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Pharmacology and 
Clinical Pharmacology o a aa 

Handbook ZUU)? 

Table of Contents 

Introduction 2 

About the Department 3 

Staff 4 

Areas of Research Interest 7 

Courses and Programmes 10 

Science 10 

Medicine 13 

Description of Course Content 14 

Lecture and Laboratory Timetable 18 

Possible Careers 19 

The Academic Year Inside back cover 


Although every reasonable effort is made to 
ensure accuracy, the information in this 
document is provided as a general guide only 
for students and is subject to alteration. 

All students enrolling at The University of 
Auckland must consult its official document, 
the 2009 Calendar of The University of 
Auckland, to ensure that they are aware of 
and comply with all regulations, requirements 
and policies. 

2009 Pharmacology and Clinical Pharmacology 

Pharmacology and Clinical 

2009 Pharmacology and Clinical Pharmacology | 1 


What is Pharmacology and Toxicology? 

Pharmacology involves the study and description of the actions of drugs and chemicals on cells, tissues 
and the whole body. It includes finding out how drugs produce beneficial and adverse effects, and 
improving the way drugs are tested to give greater benefit in the treatment of disease. The cellular and 
chemical abnormalities of disease states are studied in the expectation that molecules may be designed 
specifically to correct the abnormality. The study of pharmacology requires understanding normal body 
functions (biochemistry and physiology) and the disturbances that occur. 

Pharmacology is the basis of much of the research and development of new drugs. The future of 
pharmacology is assured, as there remain many diseases for which neither cure nor palliation have been 
devised - for example, Alzheimer's disease, AIDS, many forms of cancer. Even when a cure or treatment 
is available, few medicines are perfect and the search for better drugs continues. In addition, other 
scientists such as physiologists, biochemists and psychologists often find a knowledge of pharmacology 
useful as they use drugs to probe and define the biological systems they are studying. 

Toxicology is closely related to pharmacology but specialises in the study of the harmful effects of drugs 
and other chemicals on biological systems. A toxicologist is trained to examine the nature of these 
effects, including their cellular, biochemical and molecular mechanisms of action; and to assess the 
potential effects on human health and environmental significance of various types of chemical 
exposures. The variety of potential adverse effects and the diversity of chemicals in the environment 
make toxicology a very broad science. 

In brief, pharmacologists and toxicologists aim to develop a better understanding of drugs and 
chemicals and their actions on biological systems for the improvement of human and animal health. 

I 2009 Pharmacology and Clinical Pharmacology 

About the Department 

Physical Location 

2nd Floor, 

Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences 

The University of Auckland, Grafton Campus 

85 Park Road 



Postal Address 

Department of Pharmacology and Clinical 


The University of Auckland 

Private Bag 92119 

Auckland 1142 

New Zealand 

Phone: +64 9 373 7599 ext 86733 

Fax: +64 9 373 7090 

The Department of Pharmacology and Clinical 
Pharmacology was established in 1978 and is 
situated on the second floor of the Clinical 
Building (503) at The University of Auckland 
Medical and Health Sciences Campus. 

It is one of the 5 Departments in the School of 
Medical Sciences. It is involved in the teaching of 
pharmacology and toxicology to medical, 
pharmacy and science students, and has many 
active research programmes in diverse areas of 
biomedical research. Major instrumental facilities 
include core laboratories for molecular biology, 
microscopy and imaging, tissue culture, 
electrophysiology, contractility, radioactivity 
measurement, HPLCand immunoassay. HPLC 
equipment includes multiple dual pump systems, 
automatic injectors, multiwavelength detectors, 
direct radioactivity monitor and gradient 

Direct access is available to a Storm 
phosphoimager and a Confocal microscope. An 
ICP-mass spectrometer and an Ion Trap capillary 
LOmass spectrometer are also available as core 

The Department also houses the Discovery-1 
High-content screening platform which is a high 
throughput automated fluoresecence microscope 
and image analysis system for drug discovery 
and functional genomics. 

