Pharmacology (PHAR)


PHAR 4000. Special Topic. 1-42 Credit Hours.

This is a self-designed course created by both the student and the department to cover a specific topic. A Course Approval Form must be completed along with documentation of the designed course description.

PHAR 4003. Clinical Pharmacology. 4 Credit Hours.

This selective is an essential course in Drug Prescribing and Therapeutics for future interns in any specialty. It is an excellent opportunity to brush up on drug therapy before entering residency and to avoid causing harm to the patients through mis-prescription of drugs. The drugs of the major therapeutic areas and how they are used are reviewed by specialists from the Departments of Medicine, Psychiatry, Surgery, and Pharmacology. Particular emphasis is placed on the use of drugs in clinical scenarios.

PHAR 5013. Principles Of Pharmacology & Physiology 1. 3 Credit Hours.

Topics include principles of drug action; receptor classification and quantitation; dose response relationships; cellular mechanisms of drug action; fundamental concepts of drug receptor interactions; voltage gated and ion channels; drug actions mediate by transduction and non-transduction enzymes; time course of drug action; absorption, distribution, biotransformation and elimination of drugs; pharmacokinetics; and experimental approaches to drug action.

PHAR 5014. Integrative Physiology & Therapeutics. 4.5 Credit Hours.

This course provides students with a base of knowledge in physiology and pharmacology taking an integrative approach to understanding experimental and clinical therapeutics. Primary focus will be on understanding normal physiologic functions, cellular mechanism underlying disease, and systematic consideration of the pharmacology, clinical applications, and toxicities of the major classes of drugs. This required 4.5 credit hour course for Pharmacology and Physiology students is comprised of three sections, each covering major areas of physiology and pharmacology along with their corresponding therapeutics. The three sections include: 1) autonomic nervous system control and therapeutics, 2) cardiovascular, renal and respiratory physiology and therapeutics, and 3) metabolism, hormones, GI physiology and therapeutics. Each section is to be offered separately as an independent micro-elective for students from other programs within the Graduate School of Biomedical Science. Prerequisites: IBMS 5000 and PHAR 5013.

PHAR 5018. Cardiovascular, Renal and Respiratory Physiology and Therapeutics. 2 Credit Hours.

This course covers the anatomy, physiology and pharmacology of the heart, the blood vessels, kidneys, and airways and lungs. Specific areas include: 1) normal physiology of the cardiovascular system and mechanisms underlying its major pathologies such as atherosclerosis, hypertension, heart failure and stroke, as well as the major classes of drugs (antihypertensives, anti-lipemics, anti-anginals, and anticoagulants) to treat these primary cardiovascular disorders. 2) importance of the kidneys in maintaining body electrolyte and water balance, and examples of cardiovascular and kidney diseases that are targets for important therapeutic drugs such as the diuretics and ACE inhibitors. 3) respiratory physiology and drugs used in the treatment of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Prerequisites: IBMS 5000 or equivalent.

PHAR 5019. Metabolism, Hormones, GI Physiology and Therapeutics. 2 Credit Hours.

This course provides an overview of the following: 1) physiology of major endocrine systems, including pituitary, thyroid, GI and renal hormones, etc. It covers endocrine regulation of stress, blood sugar, male and female fertility, calcium balance, growth, pregnancy, and appetite. Pharmacological approaches to management of diseases caused by defects in metabolism (e.g. diabetes) and hormonal regulation (e.g. thyroid disorders), as well as sex steroids and adrenal steroids, will be discussed. 2) mechanisms and regulation of digestion/acid secretion and nutrient absorption by the GI tract along with pharmacological management of GI diseases, including GERD, peptic, ulcer, etc. Prerequisites: IBMS 5000 or equivalent.

PHAR 5020. Basics Of Research Design. 2 Credit Hours.

This course aims at teaching first-year graduate students fundamentals of research design and analysis of scientific literature to orient them with setting up scientific experiments and writing grant proposals. The course is divided into three sections: research design, communicating scientific data, and getting scientific ideas funded.

PHAR 5021. Autonomic Control & Therapeutics. 0.5 Credit Hours.

This course covers basic anatomy, physiology and pharmacology of the autonomic nervous system, including its higher order CNS components of the ANS in the regulation of homeostasis. Diseases that involve alterations in ANS function and drugs that modulate catecholaminergic and cholinergic neuro-effector transmission will be discussed.

PHAR 5023. Drug Discovery and Development. 2.5 Credit Hours.

