Biological and Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program



Pharmacology Courses


VETMM 6100 Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology
Spring. 2 credits. By permission of the course director. Letter grade or S-U option. R. Oswald and R. Collins with pharmacology faculty 
   Graduate-level course surveying the molecular and cellular aspects of receptor mechanisms, signaling pathways, and pharmacological approaches. Topics covered include: major signal transduction pathways with a focus on receptors, ion channels, transporters, G-proteins, and effector systems; current perspectives on disease and signaling mechanisms; drug targeting and design including examples of both innate and infectious diseases.

VETMM 6120 Topics in Pharmacology
Fall and Spring. 0.5 credits. S-U only. C. Sevier (Fall semester) and T. Kawate (Spring semester)
    This journal club course is designed to aid students in reading, criticizing, and verbally presenting material from the scientific literature. Papers discussed in the course will parallel the topics presented in the concurrent Department of Molecular Medicine seminar series. In the journal club, students will select and present papers with guidance from the course director.

VETMM 6150 Drug Discovery and Genomics (also BIOBM tba)
Spring. 2 credits. R. Collins
    This course will draw on recent progress in genetics and genomics to explore the applications of biodiversity to biomedicine. The goal of the course is to aid the skill development of biomedical problem-oriented researchers who have basic familiarity with computational biology as an integral part of their experimental bench science education.
    This course will be of particular interest to students in the Fields of Biochemistry, Molecular and Cell Biology, Pharmacology, Genetics & Genomics, and Microbiology and Comparative Biomedical Sciences. Topics covered will include drug targeting and development via computational biology, pharmacology in silico, bioinformatics, signal transduction, microbial biotechnology and protein engineering. The emphasis will be on general principles and case-based studies. Students will deploy these approaches with assignments tailored to each student's research interest.

VETMM 7030 Receptor-Ligand Interactions
Fall, odd-numbered years. 1 credit. By permission of the instructors. Letter grade or S-U option. G.A. Weiland and R.E. Oswald
    The course covers both the practical and theoretical tools for the study of ligand-receptor interactions, emphasizing the quantitative and physical chemical aspects of receptor theory. Topics discussed are basic methods of radioligand binding assays, including separation and measurement of bound and free ligand; characterization of receptor function; analysis of receptor structure; allosteric modulation; rational drug design; thermodynamic basis of binding; methods of analyzing equilibrium binding; equilibrium binding for complex mechanisms; and kinetics of simple and complex binding mechanisms.

VETMM 7040 CNS Synaptic Transmission
Fall. 2 credits. Enrollment limited to: graduate students, undergraduate seniors, or juniors majoring in neurobiology. Limited to 20 students. L. Nowak
   Survey course in vertebrate central nervous system physiology and pharmacology that focuses on mechanisms of neurotransmitter action at the membrane and cellular levels. Roles of selected neurotransmitters in normal brain and neurological disorders are discussed. Topics are introduced in lectures and followed up by discussions of recent journal articles. Midterm and final exams are take-home.

VETMM 7070 Protein NMR Spectroscopy (also BIOMG 7300)
Spring,even-numbered years. 2 credits. Prerequisites: CHEM 3890 and 3900, or CHEM 2870 and 2880, or permission of the instructors. Letter grade or S-U option. R.E. Oswald and L.K. Nicholson
    The student acquires the tools necessary for in-depth understanding of multidimensional, multinuclear NMR experiments. Schemes for magnetization transfer, selective excitation, water suppression, decoupling, and others are presented. The application of these techniques to proteins for resonance assignment, structure determination, and characterization of dynamics is discussed.

VETMM 4140 Principles of Pharmacology (also BIOAP 4140, BIONB 4140, BIOMS 4140)Spring.  3 credits.  G.A. Weiland, M. Linder, C. Fewtrell                    This course covers system- and organ-related aspects of pharmacology.  Although this is an undergraduate level course, it is also recommended for graduate students interested in these aspects of pharmacology.  Specific topics covered include mechanisms of drug action; drug disposition; pharmacokinetics; autonomic pharmacology; pharmacology of inflammation, allergy and platelet function; and endocrine, cardiovascular, respiratory, gastrointestinal, and renal pharmacology.

VETMM 4700 Biophysical Methods (also AEP 4700, BIONB 4700, BME 5700)
 Fall. 3 credits. Letter grades only. M. Lindau
Prerequisite: basic knowledge of physics and mathematics. Recommended prerequisite: some knowledge of physical chemistry, molecular and cell biology, or neurobiology. Permission of instructor required.
   This course is an overview of the diversity of modern biophysical experimental techniques used in the study of biological systems at the cellular and molecular level. Topics covered include methods that examine both structure and function of biological systems: light microscopy, fluorescence microscopy, Fourier optics and image processing, confocal and multiphoton microscopy, phase contrast, electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction and protein structure determination, multidimensional NMR, spectroscopy, calcium measurements, resonance energy transfer, membrane biophysics, electrophysiology, ion channels, action potentials, ligand-gated channels, fluctuation analysis, patch-clamp, molecular biology of ion channels, rapid kinetics, caged compounds, transmitter release, capacitance measurements, amperometry, optical traps and molecular force measurements. The course is intended for students in the engineering, physics, chemistry and biological disciplines who seek an introduction to modern biophysical experimental methods. Due to the interdisciplinary nature of the course, students have diverse backgrounds. Therefore, basic knowledge of and interest in physics and mathematics is expected but strong attempts are made to give an intuitive understanding of the mathematics and physics involved. Some knowledge of physical chemistry, molecular and cell biology, or neurobiology is helpful. Depending on individual backgrounds all students find certain aspects of the course easy and other aspects demanding.


VETMM 7300 Graduate Research in Pharmacology or Molecular Medicine
Fall, spring and summer. 1-12 credits. S-U grades only. Field of Pharmacology faculty
This course cannot be used to fulfill the formal course requirements for the Field of Pharmacology.
   This course is offered by individual faculty members in the Department of Molecular Medicine and the Graduate Field of Pharmacology for graduate students undertaking research towards M.S. or Ph.D. degrees.

VETMM 7400 Special Projects and Research in Pharmacology
Fall, spring and summer. 1-3 credits each topic. By arrangement with the instructor. Letter grade or S-U option. Field of Pharmacology Faculty
This course cannot be used to fulfill the formal course requirements for the Field of Pharmacology.
    This course enables students to undertake research in an area related to the research interests of a faculty member in the Graduate Field of Pharmacology. Topics include, but are not limited to: Mechanisms of Growth-Factor Action - R.A. Cerione; Mechanisms of Neurotransmitter Release - M. Lindau; Central Nervous System Neurotransmitters - L.M. Nowak.

Fall, spring, and summer. 1-3 credits each topic. By arrangement with the instructor. Letter grade or S-U option. Reading and discussion. Field of Pharmacology faculty

VETMM 7600 Directed Readings in Pharmacology
    Individual members of the Graduate Field of Pharmacology offer directed readings and discussions with individual students or groups.