400 Level Pharmacology Course Details

PMCOL401/402 … PMCOL412 … PMCOL415 … PMCOL416 … PMCOL425 … PMCOL450 … PMCOL475


PMCOL 401/402
Pharmacology Tutorial
* These courses are identical other than that PMCOL 401 is offered in the Fall, and 402 the winter term.

Coordinator: Dr B Hubbard

Prerequisites: PMCOL 343 and 344. Available only to students in the Pharmacology Specialization program or students who are granted consent by the Department of Pharmacology.

Grading: The final grade is based upon the following: laboratory performance (20%), laboratory notebook (20%), an abstract (15%) and a poster presentation (45%) on the research findings of the student.

Independent research course. “Hands-on” experience is seen as a valuable asset for students graduating from BSc programs. With this in mind, this course provides an opportunity to work with a Faculty member on a research project during the Fall (PMCOL 401) and/or Winter (PMCOL 402) semester. The student and supervisor will mutually agree upon the details of the project. This is an excellent opportunity to learn current laboratory techniques, data analysis, laboratory notebook maintenance and presentation skills. Literature-based projects may also be available in which the student will be required to identify a research question and meet with the supervisor at regular intervals for discussion and guidance on preparation of a term paper and poster presentation.



Drugs and the Nervous System
Fall term, M, W, F 14:00
Coordinator: Dr S Sipione

Prerequisites: PMCOL 343 and 344 or 371 or ZOOL 342 or consent of instructor

Grading: The final grade will be based on a midterm and a final examination.

The goal of PMCOL 412 is to learn about the molecular basis of disorders of the nervous system, current therapies in use, as well as novel potential treatments that are in clinical trials or at the preclinical experimental stage. Research frontiers in pain and neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer, Parkinson and Huntington’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and multiple sclerosis among others, will be explored. Novel therapeutic targets and the potential treatments of tomorrow will be discussed.



Cardiovascular Pharmacology
Fall term, M W F 11:00
Coordinator: Dr R Schulz

Prerequisites: PMCOL 343 and 344

In case of limited space, preference will be given to students in the Pharmacology program.

Grading: TBA

Critical discussion and analysis of current research papers in cardiovascular pharmacology, grouped into themes. Recent developments and use of the literature will be emphasized. In-class participation during roundtable discussion to critique assigned papers is essential. Each theme will be accompanied by the student’s written analyses of papers assigned but not discussed in class, in the format of a condensation/critique.



Current Topics in Endocrine Pharmacology
Winter term, T R 11:00
Coordinators: Dr F Tse

Prerequiste: PMCOL 343 or 344 or consent of instructor

Grading: The final grade is based on two midterms (each 20%) and a final examination (60%), all in short essay format (about 1 page per topic).


This course examines in detail, drugs (including natural hormones) that are used for treatment of endocrine diseases (e.g. diabetes, infertility, and growth deficiency). The focus of the course is the action of drugs on hormone receptors and on the regulation of hormone synthesis and secretion.



PMCOL 425B1/425B2/425B3problem solving
Problem Solving Pharmacology & Therapeutics
Winter term, T R 14:00 - 15:20 / 15:30 - 16:50 /14:00 - 15:20
Coordinator: Dr M Davies

Prerequisites: PMCOL 343 and 344 and consent of instructor. This course is restricted to students in the Pharmacology Program.

Grading: There is no midterm or final examination. Marks are based on the following: a midterm paper based on one of the problems covered in class; a final paper in which the student must construct and solve a therapeutic problem; participation in the group discussions.

Students will be presented with problem cases involving patients with conditions, possibly needing drug therapy. They will identify the issues needing resolution, work collectively to find information to resolve them, and present these and their application to each patient to the group. The group will work to resolve outstanding issues after the presentations. Intended for senior undergraduate students.



Diabetes and its Pharmacotherapy
Winter Term, M W F 15:00

Coordinator: Dr PE MacDonald

Prerequisites: PMCOL 343 and PMCOL 344 or consent of instructor

Grading: Students will be required to write three papers over the course. Each section students will choose one topic for a 5 page report. The top 2 marks will be taken (and will contribute to 60% of the overall mark). The final exam (40%) will consist of a mixture of short essay questions.

This course will provide an overview of the current understanding of blood glucose homeostasis, insulin secretion and action, the actions of other important blood sugar-regulating hormones and the pathology of diabetes. Current pharmacological approaches for lowering blood glucose will be discussed, as will the latest experimental approaches in identifying potential drug targets and new treatments for diabetes. At the end of the course, students should have an appreciation for the mechanisms that control glucose homeostasis in health and diabetes, the diversity of drug targets and mechanisms by which diabetes drugs promote glucose control, and current rationale and lines of research leading to potential new treatments.



Signal Transduction Systems as Pharmacological Targets
Winter term, M W F 11:00
Coordinator: Dr E Posse de Chaves

Prerequisites: PMCOL 343 and 344

Grading: Please contact the course coordinator.


Regulation of various aspects of cell regulation, including proliferation, differentiation, metabolism, survival, motility, and gene transcription, occur mainly via protein phosphorylation in a complex array of well-organized signal transduction pathways. This course will cover topics related to the pharmacological investigation of cellular transduction systems, the discovery of small molecules that alter cell signaling, and how pharmacological manipulation of these signaling pathways may be useful in the drug treatment of a diverse range of diseases, including metastatic, cardiovascular, inflammatory, immune, metabolic and neurodegenerative diseases.



PMCOL 498A/498B
Pharmacology Research Program

Fall and Winter terms

Coordinator: Dr B Hubbard

Prerequisites: Consent of Department. Normally available to fourth-year Honours students only.

Grading: The final mark will be determined based on laboratory performance, laboratory notebook, a paper based on the research findings of the student and two ten-minute presentations based on a midterm and final examination.

During their fourth year all Honors candidates are required to carry out a program of directed research under the supervision of a staff member. This program will be related to the special interest of the student and will involve experimental work as well as two presentations and a written report on the part of the student. Students are encouraged to make arrangements with a supervisor of their choice before the fall term begins.