PHARM 3102 - Drug Discovery & Development

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2021

This course will provide students with a fundamental knowledge of drug discovery and development from both a preclinical and clinical perspective. This includes approaches to sourcing and developing new drugs, from natural sources through to rational drug design, as well as approaches to testing drug efficacy and safety in both preclinical phases and in clinical trials. Additional topics in commercialisation provide students with a comprehensive knowledge of drug discovery and development, from bench to bedside.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code PHARM 3102
    Course Drug Discovery & Development
    Coordinating Unit Medicine
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 4 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites PHARM 3103
    Course Description This course will provide students with a fundamental knowledge of drug discovery and development from both a preclinical and clinical perspective. This includes approaches to sourcing and developing new drugs, from natural sources through to rational drug design, as well as approaches to testing drug efficacy and safety in both preclinical phases and in clinical trials. Additional topics in commercialisation provide students with a comprehensive knowledge of drug discovery and development, from bench to bedside.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Scott Smid

    Dr Scott Smid
    Dr Ian Musgrave
    Professor Sepehr Shakib
    Professor Andrew Somogyi
    Dr Janet Coller
    Associate Professor Betty Sallustio
    Course Timetable

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

    A full course timetable can be accessed on MyUni.
  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    Compare and understand common natural sources of drugs and contemporary approaches to drug design and development
    Demonstrate an understanding of the timelines and resources required to discover and develop new drugs in a preclinical setting
    Demonstrate an understanding of the critical features of each stage of the preclinical drug development process
    Utilise in silico approaches to critically evaluate the pharmacophore for ligand-protein binding
    Work in small groups to design a novel drug binding to a protein target at a molecular level
    Demonstrate an understanding of the environment and drivers of drug discovery and commercialisation of research
    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
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    No specific textbook required. Students will access a variety of supplemental and online resources
    Recommended Resources
    Supplemental textbooks to be made available within BSL:

    Preclinical Development Handbook, Shayne Cox Gad (Editor). ISBN: 978-0-471-21383-3
    Textbook of Drug Design and Discovery. CRC Press. ISBN 9781420063226.
    Online Learning
    The primary means of communication outside of the formal contact hours will be via Canvas. Announcements will be used as the main method of communicating with the student cohort. Course material will be supported by online resources, with lecture recordings, tutorial materials and on-line quizzes via Canvas. Material will be sequentially released in line with the teaching and learning activities in each week.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Lectures will be supported by problem-solving tutorials to reinforce and further expand or develop material covered in lectures. Case study or modelling projects are undertaken in workshops and are in small group format supported by nominated project supervisors.

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

    Students are reminded that the overall workload for a full time student as stated in the University of Adelaide Calendar is an average of 48 hours per week per teaching period (i.e. semester). This includes contact and non-contact hours and includes general study and research time for assignments. This course is a 3 unit course and thus represents quarter of a full time load. You should thus be putting in an average of 12 hours of study each week (including contact hours) for this course.
    Learning Activities Summary
    Overview to drug discovery and preclinical development: small molecule and biologics
    Conventional and historical approaches to drug discovery
    Basic and applied pharmacokinetic concepts in drug development
    Biotransformation: implications for drug development
    Pharmacogenomic considerations in drug development
    Drug discovery: Identifying drug targets
    Sources for drug discovery: Bioprospecting
    Medicinal chemistry concepts in drug development
    Preclinical drug screening; In vitro models
    Preclinical drug screening: In vivo models
    Assessment of toxicology in preclinical drug development:
    Commercialisation approaches: academic and industry perspectives
    Specific Course Requirements
  • 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

    Online quizzes, tutorial and workshop participation, summative tests, molecular modelling and development project and final exam
    Assessment Related Requirements
    Assessment Detail

    Test 1: MCQ and short answer test on all lecture and tutorial content weeks 1-7 inclusive, undertaken in week 8. 15% weighting

    Test 2: Written MCQ test on all lecture and tutorial content weeks 8-11 inclusive, undertaken in week 12. 5% weighting

    Project: Students work in small groups to write a report on an assigned drug and molecular target. Students provide a written report on completion and group presentation. 30% weighting.

    Examination. A 2 hour exam to be held at the end of semester. 50% weighting.

    No information currently available.

    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.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    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.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
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