Molecular Pharmacology

Course content

Through an integrated approach of lectures, project work and laboratory exercises, the students will learn about central topics in molecular pharmacology, such as ligand-receptor interactions, recombinant techniques (cloning of drug targets, mutagenesis), expression systems (mammalian cell culturing), transgenic techniques, pharmacological assays (binding/functional assays), molecular probes, structure-activity relationships, gene-expression studies (mRNA/protein), data analysis and interpretation (GraphPad Prism etc).

During the course the students will work together in groups of 3-6. They will cover 4 themes and write up material used for both the practical work and examination.

Education

BSc Programme in Chemistry with specialisation in Medicinal Chemistry (SCIENCE) - compulsory

BSc Programme in Pharmacy - elective

Learning outcome

Overall course objective

Molecular pharmacology is an important research field integrating molecular biology and pharmacology. The field is central to the drug discovery process. The objectives of this course are to provide a theoretical foundation of central molecular pharmacology terms and methodologies through theoretical and practical experience.

 

After completing the course the student is expected to be able to:

Knowledge

  • understand central molecular pharmacology principles, methodologies and terminology
  • obtain research-based knowledge of theory, methodology and practice within the field of molecular pharmacology
  • describe molecular mechanisms of important drug targets, understand the use of cloned targets in research, and obtain knowledge about cell-based pharmacological assays
  • explain how these principles and methods can be exploited in practical experiments aimed at reaching distinct research goals
  • reflect on the subject molecular pharmacology in relation to the drug discovery process

 

Skill

  • identify critical steps and describe technical details in relation to planning a pharmacological assay
  • carry out experiments using common methods in molecular pharmacology
  • calculate and interpret pharmacological data
  • formulate 1-3 in a short report (technology and data sheets)
  • present and discuss results in a relevant drug discovery/pharmaceutical context

 

Competence

  • argue for choice of pharmacogical assay in a specific research situation
  • transfer theories and principles to other areas of drug discovery
  • translate theoretical knowledge into practice (assay design)
  • collaborate and communicate effectively with other professionals with expertise in molecular pharmacology and related subjects
  • comprehend molecular pharmacology in relation to drug discovery

The course will be based on 8 workshops and 4 laboratory exercises. During the workshops, central topics in molecular pharmacology will be covered through lectures, exercises and project work. The theoretical foundation obtained will direct the practical work. The students will work together in groups of three to design written material about the techniques to be used in the lab (TECHNOLOGY sheet), based on knowledge from the lectures and original scientific reports. Together with a supervisor they will first plan their experimental work, perform the actual assay and afterwards interpret the results in a DATA sheet.

  • Textbook: Molecular pharmacology: From DNA to Drug Discovery by John Dickenson (ISBN: 9780470684436; John Wiley and Sons)
  • Selected original scientific literature
  • Lab manual

Regarding external students:
Students should have completed bachelor's level lecture course(s) in biochemistry and/or pharmacology, including some laboratory exercises (does not apply to students of BSc Programme in Chemistry with specialisation in Medicinal Chemistry (SCIENCE) for whom the course is compulsory).

Written
Oral
Individual
Collective
Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
ECTS
2,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Course participation
Written assignment
Attendance will be noted at every planned teaching activity.
The reports are handed in before a given deadline.

In order to obtain the course certificate the students should:

*Participate satisfactorily throughout the course (at least 80% attendance).
*In groups prepare 4 written reports based within each of the 4 laboratory exercises of the course. Each report consists of a TECHNOLOGY sheet and a DATA sheet (1 page per sheet; 2 pages per exercise).

*Reports are submitted electronically (Digital Eksamen) before the deadline announced by the course leader.
Marking scale
completed/not completed
Censorship form
No external censorship
Criteria for exam assessment

Knowledge

  • Explain the background and principles of methodologies used
  • Be critical to the quality of the data and conclusions drawn
  • Compare with existing knowledge (literature)

 

Skills

  • Plan laboratory work with help from course supervisor
  • Perform experiments in the lab and obtain data
  • Evaluate obtained data
  • Graphically present data in a logical way

 

Competences

  • Present experimental pharmacological data in a relevant context
  • Critically evaluate the usability of the data obtained
  • Master scientific writing
ECTS
2,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Oral examination, 15 min under invigilation
The oral examination is individual and based on the group reports prepared and approved before the exam.

Presentation of the project work drawn by the student (3-5 min) serves as starting point for the exam, followed by an examination, covering project specific but also more general topics discussed through the course.
Aid
Without aids

Reports will be available in the exam room.

Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Criteria for exam assessment

To achieve the grade 12 the student must be able to:

Knowledge

  • understand central molecular pharmacology principles, methodologies and terminology
  • obtain research-based knowledge of theory, methodology and practice within the field of molecular pharmacology
  • describe molecular mechanisms of important drug targets, understand the use of cloned targets in research, and obtain knowledge about cell-based pharmacological assays
  • explain how these principles and methods can be exploited in practical experiments aimed at reaching distinct research goals
  • reflect on the subject molecular pharmacology in relation to the drug discovery process

 

Skill

  • identify critical steps and describe technical details in relation to planning a pharmacological assay
  • carry out experiments using common methods in molecular pharmacology
  • calculate and interpret pharmacological data
  • formulate 1-3 in a short report (technology and data sheets)
  • present and discuss results in a relevant drug discovery/pharmaceutical context

 

Competence

  • argue for choice of pharmacogical assay in a specific research situation
  • transfer theories and principles to other areas of drug discovery
  • translate theoretical knowledge into practice (assay design)
  • collaborate and communicate effectively with other professionals with expertise in molecular pharmacology and related subjects
  • comprehend molecular pharmacology in relation to drug discovery

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Class Instruction
  • 32
  • Preparation
  • 103,5
  • Practical exercises
  • 14
  • Project work
  • 48
  • Guidance
  • 8
  • Exam
  • 0,5
  • English
  • 206,0