General and Molecular Pharmacology (2014/2015)

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Course code
Guido Francesco Fumagalli
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Teaching is organised as follows:
Activity Credits Period Academic staff Timetable
teoria 4 I sem. Guido Francesco Fumagalli
esercitazioni 2 I sem. Guido Francesco Fumagalli

Lesson timetable

Learning outcomes


General aims
The main goal of this course is to introduce and educate the biotechnologist to the use of drugs as tools for analysing cellular and molecular events relevant for normal and pathological functions of cells and organs.
This is a "target-oriented" approach to the study of drugs that is different from the medical or the chemical approaches; it is intended to prepare the biotechnologist to be part of the development and/or invention of drugs. Pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetics, the relationship between target structure and drug function will be analyzed considering specific classes of drugs used for their therapeutic significance

Specific aims
Know the rules governing drug-target interaction and the generation of effects
Learn the basic mechanisms of diffusion underlying drug absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion
Learn the classification of receptors for drugs and endogenous ligands based on molecular structure, and the relationship between molecular structure and signal transduction mechanisms
Learn how clinically relevant drugs are developed and monitored



 Drug/receptor interactions: quantitative and qualitative aspects
 Drug effect generation; drug classification and methods of study
 Drugd development: form preclinical to postmarketing studies
 Pharmacokinetics: principles and rules governing drug absorption, distribution, metabiolism and elimination
 From pharmacokinetic principles to definition of therapy protocol
 Receptor for first messengers as targets of drugs: Receptor-operated ion channels: structure and function with focus on AChR, GABAA and glutammate receptors and their pharmacologies
 GPCR, II messengers and proteinkinases
 NO e its pharmacology
 Intracellular calcium homeostasis and drugs with inotropic action
 Intracellular receptors and the control of gene transcription
 Growth factor receptors and principles of anti-cancer and immunosuppressive drug actions
 Pharmacology of voltage-operated ion channels
 Synaptic organization and plasticity with focus of cholinergic and cathecolaminergic synapses
 Drugs interfering with neurotransmitter reuptake, with peptidergic neurotransmissione and pharmaco-toxicology of psychoactive drugs
 Drugs active on virus, bacteria and fungi

Practical demonstration in the lab
 Drugs and data accumulation/collection/analysis
 Safety in the pharmacological lab
 Methods for measuring antibiotic activities/levels
 Immunolocalization in pharmacology
 Confocal microscopy
 Cell cultures

Educational material
 Farmacologia generale e molecolare, F. Clementi & G. Fumagalli, UTET, IV Edizione 2012; from 2015 the English version of this book will be provided by Weley

 Goodman and Gilman's The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics, di L. Brunton, B. A. Chabner & B. Knollman, Ed McGrowHill;
 Katzung, B. Basic & Clinical Pharmacology, 12e.; Ed italiana: Farmacologia Generale e Clinica, Piccin Ed
 PPT files used during lectures

Assessment methods and criteria