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MOLECULAR PHARMACOLOGY (not activated in 2021/22)




Academic year 2022/2023

Course ID
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, Biohemistry, 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:

  • core and advanced knowledge of the fundamental principles of drug action at the molecular level, through which students will be able to connect the action of selected groups of clinically important drugs with body's responses
  • 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

Course delivery

Due to the Covid-19 outbreak, the course will consist in 48 teaching hours embedded between lectures uploaded and delivered through the Moodle platform, as audio and slide files, and lectures delivered in attendance. The lectures delivered in attendance will be recorded, uploaded and delivered through the Moodle platform as well. Moreover, supporting material consisting of scientific articles and videos will be also delivered for helping the Student comprehension of each topic. Each lecture will be followed by homework consisting of multiple-choice questions to train the Student learning. Finally, a Molecular Pharmacology Forum will be open to post questions and/or doubts about the topics covered during the Molecular Pharmacology Course to increase the interaction between Students and Teacher and among Students.


Learning assessment methods

The exam will consist of a written test with 30 multiple choice questions (four answers with only one correct) on a Moodle session of 15 minutes, based on the lectures, selected papers and video-lectures, followed by an oral examination, both in attendance. Students must pass the written test with a minimum score of 18/30 to access the oral examination. However, if the sanitary emergency will not allow the exam in attendance, options at distance will take into consideration (Webex platform).



Part I - General Principles

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

Part II - Selected groups of clinically important drugs will be discussed with respect to the mechanism of action at the molecular level

  • 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
  • Lectures delivered by Guest Professors on specific topics

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:



Class schedule

Notes: See the timetable at the Class Schedule Page

Last update: 15/06/2022 11:42
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