Pharmacology is the science of drugs including their origin, composition, pharmacokinetics, therapeutic use and toxicity (Merriam-Webster Learner’s Dictionary). The functioning of the (diseased) human body can be affected by (medicinal) drugs, which act through a variety of molecular mechanisms. In this course, the basic principles of pharmacology will be discussed, followed by studies of different aspects of drugs and the human body to illustrate these pharmacological principles which are used for rational drug development and physiological use. The importance of neuronal, hormonal, immunological (whole body) and biochemical (whole cell) regulation for proper physiological and cellular function, and dysregulation during pathological processes are emphasized. Identification of potential drug targets and the interaction of drugs with macromolecules (enzymes, cell surface receptors, and signaling molecules) as the main pharmacological principles are central in this course. Quantitative pharmacological, pharmacokinetic and statistical methods are used. At the end of the course students will be able to explain effectively existing drug therapies in a rational way in terms of molecular targets, cellular actions and physiological consequences of pharmacological treatment. They will be able to suggest targets for drug development on the basis of pathophysiological insights and to apply pharmacological models when describing concentration-response, time-concentration, and time-response relationships of drugs.
- Teacher: Frans Overveld van