PHARM 3011 - Pharmacology: Drug Development & Therapeutics

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2017

Particular emphasis is given to the key factors that influence and govern the effects of drugs within the body, ranging from molecular determinants to physiological factors that control disposition of drugs within the body. In addition, students will cover topics in toxicology and selected systems pharmacology. The laboratory component of the course will provide proficiency in the design and execution of research projects using modern experimental methodologies. Students will explore a range of contemporary pharmacological problems while working on 10 week projects that span such areas as pharmacogenetics, pharmacokinetics, drug abuse, neuropharmacology and molecular toxicology.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code PHARM 3011
    Course Pharmacology: Drug Development & Therapeutics
    Coordinating Unit Medical Sciences
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 6
    Contact Up to 10 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites PHARM 3010 or equivalent
    Course Description Particular emphasis is given to the key factors that influence and govern the effects of drugs within the body, ranging from molecular determinants to physiological factors that control disposition of drugs within the body. In addition, students will cover topics in toxicology and selected systems pharmacology. The laboratory component of the course will provide proficiency in the design and execution of research projects using modern experimental methodologies. Students will explore a range of contemporary pharmacological problems while working on 10 week projects that span such areas as pharmacogenetics, pharmacokinetics, drug abuse, neuropharmacology and molecular toxicology.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Scott Smid

    Course Coordinator: Scott Smid
    Location: Room N520, Medical School North
    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1 Demonstrate knowledge of the actions of specific drug classes at selected organ systems and physiological pathways at a molecular and cellular level
    2 Demonstrate knowledge of the therapeutic context of such drugs in selected organ systems and pathways, in regards to both normal physiology and in the context of pathophysiology of disease
    3 Demonstrate knowledge of the fundamental pharmacokinetic processes in the body, the chemical and cellular basis of biotransformation in drug metabolism and the impact of genomic variation on drug pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics
    4 Display knowledge of the processes underlying preclinical and clinical drug development and an awareness of factors impinging on the global drug industry
    5 Being able to work co-operatively in a small group setting to review and critique data, design and conduct experiments, generate, analyse, interpret, report and communicate research findings
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources

    Textbook: Rang H.P., Dale, M.M., Ritter, J.M and Flower, R.J. and Henderson, G. Pharmacology, 7th Ed., 2012. Elsevier. ISBN 978-0-7020-3471-8.

    Recommended Resources

    Supplemental Textbooks:

    Goodman and Gilman's The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics, 10th Ed., New York: McGraw-Hill, 2001.

    Pharmacogenetics / edited by Ian P. Hall, Munir Pirmohamed. New York: Taylor & Francis, 2006.BSL: 615.19 H1769p.

    Donald J. Birkett., Pharmacokinetics made easy. McGraw-Hill, 2002. BSL: 615.7 B619p

    Online Learning

    All course materials will be provided online via MyUni, including lecture notes in either pdf or powerpoint format, relevant lab and tutorial handouts and other supporting materials as required. Audio-video and Articulate recordings to lectures may be provided at the discretion of academic staff.

    Proforma documents for research project submissions include grant and manuscript templates for written reports and a powerpoint file for project presentations

  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes

    This course is comprised of a combination of didactic lectures, interactive tutorial sessions and group-based research projects that may include practical sessions. Tutorials are designed to support the major learning objectives set in the lecture content and require student interaction. Group-based research projects are designed to reinforce an understanding and extend proficiency in research methods and experimental design, data analysis and write-up.


    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements. The total weekly workload for this course is 24 hours per week; as a guide it is comprised of the following activities:

    Lectures including preparation: 6 hours p.w.
    Tutorials including preparation: 6 hours p.w.
    Research project group research, literature review or practicals including preparation and report writing: 10 hours p.w.
    Exam and test revision: 2 hours p.w.

    Learning Activities Summary
    Major Lecture Themes:
    Pharmacotherapeutics: 4 lectures – Dr Scott Smid, 3 lectures- Dr Ian Musgrave, 5 lectures- Dr Abdallah Salem in areas: cardiovascular, reproductive and endocrine, respiratory, gastrointestinal, pain and inflammation (pharmacology).
    Drug Development – 6 lectures, Dr Scott Smid
    Pharmacokinetics: 6 lectures – Prof. Andrew Somogyi
    Biotransformation: 3 lectures – Dr Janet Coller
    Pharmacogenomics – 4 lectures- Dr Janet Coller
    Special Research Topics – 6 lectures (various academics and affiliates)
    Tutorial classes are based on the themed lecture content above and are usually set to follow the completion of lecture delivery within the prescribed theme.