Sources of support from outside The University 
include the: 

• Health Research Council, 

• Cancer Society of New Zealand 

• NZ Neurological Foundation 

• National Heart Foundation 

• National Child Health Research Foundation 

• Lotteries Health Board 

• Auckland Medical Research Foundation 

• The Wellcome Trust 

• The Marsden Fund 


• The National Research Centre for Growth and 
Development (NRCGD) 

2009 Pharmacology and Clinical Pharmacology | 3 




Head of Department 

and Associate Professor 

James Paxton, 

PhD Glasgow 

Ext 86413, Room 3287 


Associate Professor in Clinical 


Mark McKeage, 

MBChB Otago MMedSci , PhD 

London FRACP 

Ext 87322, Room 3291 

Professor Michael Dragunow, 
PhD Otago 

Ext 86403, Room 3293 

Associate Professor in 
Michelle Glass, 
PhD Auckland 
Ext 86247, Room 3233 


Professor in Clinical 
I Pharmacology 

Peter Black, 


Ext 89797, Room 3245 

Associate Professor in 


Bronwen Connor, 

PhD Auckland 

Ext 83037, Room 3221 

Associate Professor in Clinical Senior Lecturer in Toxicology 

Pharmacology Malcolm Tingle, 

Nicholas Holford, f ^ „ J PhD Liverpool 

MSc MBChB Mane, MRCP(UK), I Ext 84949, Room 3295 

FRACP / WP?^^^ 
Ext 86730, Room 3229 

4 | 2009 Pharmacology and Clinical Pharmacology 

Senior Lecturer 

Debbie Young, 

PhD Auckland 

Ext 84491, Room 3337 

Senior Pharmacology Tutors 

Annarosa Petrucci 

MSc Industrial Pharmacy, Naples 

Ext 86037, Room 3297 

2009 Pharmacology and Clinical Pharmacology | 5 

Teaching Technicians 

Adina Giurgiu, 

MSc Romania 

Ext 85058, Room 2361 

Joint Honorary Appointments 

Professor Lynn Ferguson (Pathology) 
Prof Alan Merry (Anaesthesiology) 
Professor Murray Mitchell (Liggins Institute) 
Dr Guy Warman (Anaesthesiology) 
Professor Bill Wilson (Pathology) 
Dr David Woolner (Merck Sharpe & Dohme) 
Mr Trevor Speight (Medicines Information 

Gabriella Blidarean 

MSc Romania 

Ext 85058, Room 2361 

Research Fellows 

Hannah Gibbons, PhD Auckland 
Scott Graham, PhD Aberdeen 
Yan Li, PhD Otago 
Johnson Liu, PhD Guangzhou 
Shu Chin Ma, PhD Yale 
Christof Maucksch, PhD Munich 
Ailsa McGregor, PhD Glasgow 
Lion Wu, PhD Auckland 

Carrie Lin 

BSc (Hons) Auckland 
Ext 85058, Room 2361 

Research Technicians 

Miranda Aalderink, MSc Massey 

Claire Lill, MSc Massey 

Joelene Qiao, MSc Auckland 

Kerhan Woo, BTech (1st Class Hons) Auckland 

Administrative Staff 

Kavita Hussein 

PA to the Head of Department 
Ext 86733, Room 3289 

6 | 2009 Pharmacology and Clinical Pharmacology 

Areas of 



Anticancer Drugs 

(Drs McKeage, Paxton, Tingle, Wilson) 

Cancer is the most common cause of death 
between the ages of 30 to 60. Chemotherapy has 
emerged as a form of cancer treatment which, 
although it may have very disagreeable side 
effects, has dramatically improved survival for 
some cancers, particularly in children. More 
effective and less toxic drugs are required. New 
drugs have been developed locally in the Auckland 
Cancer Society Research Centre and collaborative 
research is under way into their fate (i.e. 
absorption, distribution, metabolism and 
elimination) in various animal models and in 
human subjects; the construction of concentration- 
effect models; tumour-targeted drug delivery and 
action; mechanisms of toxicity, and the 
extrapolation of these results to patients for more 
effective therapy and less adverse drug reactions. 

Cancer Clinical Pharmacology 

(Drs McKeage & Liu) 

We are a research group of eight staff and 
students working on translational and clinical 
projects concerned with the clinical 
pharmacology and development of anticancer 
drugs. Our group mission is to reduce suffering 
and mortality from cancer by generating 
pharmacological knowledge about new and 
existing anticancer drugs for ultimate use in their 
clinical applications. 

Current research projects are exploring novel 
DMXAA-based drug combinations, 
chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy 
and novel anticancer drugs in phase I trials. 

