Drug Treatment of Disease

Subject PHRM30003 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 25-Jul-2016 to 23-Oct-2016
Assessment Period End 18-Nov-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 05-Aug-2016
Census Date 31-Aug-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 23-Sep-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 3 x one hour lectures per week. Workshops will be held in lecture slots (total contact hours: 36)
Total Time Commitment:

170 hours


BSc students:

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:

BBiomed students:

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:

Students wishing to undertake this subject as breadth will need the approval of the subject co-ordinator.



Recommended Background Knowledge:


Non Allowed Subjects:

This subject cannot be taken if credit has been previously obtained for 534-304 Pharmacology of Therapeutic Substances.

Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/disability


Assoc Prof Christine Wright


Subject Coordinators

Assoc Prof Christine Wright:

Dr Graham Mackay

Administrative Coordinator


Subject Overview:

Cancer, disorders of the immune system, cardiovascular diseases and acute and chronic lung disorders are the most common types of afflictions affecting people worldwide. This subject will examine the medicines that have been developed, or are currently being researched, to treat these diverse conditions.

This subject will present the scientific basis of present and likely future treatments of cancer, allergy, acute and chronic inflammation, infection, autoimmunity and transplant rejection, as well as of hypertension, heart failure, cardiovascular atheromatous disease and metabolic syndrome.

You will examine current knowledge of the pathogenesis of these disorders and the mechanisms of action of the major classes of drugs used to treat immune disorders, cancer, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases will be considered in the context of these systems and processes. The importance of biotechnology to these therapeutic areas will also be considered.

Learning Outcomes:
  • On successful completion of this unit, students will have developed a solid understanding of the pharmacology of drugs used to treat immunological, oncological, cardiovascular and respiratory disorders.
  • Students will also gain an appreciation of how a detailed understanding of pathological processes is important for the rational development of new therapeutic drugs.
  • Continuing assessment (20%)
  • Workshop participation (10%)
  • A 2 hour written examination in the examination period (70%)

Prescribed Texts:
  • Pharmacology, Rang et al., Churchill Livingstone, 6th edition, 2007.
  • Principles of Pharmacology, Golan et al., Lippincott, Wilkins & Williams, 2nd edition, 2007.
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:

By the end of this unit students will:

  • Have an understanding of the scientific basis of the action of drugs.
  • Be adept at learning in a range of ways.
  • Be able to examine critically, synthesise and evaluate knowledge pertaining to drugs.
  • Be able to integrate key pharmacological and immunological principles.
  • Participate in collaborative learning.
  • Have a broad understanding of the process of drug development and utilisation, with a high regard for ethics and safety.

This subject is available to students enrolled in the BSc, Biomedicine degree.

Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Biomedical Biotechnology (specialisation of Biotechnology major)
Science-credited subjects - new generation B-SCI and B-ENG.
Selective subjects for B-BMED

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