    Week Topic Lecture
    Week 1 Pharmacokinetics

    1.    Basic kinetic concepts

    2.    Drug absorption

    3.    Drug distribution and elimination

    Week 2 Pharmacokinetics

    1.    Kinetics & drug dosing

    2.    Hepatic elimination and bioavailability

    3.    The Pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic relationship

    Week 3 Biotransformation

    1.    Phase 1 reactions

    2.    Phase 2 reactions

    3.    Enzyme induction and inhibition

    Week 4 Pharmacotherapeutics

    1.    Pharmacology of inflammation

    2.    Respiratory and Gastrointestinal Pharmacology

    3.    Pharmacology of pain and analgesia

    Week 5 Pharmacotherapeutics

    1.    Pharmacology of local anaesthesia

    2.    Pharmacology of general anaesthesia

    3.    Endocrine and metabolic pharmacology 1

    Week 6 Pharmacotherapeutics

    1.    Endocrine and metabolic  pharmacology 2

    2.    Reproductive pharmacology 1

    3.    Reproductive pharmacology 2

    Week 7 Pharmacotherapeutics

    1.    Cardiovascular pharmacology 1-1

    2.    Cardiovascular pharmacology 1-2

    3.    Cardiovascular pharmacology 1-3

     Week 8 Drug Development       1.    Preclinical screening

    2.    Clinical trials early phase

    3.    Clinical trials late phase

    Week 9 Drug Development

    1.    Pharmacoeconomics

    2.    Adverse drug reactions

    Week 10 Pharmacogenomics

    1.    Introduction to  Pharmacogenomics

    2.    Enzyme polymorphisms

    3.    Receptor polymorphisms

    Week 11 Special Topics

    1.    Personalised medicine

    2.    Neurochemistry of Ecstasy metabolites

    Week 12 Special Topics

    1.    Neurodegeneration and protection

    2.    Repair and remodelling of the gut and brain

    Specific Course Requirements

    Laboratory Conduct

    1. PROTECTIVE CLOTHING (LABORATORY COATS AND SAFETY GLASSES) MUST BE WORN IN THE LABORATORY. Thongs should not be worn, and bare feet are absolutely prohibited (danger from glass and spillage).
    2. Wash your hands before meals or on leaving the laboratory for any reason.
    3. All possible precautions should be taken when handling body fluid, to prevent spread of any type of infection. These are:
      1. prevent aerosol production (e.g. never mix the fluids with hot water)
      2. use disposable gloves;
      3. wash hands after handling biological samples;
    4. Avoid contaminating your hands, face or clothes, or the benches, chairs, stools, notebooks, floors, door-handles, switches, gas, water, pressure, vacuum or other taps, with animal excreta, toxins, chemicals or drugs. Other people have to handle things you may have touched. Don't suck pencils or anything similar in the laboratory.
    5. No food or drink should be consumed or brought into the laboratory.
    6. All solutions should be treated with care. Any material, dry or in solution, spilt on to the bench, the floor, or the hands should be cleaned up at once with disposable paper towels. Spills should be cleaned up immediately and hands washed after any inadvertent contact.
    7. No drug or syringe must leave the department for any reason.
    8. All sharps (hypodermic needles, scalpel blades) must be placed in the yellow sharps disposal bins placed around the laboratory.
    9. Solid waste should be placed in the appropriate bins, not in the sink.
    10. Students should pay particular attention to the care of animals. The ethical aspects of using animals and techniques for handling and injecting animals will be demonstrated.
    11. Any equipment failure or other faults should be reported to a demonstrator or to a technician.
    12. At the conclusion of the experiment, it is the student’s responsibility to tidy the work space and to ensure that tubes, tips etc are disposed of in the appropriate bins provided.

    No unauthorised persons are to visit students while working in the laboratory.

    Small Group Discovery Experience
    Research Practicum entails small group research project over weeks 2-11 of semester.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Assessment Type Weighting Learning Outcome(s) being addressed
    Final Exam Summative 50% 1-4
    Assessment Test I (Pharmacokinetics) Summative 7.5% 3
    Assessment Test II (Pharmacotherapeutics) Summative 12.5% 1-2
    Research Projects Summative and formative 30% 5
    Assessment Related Requirements

    Research projects: Student and Supervisor Expectations

    Students are expected to take intellectual ownership of their projects, with guidance from the Supervisor. Students need to be available at the times stated for meetings with Supervisors and experimental work where appropriate. Students should consult with Supervisors early on in the projects to determine if they can commit to any set project days and times (e.g. some experimental work can only be done on certain days in the week). If not, they need to discuss this with the Supervisor and Course Coordinator to see if a change in project placement can take place. Supervisors are NOT expected to provide detailed review of drafts nearing completion of either the presentation or written report.

    Students are expected to make an equal contribution towards their project. Any student who consistently makes a negligible contribution in regards to attendance, writing or lab work may be removed from the project and fail the assessment.

