MEDSCI 700 : Drug Discovery Biology

Medical and Health Sciences

2021 Semester One (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Reviews recent studies on the use of chemical and genetic methods to characterise the role of proteins in disease and their potential as drug targets. Topics will include proteins involved in regulation of immune response, lipid mediated cell signalling pathways, drug-protein interactions, some discovery methods, and pre-clinical studies on mechanism of action.

Course Overview

To provide students with an in-depth understanding of the early phases of drug discovery. Specifically, they will understand the role of genetic and chemical biology research in this, and some of the processes for the discovery and design of new drugs. They will be provided with current examples of approved drugs or emerging drug targets, and a “hands on” experience in a computer based discovery workshop.

A sound understanding of molecular pharmacology and either medicinal chemistry or protein structure and function is recommended.

Course Requirements

No pre-requisites or restrictions

Course Contacts

Dr Jack Flanagan

 Dept of Pharmacology and Clinical Pharmacology

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

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Critically review and assess pharmacology, chemical biology and drug discovery literature (Capability 1.1, 2.1, 2.2, 3.1, 4.2 and 5.2)
  2. Identify and discuss chemical, pharmacological and genetic methods and data in drug and drug target characterisation (Capability 1.1, 2.1, 2.2, 3.1, 4.1, 4.2 and 5.1)
  3. Describe and apply the properties of an effective drug target and its drug (Capability 1.1, 2.2, 3.1, 3.2, 4.2 and 5.1)
  4. Demonstrate an understanding of of topic specific knowledge using the concept of "druggability" (Capability 1.1, 1.2, 2.1, 2.2, 3.1, 4.2 and 5.1)
  5. Learn and apply drug discovery theory to a drug target by virtual screening (Capability 1.1, 1.2, 2.2, 3.2, 4.2 and 5.1)

Assessments

Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Essay 40% Individual Coursework
Presentation 35% Individual Coursework
Discussions 5% Individual Coursework
Assignments 20% Group & Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5
Essay
Presentation
Discussions
Assignments
A minimum of 50% is required to pass this course

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 150 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 24 hours of lectures, and 126 hours of work on assignments, presentations and essay preparation.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

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

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.