PHAR 380, Drug and Environmental Toxicology, will explore the human toxicology associated with both pharmaceutical and environmental exposures. Topics will include metabolism and mechanisms of toxicity of various pharmaceuticals and environmental pollutants. Toxicological effects of specific classes of environmental toxicants and different groups of pharmaceuticals will also be discussed.
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:
- Describe mechanisms of toxicity and chemical-mediated carcinogenesis to explain the cellular and subcellular actions of xenobiotics.
- Discuss the biological effects of major classes of environmental toxicants and pharmaceuticals to evaluate a case study/problem and identify the cause.
- Survey current topics in toxicology and to examine and critically analyze their accuracy and how these reports influence society.
All assessments will be graded using marking rubrics.
Assessment 1 – Simulation/virtual lab (30%)
Working individually, students will work through a virtual toxicology lab, in which the goal is to determine toxic doses of drugs and/or environmental chemicals. In this experiment, students will use knowledge learned from course modules in an applied manner. Students will discuss their results and conclusions within a group. After discussion, a written lab report will be submitted for evaluation by TAs or the course instructor.
Assessment 2 – Case study presentation (20%)
In small groups, students will apply knowledge learned in course modules as well as conduct their own research to solve a hypothetical toxicology problem. Groups will be presented with symptoms and will need to determine the cause, mechanisms of toxicity, and how this problem can be treated. Students will present their case study in group PowerPoint-type presentations. As part of this assessment, students will participate in peer assessment.
Assessment 3 – Module tests (30%)
Upon the completion of each module (a total of three), students will be write short tests, ensuring comprehension of the material covered in each module. These questions will consist of short or long answer questions, focusing on integration of material as opposed to strict memorization. Each test will be worth 10%.
Assessment 4 – Popular News Topic Analysis (20%)
Working individually, students will select a popular news topic (ie: in popular magazines, newspapers, etc). Students will be expected to write a 1000 word report summarizing the news item and discussing its context in the field. Specifically, students will need to find primary literature addressing the same issue, and critically analyze the news report’s assessment of this topic.
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).
Textbooks and Materials
PHAR 380 course notes via modules posted online