Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

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Monash University

Monash University Handbook 2010 Undergraduate - Unit

6 points, SCA Band 0 (NATIONAL PRIORITY), 0.125 EFTSL

FacultyFaculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
OfferedParkville First semester 2010 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Paul White


This unit lays a foundation of knowledge about mammalian systems and provides the relationship between pathophysiology and the rational design and use of drugs. Students will be introduced to the physiological basis of disease. Each organ and system will be considered, and one or more examples of disease states which are amenable to pharmacotherapy will be discussed in detail. The course aims to provide a basic understanding of the functions of organs and systems such as the nervous, endocrinological and cardiovascular systems; however, an equal emphasis will be placed on one of the key components of drug discovery, the choice of therapeutic target based on a thorough understanding of the disease process. The principle aim of this subject is to provide students with an understanding of basic biological principles and how these can be applied in pharmaceutical sciences as a basis for later work in other subjects within the course.

This involves:

  • Introduction to Pharmaceutical Biology
  • Body systems, organs, cells
  • Information flow
  • Nervous system
  • Cardiovascular system
  • Endocrinology


At the end of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Describe the structure of each major organ / organ system considered within the course;
  2. Explain the function of each major organ / organ system considered within the course;
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of the physiological basis for the most common disease states to affect each organ / organ system considered within the course;
  4. Provide a detailed explanation of the rationale for the use of at least one drug therapy for each organ / organ system considered within the course, relating the drug target to the disease state;
  5. Research a topic in the area of physiology, and present the findings of such research to peers at an appropriate scientific level.


fortnightly quizzes: 10%; oral presentations: 15%; practical/PBL classes: 15%; final examination (2 hours): 60%

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Paul White

Contact hours

45 contact hours per semester: 24 hours of lectures, 6 hours of oral presentations/debates, 6 hours of practical, 3 hours of problem based learning and 6 hours of tutorials

Additional information on this unit is available from the faculty at: