State to invest $5 million in the Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center (PABC) to support early stage companies at its two incubators  

Pharmaceutical R&D Certificate Course

Certificate Program in Pharmaceutical Research & Development

Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center (PABC) member companies and the Baruch S. Blumberg Institute have been making breakthroughs in drug discovery and development for nearly 20 years.

Scientists at the PABC have successfully translated their scientific discoveries into a total of eight FDA-approved drugs, which is a rare and remarkable feat. The PABC is home to nearly 50 biotechnology companies and academic units conducting cutting-edge research in diagnosis, prevention and treatment of life-threatening human diseases. The PABC's total membership now exceeds 90 companies, nonprofits and other organizations.

We are offering professionals the chance to learn about pharmaceutical R&D, or drug development, from expert scientists and business leaders, including current and former CEOs, here on the recently expanded PABC campus through a new on-site certificate course.

The 12-week program features in-person learning with highly experienced drug industry veterans and biotech entrepreneurs. The course will provide classroom sessions, laboratory visits and guest speakers from companies across the region.

The fee is $2,500. Scholarships are available and employees of PABC-member organizations can receive discounts.

The Drug Product Development Certificate Program is a competitive graduate program with limited number of seats. The curriculum offers a well-rounded foundation of topics fundamental to the drug discovery and development processes. The classes are taught by faculty members and invited scientists from the pharma/biotech industry, so students learn fundamental science as well as the practical knowledge of the processes in drug discovery and development. The program is intended for college graduates, young scientists and entrepreneurs aspiring to advance their careers in the pharma/biotech industries. The institute's collaborative environment allows students to experience academic scientific and pharmaceutical research. Additionally, the curriculum includes lectures on regulatory affairs, intellectual property development and strategies for early seed money financing. The course is offered conveniently in after-work hours for working professionals and it is only once a week for 12 weeks.

Why get diploma certification in pharmaceutical R&D sciences?

  • Prepare yourself for career advancement in pharmaceutical/biotechnology companies
  • Build a solid foundation in pharmaceutical science and related areas such as drug discovery, translational sciences, safety and toxicology studies, manufacturing processes and clinical trials through the broad-based curriculum.
  • Learn from successful entrepreneurs and gain ‘Bench to Market’ perspectives and what it takes to translate scientific discoveries to FDA approval.
  • Discover how medications work and how our body responds to them.
  • Fight against the cancer, pandemic and other diseases to improve lives through safe and effective medications.

Classes & Curriculum

The program is composed of 12 classes of two hours each to complete the Certificate Program. Students will be assigned an advisor to specialize a path specific to the career interest of each student.

The prerequisite for this certificate program is a Bachelor of Science degree in biological sciences.

  • Introduction to pharmaceutical drug discovery and development processes
  • Biochemical pathways and human diseases
  • Identification of a translatable concept
  • Validation of a product concept in animal studies
  • Chemistry, Manufacturing, and Controls (CMC) and druggability
  • Safety and Toxicology
  • Phases of clinical development
  • Regulatory affairs in pharmaceutical development and ethics in R&D
  • Financial planning
  • Guest lecture (Case study Bench to Market)
  • Guest lecture (Case study Repurposing of drugs to improve clinical benefit)
  • Guest lecture (Case study Nanomedicine)


Shailubhai Kunwar

Course Director: Kunwar Shailubhai, PhD, MBA 

  •  Tuition Fee: $2,500
    • Apply now and receive a 10% discount

How to apply

  • Prospective students need to submit a current resume' with cover letter.
  • Also required is a 1/2-page essay on why the individual is applying to the program.
  • Applications are due by April 15, 2023.
  • The program will begin in June 2023.


Optional Internship

Optional internship opportunities may be available to interested students providing employment in laboratories of biotechnology companies located in the PABC during enrollment in the certificate program. Interested students are required to take Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) training, which is also offered at the center.