    Supervisors are expected to be available for meetings with students, either in person or to communicate via email or phone in a timely manner for the duration of the project. In the case of prolonged absence, Supervisors should ensure a suitable co-supervisor is appointed to assist the students with the project. Undergraduate students should be supervised in the lab at all times and out-of-hours work is not expected. Supervisors may view a draft of the group’s presentations or written reports for general feedback, but should NOT provide a detailed review of drafts nearing completion.

    Assessment Detail
    Final exam: summative; due at end of semester; 50% weighting.

    Assessment test I: summative; due approximately week 4 with 7.5% weighting

    Assessment test II: summative; due approximately week 8 with 12.5% weighting

    Research Projects: formative & summative; group-based; due in weeks 10-11; 30% weighting.

    Final Exam
    Marks attained during a 3 hour written paper held during exam week at the end of semester will test a student’s understanding of the knowledge of lecture and tutorial content in its entirety, as assessed using a combination of multiple choice, short answer and essay-style questions.

    Coursework and Practical Component:
    The remaining 50% of the final grade is assigned on the basis of performance during the practical sessions (research projects) in addition to Assessment Tests I and II, which generally cover all lecture and tutorial material delivered prior to mid-semester break.

    Assessment Tests:
    There will be two assessment tests during semester and each is worth 10% of your final mark. Test 1 covers the major themes “Pharmacokinetics” and “Biotransformation”. Test 2 covers the major theme “Pharmacotherapeutics”. They are based around the lecture and tutorial content within these themed areas and provide a useful guide to your academic progress.

    Research projects

    The Research projects are run in small groups and constituted as a choice between lab-based or literature review-based projects. They both introduce students to aspects of a research career in the pharmacological sciences and also foster skills in particular areas of drug-related research in which you might have an interest. The project-based practicals also provide expertise in a range of methods used during pharmacological experimentation and research.

    Library-based projects:
    These are intended to expose students to new and unresolved research issues in pharmacology, except that you are required to devise a research program to investigate the problems, rather than actually perform any experiments. This will involve the preparation of a Grant Application that describes experiments you would follow to investigate your experimental or clinical research problem. The role of the supervisor is different in these projects. Their major role is to help you obtain a “big picture” understanding of a general area of research and to act as a sounding-board for your proposed experimental strategies. However, the onus is primarily on the students to
    identify a specific research strategy. It is important that students meet at least once a week with their supervisor(s) to discuss progress of their work.

    Lab-based projects: Experimental and Data-analysis
    These projects entail a similar commitment as do the library-projects and are based in a working research group either internally with a Discipline academic or with an affiliated academic at another institution. Some of these projects will be ostensibly literature-review/data analysis-based (eg. meta-analysis) and some will involve at-the-bench experimental work. Lab-based data analysis/review projects are similar to library-based projects and as such the format for assessment is similar (i.e. grant application), although consideration may be given as to the composition of assessment at the supervising academic’s discretion in consultation with the Course Coordinator. Such data analysis for example, may form the basis for the provision of pilot data (preliminary findings) in the grant application, which more realistically reflects the nature of grant submissions.

    Lab-based projects that are composed predominantly of experimental (at-the-bench) work will not write a grant application. The results of your project will be submitted for assessment as a manuscript formatted for a designated scientific journal. This will become your ‘Project Report’. In addition, you will be required to give a Powerpoint presentation summarizing your project and its results.

    All research groups will be required to present their project findings in front of a panel of staff and
    demonstrators, normally held 3-4 days prior to submission of written research reports. The presentations are assessed by the panel. Talks are required to be in the form of a PowerPoint presentation. Groups are allowed 10 minutes to summarise the main features of their work and then will then receive questions for 5 minutes from the panel. In addition to giving you the opportunity to present your project findings to other students and staff members, practice at presenting a seminar presentation is an important means of scientific communication.

    Research Project Assessment
    Written Report:                     50%
    Abstract:                               10%
    Seminar Presentation:          20%
    Supervisor’s Reports:           20%

    Total                                    100%

    All written submissions (eg. research project reports) must be accompanied by a signed cover sheet. Proforma cover sheets will be available for download off MyUni. Mail boxes for written submission are located on level 1, Medical School North. Electronic copies of the powerpoint presentation of the report may be submitted directly to the course coordinator via USB stick or email (file size < 2Mb only).

    Late submissions of any student work are not acceptable. Coursework received after the deadline will be penalised as follows:10% of total available points will be penalised per day (24 hour period or fraction thereof). An automatic zero mark will be applied after 7 days

    If you miss an assessment test e.g. from illness, you are required to present medical or compassionate certification to be eligible to sit a supplementary test. Such certificates need to be provided to The Course Coordinator directly within one week of the test date. The date and time of the supp. test is then determined by the Course Coordinator and is not negotiable. Students will be informed of the supp. test date by email.

    Turn-around times for marking research project reports are 2-3 weeks from date of submission. Marked assessment tests are normally returned within 1-2 weeks from date of sitting.

    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

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    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

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