Neural Repair & Neurogenesis 

(Dr Connor) 

The laboratory of Neural Repair & Neurogenesis 
focuses predominantly on developing new 
medicines and therapeutic strategies to treat 
disorders of the brain that involve nerve cell 
death such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's 
disease, Huntington's disease, head injury, 
epilepsy and stroke. Research is being undertaken 
to develop novel treatment strategies to prevent 
cell death, replace lost nerve cells and reduce 
clinical symptoms of neurodegenerative disease 
and brain injury using techniques such as gene 
delivery and stem cell therapy. 

Clinical Trial Simulation 

(Dr Holford) 

A rational approach to the clinical phases of drug 
development is based on the application of 
pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic 
principles. The use of mathematical models to 
describe and explain human responses to new 
drugs is being explored using mixed effect 
nonlinear regression and clinical trial simulation. 
Current work is exploring methods for the optimal 
design of clinical trials. 

2009 Pharmacology and Clinical Pharmacology 

Disease Progress And Drug Action 

(Dr Holford) 

Respiratory Pharmacology 

(Dr Black) 

Clinical pharmacology expresses the combined 
knowledge of disease and how drugs affect it. 
Attention is turning towards understanding how 
drugs affect the long-term progression of disease. 
Dr Holford is engaged in studies of Parkinson's 
Disease and Alzheimer's Disease, osteoporosis 
and depression which describe both the effects of 
drugs and the natural progression of the disease 
over time. 

Bioavailability, metabolism and 
transport of Phytochemicals 

(Drs Paxton, Reid & Tingle) 

It is now accepted that a high intake of 
phytochemicals from a diet rich in fruit and 
vegetables results in a reduced risk of cancer, 
cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis and other 
age-related degenerative illnesses. Most research 
on these dietary "phyto-pharmaceuticals" has 
focussed on their mechanisms of action, but to be 
effective, these bioactive food ingredients must 
cross the gut epithelium, gain access to the 
bloodstream, and reach their target site of action 
in the hepatocytes, or tumour cells, or other 
organs in the body. A better understanding of 
these interactions with the uptake and efflux 
systems and drug metabolizing enzymes in the 
body will allow strategies to improve the 
beneficial effects of these bioactive food 
ingredients to prevent cancer and ageing 
diseases by diet supplementation tailored to the 
individual. In addition, these studies will allow the 
identification of possible detrimental drug- 
phytochemical interactions. It is also highly likely 
that these studies will lead to the identification of 
diet-derived compounds for development as a 
clinical agent to reverse multidrug resistance, one 
of the major factors responsible for the failure of 
cancer chemotherapy. 

The pathogenesis and treatment of asthma and 
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is 
being investigated. Airway remodelling is being 
studied with a particular interest in factors 
influencing the growth of cultured lung 
fibroblasts. Clinical studies have focused on novel 
treatments for asthma and for treating COPD. 


(Dr Tingle) 

The toxicity of many foreign compounds involves 
metabolism to a reactive intermediate that can 
interact with a critical macromolecule and induce 
direct toxicity (cell death), genotoxicity or 
hypersensitivity reactions. 

Research is focussed on: 

1. Interspecies and inter-individual differences in 
the expression and activity of xenobiotic 
metabolizing enzymes and their effect on the 
toxicity of drugs and environmental toxicants; 

2. The effect of drugs on the metabolism and 
disposition of endogenous factors that results 
in adverse drug reactions; 

3. The ability of compounds present in foodstuff 
to alter the balance between detoxication, 
bioactivation (toxication) and bioinactivation 
(detoxification) of xenobiotics. 

Signal Transduction and High 
Content Analysis Research 

(Prof Dragunow) 

This group uses cell line models of the nervous 
system to dissect out the signal transduction 
cascades regulating processes such as neuronal 
differentiation, nerve cell death, survival, axon 
growth, astrocyte migration, and microglial 
activation. These cell lines (alone and in 
co-culture) are also used to make in vitro models 

I 2009 Pharmacology and Clinical Pharmacology 

of neurodegenerative disorders and as cell-based 
screens for bioactive & biotoxic substances. This 
group is also involved in molecular and cellular 
studies of the diseased and normal human brain, 
and in the development of high-content and 
High-throughput screening technologies for 
cell-based assays using automated fluorescence 
microscopy, morphometry and image analysis. 

