PHAR3311 Molecular Pharmacology Methods

6 points
(see Timetable)

If this unit does not have an online alternative, then 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.

Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face Predominantly face-to-face. On campus attendance required to complete this unit. May have accompanying resources online.
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 3 core unit in the Pharmacology major sequence
This unit provides students with state of the art insights into how drugs affect physiological and pathological systems. The practicals in the unit complement the lecture topics in PHAR3310 Molecular Pharmacology to give students mechanistic and experimental insights into receptor structure/function analyses and signal transduction, hypothesis testing and data analysis, computer based approaches to drug structure/activity modelling, drug metabolism and the production of toxic metabolites and genetic differences affecting drug metabolism. In addition, students participate in a seminar series on current pharmacological and toxicological controversies. The seminars are designed to emphasise oral communication skills and student participation in the audience with active listening and questioning.
Students are able to (1) exhibit proficiency in a wide range of experimental techniques, demonstrated by the correct use of equipment and the ability to complete tasks quickly and accurately; (2) express ideas coherently and logically in laboratory reports submitted at the completion of a range of laboratory sessions, including ligand/receptor interactions, hypothesis testing and data analysis, regulation of G-protein coupled receptors, protein electrophoresis and immunoblotting, computational drug design, detection of genetic polymorphisms and the role of metabolism in drug-induced toxic responses; (3) integrate the experimental aspects of particular pharmacology topics covered in this unit with the theoretical aspects of these topics taught in the co-requisite unit; and (4) critically appraise and give an oral presentation on a topic of broad pharmacological or toxicological interest.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) a manuscript; (2) laboratory reports; and (3) oral presentation. 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)
Associate Professor Fiona Pixley
Unit rules
PHAR2210 Foundations of Pharmacology, and PHAR2220 Human Pharmacology; or IMED2002 Blood and Drugs and one of the following units: IMED2001 Body Defences, IMED2003 Essentials of Research in the Health and Medical Sciences or IMED2004 Human Development and Genetics
PHAR3310 Molecular Pharmacology; or Biomedical Science major level 2 units
Advisable prior study:
12 points of Level 2 biochemistry (BIOC2201 Biochemistry of the Cell, and BIOC2202 Biochemical Regulation of Cell Function); or 12 points of Level 2 physiology (PHYL2245 Physiology of Cells, and PHYL2255 Physiology of Human Body Systems)
PHAR3303 Drugs and Disease A, and PATH3304 Drugs and Disease B
Contact hours
lab sessions: 5 hours per week
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • 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 one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. 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.