Drug Discovery and Development is a 2.5 credit hour course that provide students with an understanding of the overall process of drug discovery and development. It covers the basic principles of how new drugs are discovered, how drugs interact with their biological targets, and application of medicinal chemistry in lead optimization. Focused lectures on specific therapeutic areas will include drug development for cancer, diabetes, pain, and psychiatric disorders. Patenting, phase 1, 2 and 3 clinical trials, and marketing processes will be covered, as will contract opportunities for basic science researchers with drug companies. Case studies of both successful and unsuccessful drug candidates will be presented, where students will learn about the entire drug discovery and development process. Upon successful completion of this course, students will have a comprehensive knowledge of the fundamental principles of drug discovery and development, through to successful implementation of the new drug in the clinic. An early self-study component is built into the course. Based on study outcomes, course directors will suggest supplementary readings to facilitate achievement of learning objectives.

PHAR 5090. Seminar. 1-9 Credit Hours.

This course consists of presentation and discussion of recent advances in research by staff faculty, students, and outside scientists. A monthly journal club that emphasizes student presentations of current primary literature is also a component.

PHAR 5091. Special Topics: Microelectives. 0.5-9 Credit Hours.

Micro-electives are courses that can be of any type (tutorial or original literature review, short [2-week] didactic, technique, etc.). In general, since they are short, they are often offered at any time of convenience between the student(s) and the faculty. Various topics include but not limited to: (1) New Views on Monoaminergic Neurotransmission: Are Transporters Important?; (2) Drug Discovery: Nuts and Bolts; (3) Historical Perspectives of Receptor Theory; (4) Cell Membrane Microdomains and Signaling; (5) Neuropeptide Metabolism; (6) Serotonin: From Soup (Transmission) to Nuts (Behavior); (7) Central-Cardio-Respiratory Systems; (8) Neural Substrates of Regulatory Behaviors: Peptides and Monoamines; (9) Current Issues in Basic Research on Mechanisms of Epilepsy; (10) Appetite Control: Adiposity Hormones and Neuropeptides; (11)Fundamentals of Behavioral Pharmacology; (12) Therapeutics: Autonomic Pharmacology; (13) Therapeutics: Cardiovascular-Renal Pharmacology (Prerequisite - PHAR 5091.012); (14) Therapeutics: Central Nervous System Pharmacotherapeutics; (15) Therapeutics: Chemotherapy: (16) Therapeutics: Endocrine Pharmacology: (17) Therapeutics: Pharmacological Management of Pain; and (18) G protein-coupled receptor heteromers.

PHAR 5092. Special Problems In Pharmacology: Research Practicum. 1-9 Credit Hours.

This is a full-semester research experience for the principal investigator to evaluate if a student demonstrates the potential for productive and independent investigation during the summer following the first year. The course concludes with a 15 minute oral presentation given by the student and a written report in a journal style.

PHAR 6005. Drugs in Society. 3 Credit Hours.

This course will provide an overview of the basic neuropharmacology, preclinical pharmacology, epidemiology, as well as legal and social issues associated with alcohol and the major classes of abused drugs. The course will be team taught by several faculty members from the Departments of Pharmacology, Physiology, and Psychiatry. The format will include lectures, videos, and group discussion. The major drug classes that will be discussed include the following: 1) alcohol, benzodiazepines, and barbiturates; 2) nicotine (tobacco and other delivery systems); 3) marijuana and other cannabinoids; 4) opioids; 5) stimulant drugs including cathinones; 6) ketamine and related drugs; 7) hallucinogens; and 8) dietary supplements and over the counter medications. Readings will include scientific original and review articles, selected chapters in books (e.g., Drugs, Society, and Human Behavior, McGraw-Hill), as well as blogs and recent government and news agency publications as they become available and are relevant.

PHAR 6015. Effects, Power, Meta-Analysis. 1 Credit Hour.

Evaluating the statistical significance of research findings requires knowledge of statistics, but additional skills are needed to evaluate their importance. This course introduces tools that help answer three questions: 1) How do I assess the practical or everyday significance of my research results, 2) Does my study have sufficient power to find what I am seeking, and 3) How do I draw conclusions from past studies reporting disparate results. Answering these questions involves estimation of effect size, calculation of statistical power, and pooling of individual effect size estimates by meta-analysis. This course discusses these activities together, because they are interrelated. A well-designed study is normally based on a prospective power analysis, and a good power analysis will ideally be based on a meta-analytically derived mean effect size. There is a growing recognition by scientific journals and funding agencies of the need to report effect sizes along with the results of test of statistical significance and to quantify the statistical power of studies. The aim of this course is to help acquire the skills necessary to meet these needs. This micro-elective builds on the significance-testing and power analytic skills that students learn in CSAT 5095 Experimental Design and Data Analysis. Thus, having taken CSAT 5095 is a prerequisite for this course.

