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MSc Molecular Pharmaceutics - modules

  • Knowledge-Based Drug Design [20 credits] - This module aims to provide knowledge, understanding and practical experience of the application of molecular modelling and computational chemistry to drug design. Key areas include small molecule modelling, protein structure, homology modelling, molecular dynamics, protein-ligand docking and virtual Screening. The teaching is focuses on practical sessions and will involve considerable periods of computer-based work.
  • Drug Discovery [20 credits] -The aim of the module is to provide an overview of the drug discovery process from target to market. This module includes an overview of the pharmaceutical industry, an introduction to receptors and drug action, biological evaluation of new compounds, drugs from nature, medicinal natural products - a biosynthetic approach; lead discovery and lead optimization, combinatorial chemistry and high throughput synthesis, drug chirality and its pharmacological consequences, prodrugs, absorption, distribution, metabolism, elimination and clearance, the role of toxicology in drug development, drug design and physicochemical properties, drug development, clinical trials, future trends and case studies in drug design and drug discovery.
  • Pharmacokinetics [20 credits] - The aim of the module is to provide students with the principles of pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics. These concepts describe and govern dosing regimen design and the time course of drug response within the body.  The student will develop an ability to collect, manipulate, interpret and discuss experimental data of relevance to drug absorption, distribution, metabolism and elimination from the body. By the use of various data analysis platforms applied to pharmacokinetics-pharmacodynamics (PKPD), including GASTROPLUS, WINNONLIN, NONMEM and MATLAB, the students will pursue mathematical frameworks for integrating in vitro information with the knowledge of human body to predict pharmacokinetics.
  • Chemotherapy & Selective Toxicity - This module aims to provide insight and understanding into the mechanisms of antibiotics used to control infectious diseases and of agents used in the treatment and control of cancer. Through the anti-infective component of the module you will gain an understanding of the molecular targets and action of therapeutic agents, resistance and how this might be countered. The focus on cancer will provide you with an enhanced understanding of the molecular biology of the cancer cell and the basis for conventional and novel therapies.
  • Bioinformatics [10 credits] – This module is designed to provide familiarity with resources and techniques in bioinformatics. The lectures, practicals, and assignments will develop competence in using public databases of the NCBI and in the execution and interpretation of sequence alignments.  Applications for bioinformatics and typical uses in molecular biology papers will also be discussed.  Basic principles of eukaryotic molecular biology will be reviewed as needed to facilitate a working knowledge of sequence interpretation.
  • Research Methods: Professional Development & Communication skills [20 credits] - The professional skills taught in this module will equip students with general and transferable talents with broad application both within and outside of academia. Students will also become aware of professional issues regarding research funding and exploitation and the importance of ethical codes for guiding best practice in research.
  • Research Proposal [10 credits] – This is the in-depth literature search into the background to your research project. It is assessed in the form of a research proposal.
  • Research Project - The research project involves experiential learning with the completion of a comprehensive literature review appropriate to the project. The latter involves the preparation of a detailed project plan including resourcing and costing of materials and an appreciation of experimental design. The research project includes practical work, data production, processing and analysis and culminates with the preparation of a detailed final project report (mini-thesis) and the presentation of a poster to illustrate the main findings from the project to an audience of fellow students and staff.

Employable Graduates; Exploitable Research