Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Chemistry

Course ID
BIO/14, CHIM/08

Aims: The course aims to provide learning on the fundamental aspects of general pharmacology and in particular the pharmacokinetics (ADME) and pharmacodynamics. In addition, students must acquire the molecular basis of drug action and the factors that influence the pharmacological effects and adverse drug reactions. The course also has the task of providing the molecular basis of toxicology, as well as the phases of clinical development and the regulations of clinical trials.

Pharmacology (6 CFU)

Teacher: Robert Nisticò

Program: Principles of pharmacokinetics: routes of administration and absorption of drugs. Distribution, biotransformation and excretion of drugs. Drug interactions.

Principles of pharmacodynamics: drug-receptor interaction, agonists and antagonists, allosteric modulators. Classification of receptors, adaptive responses to drugs. Mechanisms underlying signal transduction pathways. Voltage-dependent and voltage-independent ion channels.

Intercellular transmission: glutamate, GABA, acetylcholine, catecholamines, serotonin, nitric oxide, cannabinoids, opioid peptides. Basic principles of normal and pathological synaptic plasticity.

Principles of cellular and molecular toxicology. Drug addiction.


Pharmaceutical Chemistry (6 CFU)

Teacher: Orazio Nicolotti

Program: Drugs and drug targets: an overview. Protein,enzymes, receptors and nucleic acids: structure and function. Enzymes and receptors as drug targets. Pharmacokinetics and related topics. Drug discovery: finding a lead. Drug design: optimizing target interactions. Drug design: optimizing access to the target. Getting the drug to market. Computers in medicinal chemistry. Quantitative structure–activity relationships (QSAR). Case studies: Statins as anti-cholesterol agents; ACE inhibitors; Artemisinin and related antimalarial drugs; De novo design of a thymidylate kinase inhibitor; Antidepressant agents.


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