Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Molecular and Receptor Pharmacology

LEVEL 05 - Postgraduate Modular Diploma or Degree Course


DEPARTMENT Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics

DESCRIPTION Learning Objectives

This study-unit will provide a clear understanding of pharmacological processes occurring at a cellular and molecular level. It will cover the principles of how drugs interact with molecular processes at a receptor level and elicit cellular responses. The student will learn how new developments in this area are being used in the development on pharmacological leads in new drug development.

Study-unit aims:

This study-unit will:

- Provide a sound understanding of the principles underlying cellular and molecular pharmacology;
- Explain the advances in the classification of drug receptors;
- Receptor structures and conformations;
- Signal transduction pathways;
- Control of receptor expression and modulators of receptor function;
- Discuss the advances in experimental molecular pharmacology and experimental approaches to studying receptor function;
- Discuss the applications of genetics in pharmacotherapy;
- DNA polymorphisms and pharmacological responses;
- Gene-based therapy.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding
By the end of this study-unit, the student will be able to:

- Apply approaches in molecular pharmacology to study receptor function;
- Understand how advances in the understanding of receptor structures and conformations, signal transduction pathways and modulators of receptor function can lead to novel pharmacological therapy;
- Apply genetic principles in pharmacotherapy.

2. Skills

By the end of this study-unit, the student will be able to:

- Apply correct principles in molecular pharmacology to develop novel drug therapy;
- Understand how an understanding of receptor functions are used in the drug development and clinical setting;
- Explain how DNA polymorphisms and pharmacological responses are used in pursuing different aspects of genetics in pharmacotherapy.

Main texts:


• Brooks G (Editor).Gene Therapy: The Use of DNA as a Drug. Pharmaceutical Press
• Terry Kenakin, Molecular Pharmacology: A Short Course. 2010
• Martin Zdanowicz, Concepts in Pharmacogenomics, 2010


Assessment Component/s Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment Yes 40%
Examination (2 Hours) Yes 60%


The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the study-unit description above applies to the academic year 2018/9, if study-unit is available during this academic year, and may be subject to change in subsequent years.