Receptor Signalling Lab 

(Dr Michelle Glass) 

The Laboratory of Receptor Signalling focuses 
predominantly on the signalling interactions of 
G-protein coupled receptors, and their potential 
role in neurodegenerative disease. We have a 
particular interest in cannabinoid CB1 receptors, 
their signalling interactions with other G PCRs 
and their contribution to neuroprotection or 
neurodegeneration in diseases such as 
Huntington's disease. Our work focuses on using 
cell models to understand receptor signalling and 
cross talk, as well as utilizing cells to model 
disease processes such as those that occur in 
Huntington's disease. We correlate information 

gained in this way with the pathology seen in 
animal models of disease, as well as in the 
human brain, through collaborations with the 
Neurological Foundation Human Brain bank, 
and other researchers. 

New Therapies for Brain Diseases 

(Dr Young) 

This group is interested in understanding 
disease mechanisms and developing novel 
therapeutic strategies for neurodegenerative 
disorders such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and 
Huntington's disease, stroke and epilepsy. Key 
research areas in the lab include gene therapy 
and vaccine/antibody-based therapeutic 
approaches, understanding how environment 
affects brain structure and function, developing 
neurodegenerative disease models and 
optimising viral vector-mediated gene transfer 
technology. The research covers the full 
spectrum from molecular biology through to 
animal behaviour, with the aim being to 
advance promising approaches to human 
clinical trials 

2009 Pharmacology and Clinical Pharmacology | 9 

Course and Programmes 


The prerequisites for pharmacology stage III level courses are: 
MEDSCI 204, and MEDSCI 205 or MEDSCI 206 or BIOSCI 203 
BSc (Majoring in Pharmacology) 

A BSc requires at least 360 points with 300 chosen from a minimum of 3 subjects listed in the BSc 
schedule. At least 180 points must be above stage I. At least 75 points must be obtained from stage III 
courses. For a single or first major in pharmacology, you must obtain at least 60 points from courses 
MEDSCI 303 - MEDSCI 307. A second major must include 45 points from MEDSCI 303-307. 

In addition, a student must pass 30 points from courses offered in the General Education Schedule 
approved for this degree. 

Up to 30 points may be taken from courses available for other programmes offered at this University. 

A typical course of study to obtain a BSc majoring in Pharmacology might be as follows: 
(Note that 120 points per year is the normal load for full time study). 

Stage I 

2 MEDSCI 142 
1 BIOSCI 101 
1 BIOSCI 106 
2 BIOSCI 107 
'CHEM 110 
CHEM 120 
STATS 107 

General Education Courses 

Biology for Biomedical Science: Organ Systems 
Essential Biology: From Genomes to Organisms 
Foundations of Biochemistry 

Biology for Biomedical Science: Cellular Processes & Development 

Chemistry of the Living World 

Chemistry of the Material World or 

Statistics for Science and Technology or 

Mastering Cyberspace or 

Physics for the Life Sciences or 

Prerequisites for BIOSCI 203 
Prerequisites for MEDSCI 205 and 206 

| 2009 Pharmacology and Clinical Pharmacology 

Stage II 







Introduction to Pharmacology and 


D. Young 



Additional Stage II courses might include: 

* MEDSCI 205 

The Physiology of Human Organ Systems 

* MEDSCI 206 

Introduction to Neuroscience 


Mechanisms of Disease or 

CHEM 240 

Measurement Analysis in Chemistry and Health Sciences or 


Cellular and Molecular Biology or 


Genetics or 

* BIOSCI 203 

Biochemistry or 


Microbiology and Immunology 

General Education Course 

* Core courses - you must pass at least one of these core courses to enter the Stage 3 pharmacology 

Stage I 







Principles of Pharmacology 


J. Paxton 

MEDSCI 204 and 
one of the following: 
MEDSCI 205 or 
MEDSCI 206 or 
BIOSCI 203 and a 
GPA > 5. 

Students with GPA< 
5 will be waitlisted. 


