Pharmacology 9003 and 9004

Course Summary

Our advanced course modules, PHARM 9003 (Molecular targets) and PHARM 9004 (Discovering drugs), focus on topics vital for drug discovery and development. PHARM 9003 concentrates on the molecular entities known to be important targets of clinically useful drugs as well as the process of target validation. PHARM 9004 explores the technologies critical for the discovery of current and future drugs. It is highly recommended that the courses be taken in sequence for maximum conceptual benefit. We will draw on the scientific expertise of UVA Pharmacology Faculty and expert guest speakers to understand how drug targets are identified, validated and “drugged.” Both modules are required for Pharmacology Ph.D. students. Prerequisites: While there are no official prerequisites for these advanced graduate courses, prospective students are expected to have an understanding and appreciation of human physiology, cell biology and signaling, and biochemistry. Students whose knowledge is deficient in these areas will be expected to perform outside reading(s) in consultation with the course director in order to become conversant with the discussed subject matter.

Course Directors

Elizabeth Sharlow and John Lazo

PHAR 9003 – Molecular Targets  (2 credits)

This advanced course explores in depth the classes of molecular entities that are popular for existing and new medicines and the strategies used to validate these targets for drug design and development. We discuss the catastrophic impact of diseases on human life, the evolution of drug discovery through time, and the vast chemical universe that may be exploited to cure, manage and prevent diseases. Included are fascinating case studies focusing on how specific drugs were “born” and how they facilitated new understandings about biology and disease. Lectures will be balanced with discussions of original research journal articles (i.e., case studies). Students will participate in the grant writing and review process by assembling an application focusing on how to validate a molecular target for drug discovery.   Class size limited to 15 students.  PHAR 9003 syllabus

PHAR 9004 – Discovering Drugs (2 credits)

This advanced course delves into the current and future technologies useful for uncovering the drugs of today and which are driving drug discovery into the future. Topics will include “dirty drugs” (or polypharmacology), pharmacogenomics, drug repurposing, theranostics, famous drug failures and drug resurrections, and advanced drug delivery systems. Lectures will be balanced with discussions of original research journal articles (i.e., case studies) that highlight seminal technological breakthroughs and their applications in drug discovery and development. Invited expert guest lecturers will augment the learning experience.   Students will participate in the grant writing and review process by assembling an application focusing on how to drug their favorite molecule target.   Class size limited to 15 students. PHAR 9004 syllabus

Postdoctoral trainees are invited to register  through the Community Scholars Program in the School of Continuing Education and Professional Studies (SCPS).  Go to the New Student Registration page and scroll down to “New Community Scholars – Step 3 Register.”  Print the Community Scholar Class Registration Form.  The Instructor’s signature of approval must also be obtained in order to enroll; to obtain the instructor’s signature please contact Dr. Sharlow. Benefits eligible Professional Research Staff may use their Education Benefit to be reimbursed for the cost of tuition.