PHAR3320 Systems Pharmacology

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 3 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 3 elective
In this unit, the academic objective is to provide students with a state-of-the-art insight into how drugs affect physiological and pathological systems. Various topics are dealt with in depth, including clinical pharmacology, clinical toxicology, immunopharmacology, respiratory pharmacology, lipid-lowering drugs, clinical trials, psychopharmacology, neuropharmacology and oxidative stress.
Students are able to (1) explain key concepts in immunopharmacology, in particular the pharmacological control of cells involved in inflammatory and immune responses; (2) communicate their comprehension of key concepts in respiratory pharmacology, with particular reference to understanding how drugs (with examples) can be used to limit inflammation and bronchoconstriction in asthmatic airways; (3) demonstrate a clear understanding of the structure, function and metabolism of lipids and lipoproteins, and the impact of drugs (with examples) that regulate lipoprotein metabolism on cardiovascular disease; (4) explain the key concepts in clinical trial methodology, including descriptions of the different phases of clinical trials and their principal purpose; (5) communicate their understanding of how drugs can be used to treat central nervous system (CNS) disorders including schizophrenia and depression, and how this may be modulated by chronic drug administration; (6) explain how free radicals can alter the structure and function of key cellular macromolecules including DNA, proteins and lipids, and how antioxidants (with examples) can be used to protect cells from damage by free radicals; and (7) explain key concepts in clinical pharmacology and clinical toxicology.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) multiple choice questions and (2) a final 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)
Associate Professor Peter Henry
Unit rules
[PHAR2210 Foundations of Pharmacology,
PHAR2220 Human Pharmacology];
[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]
PHAR3303 Drugs and Disease A,
Contact hours
lectures: 3 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.
  • Books and other material wherever listed may be subject to change. Book lists relating to 'Preliminary reading', 'Recommended reading' and 'Textbooks' are, in most cases, available via the Booktopia Textbook Finder, which has the functionality to search by course code, course, ISBN and title, and may also be posted or available at the appropriate school's administrative offices. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.