Molecular Pharmacology 


M. Glass 


Systematic Pharmacology 


B. Connor 


Principles of Toxicology 


M. Tingle 


Neuroscience: Neuropharmacology 


M. Dragunow 

Additional Stage III courses might include: 

BIOSCI 356 Developmental Biology and Cancer or 

BIOSCI 350 Protein Structure and Function or 

BIOSCI 351 Molecular Genetics or 

BIOSCI 353 Molecular and Cellular Regulations or 

MEDSCI 308 - MEDSCI 311 any of the Physiology papers or 

MEDSCI 301 Molecular Basis of Disease 

2009 Pharmacology and Clinical Pharmacology 

advance to either the one year BSc (Hons) or one year PGDipSci or PGDipHSci. The prerequisites are at 
least 60 points in stage III pharmacology with a minimum average grade of B+ for BSc (Hons) and B for 
PGDip. BSc (Hons) students undertake courses (75 points) and a dissertation (45 points). The courses are 
usually chosen from the 700 level courses listed below. BSc (Hons) is a fast track to PhD. Students with 
an average grade B in the PGDipSci or PGDipHSci may proceed to a one year MSc or MHSci by research 
thesis only (120 points). Students with good marks in either the BSc (Hons) or MSc programme are able 
to proceed to a further three years research for a PhD. 

BSc (Hons) 








A degree with at least 60 points in pharmacology from 

BSc (Hons) Dissertation PHARMCOL 788 (45 points) plus 75 points 
from MEDSCI 701/702, MEDSCI 715 - 723. 

PGDipSci (in Pharmacology) with an average grade B, or BSc (Hons) 
MSc Thesis PHARMCOL 796 (120 points). 

A BSc including at least 45 points from MEDSCI 303 - 307. 

120 points at 700 level with at least 60 points 
from MEDSCI 701 or 702, MEDSCI 715 - 723. 

12 | 2009 Pharmacology and Clinical Pharmacology 

Stage IV 

(Enrolment to all 700 level courses requires permission of the HOD). 

Not all 700 level courses will be taught every year and you must check their availability with the 





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Special Studies in Medical Science (1&2) 

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Molecular Toxicology 

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M. Tingle 

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Drug Disposition and Kinetics 

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J. Pcixton 

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Advanced Neuroscience: Neuropharmacology 

1 ^ 
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B. Connor/M. Glass 


Pharmacology of Anaesthetics/Analgesics 


A. Merry/G. Warman 




N. Holford 


Biomedical Research Techniques 


D. Young 


Advanced Toxicology 


M. Tingle 


Clinical Pharmacology 


N. Holford 


Cancer Pharmacology 


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1 V 1 _ 1 V 1 U l\CU C 


BSc(Hons) Dissertation 



MSc Thesis 



Clinical pharmacology is taught in the following courses: 

Bachelor of Medicine & Bachelor of Surgery 





MBChB 209B DH 

Principles of Medicine 


C. Print/P. Black 

MBChB 256 SH 

The Genitourinary System 


S. Ali/N. Holford 

MBChB302 FH 

Medical Neuroscience 


R. Faull/J. Lipski/M. 

MBChB 355 SH 

Regulation of Body Function 


B. Smaill/P. Black 

MBChB 401 DH 

MBChB Part 1 


P. Black 

MBChB 501 DH 

MBChB Part 2 


P. Black 

FH = first semester Medicine & Health Science Campus 
SH = second semester Medicine & Health Science Campus 
DH = double semester Medicine & Health Science Campus 

2009 Pharmacology and Clinical Pharmacology | 13 

Description of 
Course Content 

MBChB 209 Principles of Medicine 

Topics covered include: the concepts of receptor 
function in relation to the action of drugs, how 
drugs modify the action of neurotransmitters and 
hormones; the principles of drug disposition and 
the time course of drug action; introduction to 

MBChB 302 Medical Neuroscience 

A co-ordinated, multidisciplinary approach to the 
central and peripheral nervous systems and gives 
a firm scientific understanding of the structure 
and function of the nervous system and the 
clinically important aspects of the nervous 

MBChB 355 Regulation of Body Function 

Integrated physiology of human organ systems 
and associated aspects of pharmacology. Topics 
covered include the regulation of electrolytes and 
extracellular fluid volume, control of 
cardiovascular function, control of respiration and 
regulation of body temperature. 

MEDSCI 204 Introduction to Pharmacology 
and Toxicology 

(Second semester, three lectures and one 
computer-based laboratory per week) 

A principles-based introduction to pharmacology 
and toxicology. Topics covered include drug 
targets and action, ADME and pharmacokinetics, 
drugs of the autonomic system, toxicity and 
adverse drug reactions, selective toxicity of 
chemotherapy; integrated clinical pharmacology; 
drug discovery and development. 


