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Department of Pharmacy & Pharmacology, Unit Catalogue 2008/09

PA20241 Cellular & molecular therapeutics

Credits: 12
Level: Intermediate
Academic Year
Assessment: EX 100%
Aims: To familiarise the student with the major families of receptors and the components of intracellular signalling pathways from receptor to cell nucleus, and to illustrate their role in regulating normal gene expression and the development of cancer; to introduce the major cellular and humoral components of the immune system and to illustrate its role in health and disease; to provide basic understanding of recombinant DNA technology for application in molecular pharmacology, the molecular basis of disease including infectious disease, production of recombinant proteins (including monoclonal antibodies) and DNA, RNA reagents as pharmaceutical products and as tools in research. To illustrate clinical cases through problem-based learning.
Learning Outcomes:
After taking this unit, the student will demonstrate an understanding of receptors and their links to intracellular pathways and gene expression, the immune system - its physiological and pathological roles, and its exploitation as a source of therapeutic agents, recombinant DNA technology and applications of this technology in pharmaceutical and biomedical science. After taking this unit the student will be able to give a short oral presentation based on group study of a clinical case.
Scientific and practical skills (T/F/A)
Study skills, handling information, working with others (T/F)
Oral communication skills (T/F)
Problem solving (T/F).
Receptor families, second messenger systems, protein kinases and their phosphorylation targets. Impact of signalling pathways on nuclear events, including regulation of gene expression through transcription factors. Proto-oncogenes, oncogenes and the control of cell growth. The immune system - antibodies, T and B lymphocytes, antigen presenting cells and the MHC, effector functions, tolerance and autoimmunity.
DNA vectors, including plasmids and viral vectors, genomic DNA and cDNA libraries. Manipulation of DNA including the use of restriction enzymes, DNA sequencing, hybridisation techniques, polymerase chain reaction. Recombinant proteins as therapeutic agents - production, formulation, drug delivery. Problem based learning applied to relevant clinical case studies.