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BIOL8009 - Biochemical Pharmacology

Title:Biochemical Pharmacology
Long Title:Biochemical Pharmacology
Module Code:BIOL8009
Duration:1 Semester
Credits: 5
NFQ Level:Advanced
Field of Study: Biochemistry & Cell Biology
Valid From: Semester 1 - 2019/20 ( September 2019 )
Module Delivered in 1 programme(s)
Module Coordinator: Brigid Lucey
Module Author: Craig Murphy
Module Description: This module describes the biochemical principles of drug-target complexes and the mechanisms of action underlying their therapeutic effects. Specific pharmaceuticals and biologics are examined in the context of pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetics and toxicology.
Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this module the learner will be able to:
LO1 Critically evaluate concepts and applications of pharmacokinetics in the (bio)pharmaceutical sector.
LO2 Derive pharmacokinetic parameters and use them to predict clinical properties of drugs.
LO3 Differentiate between the different classes of drug receptors and their associated signal transduction mechanisms.
LO4 Examine the mechanism of action of specific pharmacological interventions in the treatment of selected diseases.
Pre-requisite learning
Module Recommendations
This is prior learning (or a practical skill) that is strongly recommended before enrolment in this module. You may enrol in this module if you have not acquired the recommended learning but you will have considerable difficulty in passing (i.e. achieving the learning outcomes of) the module. While the prior learning is expressed as named CIT module(s) it also allows for learning (in another module or modules) which is equivalent to the learning specified in the named module(s).
12750 BIOL6024 Structural Biochemistry
12751 BIOL6017 Metabolic Biochemistry
12909 BIOL6026 Introduction to Pharmacology
Incompatible Modules
These are modules which have learning outcomes that are too similar to the learning outcomes of this module. You may not earn additional credit for the same learning and therefore you may not enrol in this module if you have successfully completed any modules in the incompatible list.
No incompatible modules listed
Co-requisite Modules
No Co-requisite modules listed

This is prior learning (or a practical skill) that is mandatory before enrolment in this module is allowed. You may not enrol on this module if you have not acquired the learning specified in this section.

No requirements listed

Module Content & Assessment

Indicative Content
Drug absorption, distribution, metabolism and elimination profiles. Variations in pharmacokinetic response and inter-individual variation. Applications of pharmacokinetics in clinical scenarios. Drug modalities. Derivation of pharmacokinetic parameters used in preclinical and clinical development. Relationship between pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics. Drug Biotransformation. Pharmacogenomics.
Receptors and Signal Transduction
Receptor classification (ligand-gated ion channels, G-protein-coupled receptors, kinase-linked receptors, steroid receptors). Drug-receptor interactions. Endocrine and autonomic pharmacology. Drug specificity and side effects. Therapeutic index. Molecular mechanisms of signal transduction. Role of second messengers in disease progression and treatment. Potency, ligand-binding and toxicity assays. Mechanism of action assays for biologics.
Cancer and Chemotherapy
Pathogenesis. Cell proliferation and cell cycle control mechanisms. Apoptosis. Oncogenes and tumour suppressor genes. Angiogenesis and metastasis. Mechanism of action and selectivity of classes of chemotherapeutic agents. Targeted cancer therapies. Combination therapies.
Molecular basis of selected diseases and therapeutic strategies
Selected topics from clinical interventions including; Immunopharmacology (activation of the innate and adaptive immune systems, inflammation, anti-inflammatory, immunomodulating drugs), Cardiovascular pharmacology (antihypertensives, anticoagulants, fibrinolytic drugs), Neuropharmacology (neurotransmission, pathophysiology of neurological disorders and therapeutic strategies) and Infectious Disease pharmacology (antimicrobial chemotherapy).
Assessment Breakdown%
Course Work30.00%
End of Module Formal Examination70.00%
Course Work
Assessment Type Assessment Description Outcome addressed % of total Assessment Date
Written Report Derivation and interpretation of pharmacokinetic and clinical parameters 1,2 30.0 Week 10
End of Module Formal Examination
Assessment Type Assessment Description Outcome addressed % of total Assessment Date
Formal Exam End-of-Semester Final Examination 1,2,3,4 70.0 End-of-Semester
Reassessment Requirement
Repeat examination
Reassessment of this module will consist of a repeat examination. It is possible that there will also be a requirement to be reassessed in a coursework element.

The institute reserves the right to alter the nature and timings of assessment


Module Workload

Workload: Full Time
Workload Type Workload Description Hours Frequency Average Weekly Learner Workload
Lecture Class-based instruction 3.0 Every Week 3.00
Independent & Directed Learning (Non-contact) Study of lecture notes and data handling exercises 4.0 Every Week 4.00
Total Hours 7.00
Total Weekly Learner Workload 7.00
Total Weekly Contact Hours 3.00
This module has no Part Time workload.

Module Resources

Recommended Book Resources
  • Shargal, L & Yu ABC 2016, Applied Biopharmaceutics & Pharmacokinetics, 7th Ed., McGraw-Hill Education New York, United States [ISBN: 9780071829649]
  • Rang, H.P., Ritter, J.M., Flower, R.J. & Henderson, G. 2015, Rang and Dale's Pharmacology, 8th Ed., Churchill Livingston [ISBN: 9780702053627]
Supplementary Book Resources
  • Katzung, B.G. & Trevor, A.J. 2015, Basic and Clinical Pharmacology, 13th Ed., McGraw-Hill Education [ISBN: 9780071825054]
  • Tymoczko JL., Berg JM., Gatto Jr, GJ. & Stryer L 2019, Biochemistry: A Short Course, 4th Ed., W. H. Freeman New York, United States of America [ISBN: 9781464126130]
This module does not have any article/paper resources
Other Resources

Module Delivered in

Programme Code Programme Semester Delivery
CR_SPHBI_8 Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Pharmaceutical Biotechnology 8 Mandatory

Cork Institute of Technology
Rossa Avenue, Bishopstown, Cork

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