Project 20% 

Mid-semester test 10% 

Laboratory exam 20% 

Final exam 50% 

MEDSCI 303 Principles of Pharmacology 

(First semester, two lectures and one laboratory 
per week) 

This is a basic course on the principles of 
pharmacology. The topics include; passage of 
drugs across membranes; drug absorption, 
distribution, metabolism and excretion; 
pharmacokinetics; novel drug delivery systems; 
mechanisms of drug action; pharmacogenetics; 
drug analysis; drug development and evaluation; 
drugs in selected populations. 


Practical reports 25% 

Laboratory test 15% 

Mid-semester test 10% 

Final exam 50% 

14 | 2009 Pharmacology and Clinical Pharmacology 

MEDSCI 304 Molecular Pharmacology 

MEDSCI 306 Principles of Toxicology 

(First semester, two lectures and one laboratory 
per week) 

This course explores the cellular and molecular 
mechanisms of drugs acting at receptors, ion 
channels, enzymes and intermediate messengers. 
These basic concepts are developed further in a 
detailed examination of the molecular basis of 
drug addiction and mechanisms of action of 
common recreational drugs and anaesthetics. 
Finally, the course investigates novel drug targets 
presented by the cell cycle and apoptotic 



Practical reports 12.5% 

Laboratory test 12.5% 

Project 15% 

Mid-semester test 10% 

Final exam 50% 

MEDSCI 305 Systematic Pharmacology 

(Second semester, two lectures and one 
laboratory per week) 

This course considers the modification by drugs of 
human systems under physiological and 
pathological conditions. Consideration will be 
given to the cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, 
reproductive, respiratory and the central nervous 
systems. The cellular and molecular mechanisms 
of action of the drugs are considered. 


Laboratory practical test 12.5% 

Practical reports 12.5% 

Laboratory project 15% 

Mid-semester test 10% 

Final exam 50% 

(Second semester, two lectures and one 
laboratory per week) 

This course introduces the principles and 
concepts involved in toxicology. The lectures cover 
the general mechanisms involved in the toxicity of 
foreign compounds, 

including the formation and detoxification of 
chemically reactive metabolites and their 
interactions with macromolecular targets. The 
course describes the secondary and tertiary 
consequences of these interactions, such as direct 
toxicity, genotoxicity and hypersensitivity 
reactions, plus the basis of organ-selective 
toxicity. The course covers the toxicity of 
compounds such as drugs, food additives and 
contaminants, plant and animal toxins as well as 
environmental toxicants. 


Mid-semester test 10% 

Project presentation 15% 

Practical reports 25% 

Final exam 50% 


Neuroscience: Neuropharmacology 

(First Semester, two lectures and one laboratory 
per week) 

This course introduces the principles and 
concepts involved in neuropharmacology. 
It covers the anatomy, neurochemistry and 
pharmacology of the normal and diseased 
human brain; the biochemical causes of 
psychiatric and neurological diseases; and the 
types and mechanisms of action of drugs used to 
treat human brain disorders. 


Mid-semester test 15% 

Practical exam 15% 

Practical reports 10% 

Final exam 60% 

2009 Pharmacology and Clinical Pharmacology | 15 

MEDSCI 701/702 

Special Studies in Medical Science (1 & 2) 

Special topics in pharmacology may be arranged 
with the permission of the HOD after 
consultation with supervisor. 


Course work 100% 

MEDSCI 715 Molecular Toxicology 

This course involves advanced study into the role 
of metabolism (including induction/inhibition and 
genetic polymorphisms) in the toxicity of 
xenobiotics and molecular events following 
exposure to toxic xenobiotics, such as 
mutagenesis, teratogenesis and apoptosis. The 
toxicity of several classes of drugs, including 
anticancer, antibacterial and antimalarial drugs 
is also studied in detail. 


Project presentation and essay 25% 
Final exam 75% 

MEDSCI 716 Drug Disposition and Kinetics 

This course is concerned with the advanced study 
of: the absorption, distribution, metabolism and 
excretion of drugs; in vivo and in vitro techniques 
for ADME studies; and the analysis of these 


Course work 25% 
Final exam 75% 


Advanced Neuroscience: Neuropharmacology 

An advanced discussion of current research in 
neuroscience. The course will involve critical 
analysis of the literature within the context of a 
series of major research themes. Each theme will 
encompass models from molecular through to 
systems level neuroscience. In this course, themes 
will be selected from the following areas: 
neuroscience; neurodegeneration and addiction. 


