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PHAR 380 Drug and Environmental Toxicology

PHAR 380 Drug and Environmental Toxicology

 Fall 2023 (Online), Winter 2024 (Blended)
 Year 3 Optional Course
 9-10 hours/week
 3 units
On-Campus Course
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 as well as designing a research proposal will addressed in module content as well as assessments

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; BIOL 334/3.0; BCHM 102/3.0).

After completing PHAR 380, students will be able to:

  1. Describe principles and mechanisms of toxicity in order to explain the range of possible effects following exposure to chemicals
  2. Consolidate academic literature and module content 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
  7. Content Expert

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 (35%)

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 11.67% each, for a total of 35% 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 (30%)

There are two parts to this assessment.

Part 1 (10%): Students will be divided into groups and provided with a topic, which will include a review article on the area of toxicity. Each group must conduct a literature review and submit a background including rationale, research hypothesis, and objectives proposed to test that hypothesis. One group member from each group will submit a written document on behalf of the group with two sections: background information and hypothesis/objectives for feedback (7.5%). In addition to the written submission, each group member must submit a rubric for each group member evaluating their peers’ collaboration in completing Part 1. The average of each peer’s evaluation will count for 2.5% of each student’s final grade.

Part 2 (20%): Working individually, students will incorporate feedback from Part 1 to refine their hypothesis and individual objective. Each student must also develop two research summaries – one in lay terminology and one in scientific terminology, as well as create an experimental plan that will test their hypothesis/address their objective. Included in Part 2 must be a discussion of anticipated results.

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