Medical Sciences: Pharmacology & Toxicology

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Medical Sciences: Pharamcology and Toxicology
Science Course
Course CodeMDSC
Years of Operation1999-2009
Sites OfferedASU, BRI, BTH, CHS, MEX, SCZ
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Course Description

From the CTY Course Catalog (1999):

When are chemicals a drug and when are they a toxin? The line between healing and poisoning can be a very fine one, and this course covers the fundamentals of two medical disciplines which are intricately linked: pharmacology and toxicology. Students begin by learning the basic principles of pharmacology, including drug receptor interactions, structure activity relationships, and cellular control mechanisms. The course then turns its focus to applications of drugs and toxins for human use. Students research the testing and development history of aspirin, penicillin, and other common pharmaceuticals. They also evaluate the risks and benefits of the toxicity of new drugs and other chemicals and examine mechanisms by which chemical agents evoke toxicity.

As students explore the various protocols (from governmental regulatory processes to lab testing techniques) for balancing the safety and usefulness of active chemicals, they branch out to consider recent biomedical research affecting the fields of pharmacology and toxicology. These medical issues, some of them highly controversial, include recent attention to alternative medicine, the differences in functioning and testing of natural vs. synthetic medicines, and pharmacological applications of information gathered from the Human Genome Project.

Lab work includes studying principles of drug action; field trips may include trips to local hospitals and research facilities. Guest speakers from institutions and agencies dealing with epidemiological issues may be invited as well.