Course work 30% 
Final exam 70% 


Pharmacology of Anaesthetics/Analgesics 

This course deals with the general aspects of 
anaesthetics and analgesics. 


4000 word essay 33% 

Seminar 33% 

Final exam 34% 

MEDSCI 719 Pharmacometrics 

This course deals with the application of 
mathematical models to interpretation of 
pharmacological observations. Models provide 
an explanation for experimental observations as 
well as a description. Computer based analysis 
methods are used for individuals and 
populations. Typical areas of application are 
pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, ligand 
binding, enzyme kinetics and time course of drug 


Course work 50% 
Final exam 50% 

16 | 2009 Pharmacology and Clinical Pharmacology 


Biomedical Research Techniques 

Introduction to a broad base of research 
techniques ranging from tissue culture through 
microcopy to gene cloning and RNA interference. 
Emphasis is on theoretical basis, application and 


Course work 60% 
Lab test 40% 

MEDSCI 721 Advanced Toxicology 

The course addresses current issues and recent 
advances in toxicology. This course is aimed 
primarily at students wishing to undertake 
research in a field related to toxicology. 


Course work 100% 

MEDSCI 722 Clinical Pharmacology 

This course deals with therapeutic drug 
monitoring and clinical pharmacokinetics; disease 
progress and variability in drug response; 
adverse drug reactions; pharmacoeconomics and 
clinical trial evaluation. Drug disposition and 
action in the elderly, young and in pregnancy will 
also be considered. Emphasis is placed on the use 
of medicines in humans and application of 
clinical pharmacology to drug development. 


Course work 25% 
Final exam 75% 

MEDSCI 723 Cancer Pharmacology 

This course focuses on the clinical pharmacology 
and development of drugs for treating cancer. 
The course deals with the main classes of 
anticancer drugs, including alkylating agents, 
platinum-based drugs, antimetabolites, 
topoisomerase-interactive drugs, antimicrotubule 
agents, targeted therapies and vascular targeting 
drugs. Other topics include the pharmacological 
basis of cancer chemotherapy, pharmacological 
variability and individualisation of cancer therapy, 
oncology clinical trials, drug interactions and 
combination chemotherapy, and selected 
research topics. 


Course work 40% 
Final exam 60% 

BSc (Hons) in Pharmacology 

Students must undertake 75 points in courses 
from the 700 level pharmacology courses and 
complete a 45 point dissertation of a research 
project by the end of the second semester. 

Diploma in Pharmacology 

Pharmacology courses (Stage III) may also be 
taken as part of the Diploma in Science (DipSci) 
and (stage IV courses) the postgraduate Diploma 
in Science (PGDipSci). Students are referred to the 
current University Calendar for further 
information regarding these diplomas. 

PGDipSci or PGDipHSci 

At least 60 points from MEDSCI 701 (or 702), 
715-723, and up to 60 points from other 700 
level courses as approved by Head of 


120 point Masters thesis in pharmacology 

2009 Pharmacology and Clinical Pharmacology 

Lecture and Laboratory 

F or S = First or Second Semester 

H = Medical and Health Sciences Campu 






Lectures: Tues / Wed / Thurs 7:55 am - 8:45am 

*Note: Labs are done online 

Lectures: Tues / Wed 7:55am - 8:45am 
plus one of the following Laboratories: 

Stream i Tuesday 10am - 1 pm 
Stream ii Wednesday 10am - 1 pm 
Steam iii Wednesday 3pm - 6pm 

Lectures: Thurs / Fri 1pm - 2pm 

plus one of the following Laboratories: 

Stream i Friday 10am - 1pm 
Stream ii Friday 3pm - 6pm 

Lectures: Thurs / Fri 7:55am - 8:45am 
plus one of the following Laboratories: 

Stream i Thursday 10am - 1 pm 
Stream ii Thursday 3pm - 6pm 
Stream iii Friday 10am - 1pm 

Lectures: Mon / Thurs 9am - 10am 
plus one of the following Laboratories: 

Stream i Monday 10am - 1 pm 
Stream ii Monday 2pm - 5pm 

Lectures: Mon / Thurs 9am - 10am 
plus one of the following Laboratories: 

Stream i Monday 10am - 1 pm 
Stream ii Monday 2pm - 5pm 

I 2009 Pharmacology and Clinical Pharmacology 

Possible Careers 

The study of the way in which drugs work is the basis for a number of career possibilities. Some of these 
are briefly listed below and give examples of the opportunities available. 

