Course Descriptions

Cellular Signaling: Molecular Mechanism to Disease

Spring (1st half)
1.5 credit hours
General principles of cellular regulation are examined through detailed study of selected molecular mechanisms and signaling pathways. Focus includes mechanisms of receptor function, G proteins as molecular switches and organizers, differential mechanisms and roles of protein kinases, mechanical signaling mechanisms, other protein modifications and turnover in regulation, action of nuclear hormone receptors, and analysis of signaling networks. Quantitative approaches, current controversies, and the relationship of mechanisms to disease are stressed where appropriate. Limited lectures are supported by discussion of classic and current research articles, research problems, and presentations by students.

Current Topics in Pharmacology

Journal Club
Credit: 1 hour

This is a hot topics journal club where students present papers relevant to the broad area of pharmacology arising from many different disciplines. Each week a student will pick a relevant high-impact paper from the laboratory of one of the seminar speakers who will be visiting our campus and presenting a seminar that same week (this includes speakers for ULS and all basic science departments). One to two weeks before class, each presenting student will submit a paper to the organizers for approval. The class is lively and spirited and all students are called upon to speak in class and give their opinion of the paper presented.

Mechanisms of Drug Action

Credit: 3 hours

The course is organized around weekly lectures (one hour) and discussions (two hours). During the first part of the course, the general principles of pharmacology are examined. Topics include the entry, distribution, and elimination of drugs; the time course of the drug action; the molecular basis of pharmacological selectivity and efficacy; the adaptation, tolerance and addiction to drugs; and pharmacogenetics.

These sessions are followed by discussions of the molecular bases of antibiotic chemotherapy and autonomic pharmacology. During the final weeks of the course, a range of topics is explored using examples from contemporary literature. Topics include peptides and proteins as drugs, rational drug design, the use of RNA and DNA as drugs, gene therapy, prodrugs, immunotoxins, anticancer chemotherapy, and strategies of selective drug delivery.