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BSc Medical Biochemistry / Course details
Year of entry: 2023
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Course unit details:
Drugs: From Molecules to Man
|Unit level||Level 1|
|Teaching period(s)||Semester 2|
|Offered by||School of Biological Sciences|
|Available as a free choice unit?||No|
This unit introduces pharmacology - the science of drugs: their preparation, properties, uses and effects. You will learn about the molecular interactions of drugs with their targets in the body, focusing on the actions of the drugs acting on the cardiorespiratory system which treat conditions such as angina and asthma.
|Unit title||Unit code||Requirement type||Description|
To introduce the major concepts underpinning pharmacology. To describe the main molecular mechanisms of action of some important classes of drugs acting on the cardiorespiratory system and relate these mechanisms to their cellular, tissue, organ and whole animal effects.
To understand: the molecular targets for drugs and examples of drugs acting at several target types; the basic concepts of drug receptor interactions; the importance of drug structure in their ability to interact with their targets; the mechanisms of the major drug classes used to treat hypertension, angina, cardiac failure, cardiac dysrhythmias and asthma.
Introduction to pharmacology: History and scope of pharmacology. How drugs are discovered.
Introduction to drug targets: Structure, function and cellular location of ligand-gated channels, voltage gated channels, enzymes, nuclear hormone receptors, transporters and pumps, G-protein coupled receptors.
Nature of drug receptor interactions: Agonists, antagonists and partial agonists, efficacy, drug structures, pharmacophores and selectivity. Concentration-response relationships. Gaddum equation; Cheng-Prusoff Equation
Role of specialized disciplines within pharmacology: toxins from animal and plant sources, molecular and cellular techniques in pharmacology, discovering the structure of G protein coupled receptors.
Drugs acting on the cardiovascular/respiratory systems Antihypertensive drugs, antidysrhythmic drugs, drugs used to treat angina, acute coronary syndromes and cardiac failure, lipid lowering drugs, drug used to treat and prevent thrombosis, stroke and “brain killers”, drugs used to treat asthma.
The unit is delivered via a series of e-learning modules, delivering approximately 2 h of pre-recorded content per week. The e-learning modules contain a range of formative exercises designed to help students gauge their progress.
Students are encouraged to post questions on the unit Padlet discussion board, which are then discussed in weekly question and answer sessions.
- Analytical skills
- Data handling ePBL
- Problem solving
- Data handling ePBL
- Handling complex data, time management
80% awarded for a unit examination, which will include 40 MCQs, a series of numerical questions and one short note question (from a choice of three) in the semester 2 examination period, and 20% awarded for electronically marked exercises (ePBL).
Feedback will be provided via automated ePBL responses. The E-learning Modules (ELMs) also contain a range of formative exercises that provide feedback. Post-examination guidance (if requested).
Title below is also available as an eBook via JRUL website.
- Ritter et al., Rang & Dale's Pharmacology (9th Edition) 2019 Churchill Livingstone Available as an eBook via JRUL website.
|Scheduled activity hours|
|Assessment written exam||1|
|Independent study hours|
|Richard Prince||Unit coordinator|
Scheduled activity hours
ELMS containing approximately 2h
of pre-recorded content per week
Independent study hours
(Optional question and answer sessions)