Teaching and Research in Higher 
Educational Institutions 

In New Zealand most teachers of pharmacology 
are concerned with training students for the 
medical, veterinary and pharmaceutical 
professions. Pharmacology is also taught to 
science students at the University of Auckland 
and University of Otago. It should be noted that 
appointment to a university teaching post usually 
requires the possession of a research degree or 
equivalent experience. 

Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical 
Research and Development (R and D) 

The discovery and development of new and better 
medicines for the treatment of diseases in man 
and animals, as well as chemicals for food 
processing and agricultural application requires 
pharmacologists as part of the multi-disciplinary 
research and development teams. The 
pharmaceutical industry is a major source of 
employment opportunities but this mostly occurs 
overseas in Europe, the US and also Japan. In 
New Zealand pharmaceutical research is mainly 
confined to clinical trials with little basic 
pharmacological research being undertaken. 
However a number of small Biotech companies 
have started in New Zealand and offer some 
career opportunities. Pharmacologists can also 
find key roles in the medical, regulatory and 
marketing divisions of the pharmaceutical 
industry in New Zealand. 

Clinical Teaching and Research 

Medically qualified clinical pharmacologists are 
employed by pharmaceutical companies for 
evaluating drug activity in patients. In these 
studies, their work is supported by non-clinically 
qualified graduates and non-graduate technicians 
who contribute to the laboratory aspects of the 
clinical studies. Increasingly, more offices of 
multinational pharmaceutical companies and 
clinical research organisations are offering posts 
for clinical research assistants. 

Government Department and 
Research Institutions 

A number of opportunities are available for work 
in Government or government-sponsored 
research institutions. Examples of the type of 
work available are: research and development 
studies, assessment of the cost and safety of 
medicines and advisory and safety aspects of 
chemicals used in the food processing and 
agricultural industries. In addition there are a 
number of private research institutions and 
companies, such as Neuronz, Genesis Research 
and Development Corporation, The Cancer 
Research Laboratory (sponsored by the New 
Zealand Cancer Society) in Auckland, or the 
Mallagan Research Institution in Wellington 
which can provide research opportunities for 


2009 Pharmacology and Clinical Pharmacology | 19 

Medical Publishing And Drug 

A background in pharmacology and toxicology is 
ideal for entry into medical publishing and drug 
information dissemination. There are many 
opportunities in this expanding field. For example, 
Adis International is an international publishing 
and drug information company which has its 
headquarters at Mairangi Bay in Auckland. 


A pharmacology/toxicology qualification is one of 
the principal entry routes into employment as a 
toxicologist. The training and ability to appreciate 
and measure the many aspects involved in the 
assessment of drug action and the adverse 
effects of chemicals forms an ideal basis for a 
career in toxicology. Toxicologists are employed in 
all the career categories mentioned above. The 
increasing use of food additives and agricultural 
chemical products, and increasing environmental 
hazards arising from pollution provide additional 
areas of career employment. 

20 | 2009 Pharmacology and Clinical Pharmacology 

"he Academic Year - 2009 

Semester 1 - 2009 

Semester 1 Begins 

Mid Semester /Easter Break 



Queen's Birthday 

Lectures End 

Study break/Exams 

Semester 1 Ends 

Inter Semester Break 

Semester 2 - 2009 

Semester 2 Begins 
Mid Semester Break 
Lectures End 
Study break/Exams 
Labour Day 
Semester 2 Ends 

Semester 1 - 2010 

Semester 1 Begins 

Monday 2 March 

Monday 6 April - Friday 17 April 

Saturday 25 April 

Thursday 30 April - Friday 8 May 

Monday 1 June 

Saturday 6 June 

Saturday 6 June - Monday 29 June 
Monday 29 June 

Tuesday 30 June - Saturday 18 July 

Monday 20 July 

Monday 31 August - Saturday 12 September 
Tuesday 22 September and Thursday 24 September 
Saturday 24 October 

Saturday 24 October - Monday 16 November 
Monday 26 October 
Monday 16 November 

Monday 1 March 2010 




Department of Pharmacology and 
Clinical Pharmacology 
School of Medical Sciences 
The University of Auckland 
Private Bag 92019 
Auckland 1142, New Zealand 

0800 61 62 63 

Phone: +64 9 373 7599 ext 86733 
Fax: +64 9 373 7090