Subject 534-305 (2009)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2009. Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2009:

Semester 2, - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 12 lectures (two per week for six weeks) and 36 hours of practical work (one 6-hour session per week for six weeks). First half of Semester 2
Total Time Commitment: 120 hours
Prerequisites: 534-301 Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology; exemption may be given at the discretion of the head of the department.
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements: It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study and reasonable steps will be made to enhance a student’s participation in the University’s programs.
This subject requires all students to actively and safely participate in laboratory activities. Students who feel their disability may impact upon their participation are encouraged to discuss this with the subject coordinator and the Disability Liaison Unit.


Prof Gary Anderson
Subject Overview:

The teaching program will introduce students to the mechanisms by which drugs, chemicals and toxins cause cellular toxicity and how cellular toxicity can lead to effects on specific target organs. The lectures will cover the following topics: general mechanisms of toxicity; principles of toxicity testing; clinical testing of drugs; epidemiological studies; apoptosis and necrosis; free-radicals and cell damage; organ-specific toxicity (including cardiovascular system, lung, liver, kidney, nervous system and reproductive system); and the in-vitro and in-vivo toxic effects of commonly used and encountered drugs, chemicals and toxins. In the practical sessions, students will develop skills in a range of techniques used to examine the toxicity of drugs, chemicals and toxins, including in-vitro assays, in-vivo investigations and computer-based modelling. Throughout the teaching program, the importance of rational and critical scientific analysis of toxicological issues will be stressed.

Objectives: By the end of this subject a student will have:

  • knowledge of the actions of important drugs used clinically and in research;
  • understood how the mechanisms of toxicity of new drugs are characterised;
  • an appreciation of the ways in which environmental contaminants can act as toxins;
  • an understanding of the role of epidemiology in identification of toxicological risk;
  • applied laboratory techniques and analytical approaches in different areas of toxicology including the analysis and interpretation of data derived from experiments;
  • gained experience in the written and oral presentation of scientific data and developed an appreciation of the scientific literature.

Ongoing assessment of practical work during the semester (25%); a 2-hour written examination in the examination period covering material presented in lectures and practicals (75%).

Prescribed Texts: None
Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

Upon completion of this subject students should develop skills in:

  • participating effectively in group work;

  • applying quantitative analysis to data; and

  • making use of information technology resources in data presentation.


Students enrolled in the BSc (pre-2008 BSc), BASc or a combined BSc course will receive science credit for the completion of this subject.

Experiments involving animals are an essential part of this subject; exemption is not possible.

Related Course(s): Bachelor of Biomedical Science
Graduate Diploma in Biotechnology
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Pharmacology

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