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Academic year 2024/2025

Course ID
Roberto Canaparo
Degree course
Cellular and Molecular Biology
1st year
Teaching period
To be defined
Course disciplinary sector (SSD)
BIO/14 - pharmacology
Formal authority
Type of examination
Written followed by interview
Basic knowledge of Anatomy, chemistry, Biochemistry, Cellular and Molecular Biology, Physiology and Pathology

Sommario del corso


Course objectives

This teaching contributes to the learning objectives included in the Fundamental Area of the Master in Cellular and Molecular Biology - Biologia Cellulare e Molecolare, providing:

  • basic and advanced knowledge of the fundamentals of drug action at the molecular level, through which students will be able to link the action of selected groups of clinically important drugs with the responses of the human body
  • drug knowledge not only as a therapeutic tool but also as a research tool, so students will be able to understand preclinical and clinical research strategies for drug development
  • scientific thinking through the development of students' critical analysis skills, so students will be able to understand experimental approaches and data of scientific literature improving their knowledge as well as their research skills 

Results of learning outcomes

  • Understanding of drug principles and molecular targets of selected groups of clinically important drugs
  • Practical experience of pharmacokinetic/ pharmacodynamic studies
  • Research skills to characterize drug action
  • Pre-clinical and clinical strategies for drug discovery and development


Part I - General Pharmacology 

  • Introduction to Molecular Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery and Development
  • Drug Disposition
  • Pharmacokinetics
  • Individualization of Drug Therapy
  • Pharmacodynamics

Part II - Molecular Pharmacology 

  • Drugs Acting on G-Protein-Coupled Receptors
  • Drugs Acting on Ion Channels
  • Drugs Acting on Membrane Transporters
  • Drugs Acting on Protein Pumps
  • Drugs Acting on Enzymes
  • Drugs Acting on Nucleic Acids
  • Drugs Acting on Enzyme-Linked Receptors
  • Drugs Acting on Nuclear Receptors
  • Drugs Acting on Immune System
  • Biotechnological drugs
  • Lectures delivered by Guest Professors on specific topics

Course delivery

The course will consist in 48 teaching hours delivered in presence, subject to updates on the measures adopted by UniTo which can be found on the University portal under "Provisions for those who study and work at UniTo" (see Moreover, supporting material consisting of scientific articles and videos will be also delivered for helping the Student comprehension of each topic. Finally, a General and Molecular Pharmacology Forum will be open to post questions and/or doubts about the topics covered during the General and Molecular Pharmacology Course to increase the interaction between Students and Professor and among Students.


Learning assessment methods

The General and Molecular Pharmacology examination will consist of a written test and an oral examination.

The written test will consist of 60 multiple-choice questions based on the entire General and Molecular Pharmacology course, including supplementary material. Each question will have four possible answers, with only one correct. There will be a penalty of 0.125 points for each wrong answer, and no penalty for unanswered questions. The test will take place in a 40-minute Moodle session, with the navigation method set to sequential. Only students scoring 18 out of 30 points in the written test will be admitted to the oral examination. The oral examination will generally be held on the same day as the written test and will be mainly based on two questions. To pass the oral examination, the student must answer both questions.

Please note that the written examination will be conducted exclusively on the PCs provided by the Department of Life Sciences and Systems Biology and not on personal devices. Therefore, it is essential to remember the correct username and password to access Moodle. If a student is unable to access Moodle via the PC provided by the Department of Life Sciences and Systems Biology, he/she will not be able to take the written test and thus the General and Molecular Pharmacology exam.

The final score will be an average bewteen the scores from the written test and oral examination.

Exams will take place exclusively in presence, subject to updates on the measures adopted by UniTo which can be found on the University portal under "Provisions for those who study and work at UniTo" (see 

Academic conduct: The penalty for course-related dishonesty (ei. cheating on exams, plagiarism, etc) will be a failure for the entire course.


Suggested readings and bibliography


Teaching Materials:

  • "Molecular Pharmacolgy Course" on the Moodle platform

Reference Books:

  • Goodman & Gilman's "The pharmacological basis of therapeutics" Mc Graw Hill Ed.
  • Katzung "Basic & Clinical Pharmacology" Mc Graw Hill Ed.
  • Rang & Dale "Pharmacology" Elsevier Ed.
  • Clementi & Fumagalli "General and Molecular Pharmacology" Wiley Ed.

Websites of Interest:


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    Last update: 07/07/2024 16:54
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