PHAR3320 Systems Pharmacology

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 2UWA (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
  • 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, 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]
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.
  • 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.