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PHAR 380 Drug and Environmental Toxicology

PHAR 380 Drug and Environmental Toxicology

 Summer 2020, Fall 2020, Winter 2021
 Year 3 Optional Course
 9-10 hours/week
 3 units
Online Course

This course will explore the human toxicology associated with both pharmaceutical and environmental exposures. General mechanisms of toxicity will be introduced in order to describe how different pharmaceuticals and environmental compounds can lead to adverse effects in humans. Current topics relating to toxicology in the media will also be a focus.

Minimum 3rd year (Level 3) standing and one of (BCHM 270/3.0, BCHM 315/3.0, BCHM 316/3.0, BCHM 218/3.0 or BIOL 334/3.0).

After completing PHAR 380, students will be able to:

  1. Describe principles and mechanisms of toxicity in order to explain the effects of exposure to chemicals
  2. Consolidate knowledge in order to develop a research question and hypothesis for an experiment involving a potentially toxic chemical
  3. Compare and contrast popular media representations of toxicity with relevant scientific literature in order to critically evaluate how toxicology is perceived by the public
  1. Communicator
  2. Advocate
  3. Leader
  4. Scholar
  5. Professional
  6. Collaborator

All assessments will be graded using marking rubrics.

Assessment 1 – Discussion Boards (10%)

Students will participate in discussion boards throughout the course modules. Students must participate by creating one original post per discussion board prior to seeing peers’ posts and must also reply to at least one peer.

Assessment 2 – Module Tests (30%)

Upon the completion of each “content” module, students will write a test, ensuring comprehension of the material covered in each module. These tests will consist of multiple choice and short answer questions. Students will complete 3 tests worth 10% each, for a total of 30% of the final grade.

Assessment 3 – Media vs Scientific Literature Analysis (25%)

Students are tasked with analyzing the representation of a toxicant in popular media. Working individually, students will research and select a new article discussing a toxicant of their choosing. Students will submit a written report, providing a background on their toxicant and critiquing its representation in population media.

Assessment 4 – Design a Research Proposal (35%)

There are three parts to this assessment.

  • Part 1: Students will be divided into groups and provided with literature around a toxicant. Each group must come up with a brief background, rationale, research question(s), and hypothesis(es) surrounding their toxicant. The group will submit a written document with three sections: background information, research question/hypothesis, and objectives for feedback (10%).
  • Part 2: Students will incorporate their feedback and plan an experiment(s) to test their hypothesis(es). Working in their groups, students will need to come to a consensus on the experimental plan for their group (10%).
  • Part 3: Working individually, students will create a concise presentation on their experiment. Students will consolidate information from parts 1 and 2 to produce a cohesive presentation, including anticipated results, significance of the research, and future directions (15%).

Students will be required to participate in a TA-facilitated tutorial/discussion to facilitate peer feedback in the group assignment. Students will also have the opportunity to interact with the instructor through regular online “office hours”.

9–10 hours a week (108–120 hours per term).

Required Texts

PHAR 380 course notes via modules posted online