PHAR 6020. Molecular & Pharmacological Basis Of Therapeutics. 3 Credit Hours.

This course provides the graduate student with current knowledge of how genetic variants can affect drug response and the potential to optimize drug therapy. Course format will include lectures, discussion of selected literature, individual student presentations, and the opportunity for the development of a mini pharmacogenetic/genomic protocol and consent form to address a clinical/biomedical question mutually agreed upon between course director and students.

PHAR 6025. Molecular Pharmacology. 2 Credit Hours.

This course will be presented in a journal club/paper discussion format and will focus on the molecular aspects of pharmacology, with emphasis on molecular biology, biochemistry, and cell biology of a variety of physiological systems subjected to pharmacological manipulation. The topics to be discussed will include molecular mechanisms of drug action, signal transduction and regulation, molecular approaches, and recent advances in areas of molecular pharmacology.

PHAR 6027. Fundamentals Of Neuroethics. 1 Credit Hour.

Recent advances in neuroscience have considerably improved our understanding of brain function. However, the fascinating examination of brain's mysteries often intersects with the concerns of ethics and public policy. This course aims at presenting and discussing philosophical and scientific perspectives on major bioethical issues pertinent to neuroscience research. Several subjects will be covered in the course, including the effects of pharmacological and surgical interventions on the brain/min binomial, therapy versus enhancement, brain imaging and mental privacy, neurobiology of decision making, consciousness, unconsciousness, and death.

PHAR 6071. Supervised Teaching. 1-9 Credit Hours.

This course provides a mentored teaching experience. The student will be responsible for directing an undergraduate Physiology laboratory course under the guidance of the Physiology faculty. The student will prepare and provide limited lectures addressing background information required to understanding and performing research laboratories, as well as direct undergraduates in performance of these laboratories. Physiology faculty will insure that graduate students are prepared and knowledgeable about the laboratories they will direct. In addition, students will receive training in general pedagogue and specifically, in the performance, conduct, and directing of physiology research and its dissemination. In addition to learning to direct a laboratory course and providing lecture-based information, graduate students will be trained in preparing, administering, and marking laboratory exams.

PHAR 6097. Research. 0.5-12 Credit Hours.

Independent, original research under the direction of a faculty advisor.

PHAR 6098. Thesis. 1-12 Credit Hours.

Registration for at least one term is a Graduate School requirement for all MS candidates.

PHAR 7002. Bridging The Gap From Bench To Bedside: Pharmacology Clinical Practicum. 1 Credit Hour.

Pharmacology is the most basic of the science disciplines to bridge the gap between "bench and bedside." This micro-elective will provide students with focused exposure to therapeutics and clinical practice. The course will incorporate case-based, operating room scenarios using human simulator mannequins, with a clinical experience in association with the Department of Anesthesiology. Students must directly contact the course director before registering for this course.

PHAR 7003. Electrophysiology In Neuroscience Research. 1 Credit Hour.

The purpose of this course is to explore the rationale underlying the use of electrophysiological techniques in neuroscience research. Rather than focusing on the technical aspects of electrophysiology, this course will discuss current hot topic manuscripts that utilize different electrophysiological approaches including in vivo (anesthetized and conscious), in vitro, extracellular (single-unit and field potential), intracellular and patch. It is anticipated that at the end of the course students will be more familiar with the area of electrophysiology and able to understand why particular approaches are utilized in neuroscience research and be able to critically review electrophysiological data from manuscripts.

PHAR 7099. Dissertation. 1-12 Credit Hours.

Registration for at least two terms is a Graduate School requirement for all Ph.D. candidates. Prerequisites: admission to candidacy for Doctor of Philosophy degree.

PHAR 8009. Pharmacotherapeutics. 2 Credit Hours.

The emphasis of this course is on understanding the rationale, indications, and contraindications for prescribing pharmacologic agents in dentistry. Consideration of the pharmacologic agents that the patient may be taking at the time of the dental visit is emphasized.