PHAR2210 Foundations of Pharmacology

Credit
6 points
Offering
(see Timetable)
AvailabilityLocationMode
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 2 core unit in the Pharmacology major sequence
  • The area of knowledge for this unit is Life and Health Sciences
  • Category B broadening unit for students
  • Level 2 elective
Content
This unit provides an introduction to the basic principles of pharmacology, the branch of science that studies the effects of drugs on the human body. Topics, which are delivered in modules, include (1) drug absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion; (2) toxicology and structure–activity relationships; (3) receptor classification, dose–response relationships and intracellular signalling; (4) chemotherapy; and (5) clinical aspects of drug effects. The material in the unit is the foundation for further study in pharmacology but can be taken on its own. While introducing students to the scientific study of drugs and medicines, emphasis is mainly placed on explaining general mechanisms, processes and theories rather than detailing the complex properties of the many individual drugs that are used and abused in today's society. Summative assessments are held throughout the unit to help students adopt a learning strategy that facilitates long-term understanding and mastery of material.
Outcomes
Students are able to (1) describe the actions of drugs at the molecular, cellular and tissue levels, discriminating between the actions of agonists and antagonists; (2) identify the fundamental processes that regulate the fate of drugs in the body and explain how these influence the magnitude and duration of the effects of a given drug dose in humans; (3) explain the problem of unwanted drug effects, being able to identify a select number of classic drug-induced toxic syndromes and explain the main features of the mechanisms underlying them; (4) identify the main stages in the process whereby molecules turn into medicines, explaining how candidate drugs are identified and carried forward for testing in humans; (5) acquire, evaluate, interpret and present scientifically robust information; and (6) execute simple laboratory procedures relevant to assessing the actions of drugs.
Assessment
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) tests; (2) laboratory assessment; and (3) end of semester examination. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit except in the case of a bachelor's pass degree student who has obtained a mark of 45 to 49 overall and is currently enrolled in this unit, and it is the only remaining unit that the student must pass in order to complete their course.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Ricky Chen
Unit rules
Prerequisites:
(CHEM1002 Chemistry—Structure and Reactivity or CHEM1004 Biological Chemistry) and SCIE1106 Molecular Biology of the Cell; or (IMED1001 Form and Function and IMED1002 The Facts of Life)
Contact hours
lectures: 2 hours per week; practical labs: 3 x 4 hours per semester; computer lab: 1 x 3-hour session
Unit Outline
Semester 1-2020 [SEM-1-2020]
Texts

Flower RJ, Henderson G, Loke YK, MacEwan DJ, Rang HP, Ritter J (2019) Rang and Dale's Pharmacology. 9th edn.

An earlier edition is suitable - Dale MM, Flower RJ, Henderson G, Rang HP (2016) Rang & Dale's pharmacology. 8th edn.

  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
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  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus. Copies of textbooks and other readings will be made available for students to access from the Library, online wherever possible as well as in print.
  • If this unit is offered as on-campus face-to-face study only, students who are presently unable to enter Western Australia and whose studies would be delayed by an inability to complete this unit, should contact the unit coordinator (details given on this page) to ascertain, on an individual case-by-case basis, if alternate arrangements can be made to support their study in this unit.