MEDSCI 204 : Pharmacology and Toxicology

Medical and Health Sciences

2021 Semester Two (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

A solid grounding in the principles underlying pharmacology and toxicology, including the nature of drug targets, their interaction and response (pharmacodynamics), the fate of drugs within the body (pharmacokinetics), toxicity classification and testing, poisons and antidotes, adverse drug reactions, selective toxicity, drug discovery and development. Selected drug examples will be studied to illustrate key principles of clinical pharmacology.

Course Requirements

Prerequisite: CHEM 110, MEDSCI 142, and 15 points from BIOSCI 106 or 107

Course Contacts

Course Director: Deborah Young ds.young@auckland.ac.nz
Course coordinator: Leslie Schwarcz l.schwarcz@auckland.ac.nz
Senior Tutor: Rachel Cameron r.cameron@auckland.ac.nz

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity
Capability 6: Social and Environmental Responsibilities
Graduate Profile: Bachelor of Science

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Explain the nature and classification of types of drug targets; receptor-ligand relationships and signal transduction systems; agonism and antagonism; potency and efficacy; dose/concentration-response relationships; time-course of drug action. (Capability 1)
  2. Explain the role of input, distribution, and elimination processes on drug concentration and explain how physicochemical properties of drugs relate to pharmacokinetic principles. (Capability 1)
  3. Explain the patient and environmental factors that influence pharmacokinetics, including the problems encountered with the use of drugs in selected diseases and populations. (Capability 1 and 2)
  4. Explain the role of exposure, concentration and time on toxicity and its consequent impact on biochemistry and the clinical effectiveness of drugs. (Capability 1 and 2)
  5. Describe the multidisciplinary pathway of drug discovery and its application to the development of novel therapies.
  6. Demonstrate competency of a selected range of skills, including good laboratory practice and safety procedures, observation and measurement, precision and accuracy, calculations, data analysis and interpretation, scientific writing. (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5)
  7. Use critical evaluation to identify the essentials of scientific information in written reports, and apply these skills to contribute knowledgeably to public debates around the safe and effective use of medicines. (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6)

Assessments

Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Coursework 45% Individual Coursework
Test 15% Individual Test
Final Exam 40% Individual Examination
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Coursework
Test
Final Exam

Attendance at labs/workshops is compulsory. Students must achieve more than 50% overall to pass the course.

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15 point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in.

For this course, you can expect 3 hours of lectures, a 2-hour workshop or laboratory practical, 1 hour of reading and thinking about the content and 4 hours of work on assignments and/or test preparation.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

Attendance is required at scheduled activities including labs/workshops to complete components of the course.
Attendance on campus is required for the test.
Lectures will be available as recordings. Other learning activities including labs/workshops will not be available as recordings.
The course will not include live online events including group discussions.
The activities for the course are scheduled as a standard weekly timetable.

Learning Resources

Powerpoint slides delivered at the lectures will be provided to students electronically through Canvas. Presentations can be modified prior to delivery at the discretion of each lecturer. Laboratory and workshop resources will be provided through Canvas.

Student Feedback

At the end of every semester students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback and respond with summaries and actions.

Your feedback helps teachers to improve the course and its delivery for future students.

Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the department and faculty staff-student consultative committees.

Digital Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website http://disability.auckland.ac.nz

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/students/academic-information/exams-and-final-results/during-exams/aegrotat-and-compassionate-consideration.html.

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and your assessment is fair, and not compromised. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the University Website for information about how to proceed.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/students/forms-policies-and-guidelines/student-policies-and-guidelines/student-charter.html.

Disclaimer

Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course you may be asked to submit your coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. The final decision on the completion mode for a test or examination, and remote invigilation arrangements where applicable, will be advised to students at least 10 days prior to the scheduled date of the assessment, or in the case of an examination when the examination timetable is published.