of excellence in education, research, and innovation of pharmaceuticals in Brazil.
PPGFQM has Pharmacology and Medicinal Chemistry as its only concentration focus and seven Lines of Research. Namely, 1. Pharmacology and Medicinal Chemistry of Neglected Tropical Diseases and Cancer; 2. Pharmacology and Medicinal Chemistry of Diseases of the Central Nervous System; 3. Pharmacology and Medicinal Chemistry of Diseases of the Cardiovascular, Endocrine and Renal Systems; 4. Pharmacology and Medicinal Chemistry of Inflammatory Diseases and Pain; 5. Pharmacology and Medicinal Chemistry of Toxins and Antagonist Substances; 6. Pharmaceutical-receptor Interaction and Cell Signaling; 7. Molecular Modeling Applied to Pharmaceutical Development.
The mission of PPGFQM is to train human resources with a solid basis on pharmacology and medicinal chemistry, people experienced in all stages of the discovery process of new pharmaceuticals. As well as to educate people able to work in the university, for governments, in the private sector, or as entrepreneurs, catering to specific aspects of the innovation chain in pharmaceuticals. For that reason, the course objectives include:
1) The formation of human resources with a solid basis in pharmacology and medicinal chemistry: PPGFQM has the responsibility of forming people that excel at Pharmacology and Medicinal Chemistry. It is the only program of this kind to offer a master’s degree (since 1974) and a doctor’s degree (from 2000 on) in Brazil. Not to mention that this is the only Graduate Program in Latin America that has a pragmatic and interdisciplinary approach to the innovation chain in pharmaceuticals and drugs.
2) The formation of human resources qualified for working in the university, for governments, or for the private sector: PPGFQM is responsible for forming people with scientific and/or professional competencies related to the complex innovation chain in pharmaceuticals. Professionals capable of:
- 1° Promoting the formation of new research groups in this area of knowledge, fundamental for a country’s sovereignty when it comes to health, which, in Brazil, unfortunately, is yet very incipient.
- 2° Working in government institutions responsible for innovation and regulation of new drugs in the country, for instance, in the National Institute of Intellectual Property (Instituto Nacional da Propriedade Intelectual or INPI) and in the National Sanitary Surveillance Agency (Agência Nacional de Vigilância Sanitária or ANVISA), respectively.
- 3° Working in the pharmaceutical and pharmacochemical sectors, preferably in projects of radical and/or incremental innovation.
- 4° Promoting entrepreneurial initiatives focused on the innovation chain in pharmaceuticals.