Faculty of Science

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2012 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

print version

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

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Science
OfferedClayton Second semester 2012 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Richard Loiacono


This unit provides an integrated understanding of how drugs affect neuronal and endocrine function. Four major areas are covered: major neurotransmitters within the brain, reproductive endocrinology, metabolism and disorders of pancreatic and thyroid function, mood and pain, and, neurodegenerative disorders. The focus is on mechanisms of action, use and side effects of drugs affecting a range of neuronal and endocrine functions and includes topics such as drugs used in anaesthesia and sedation, anxiety, depression, epilepsy, schizophrenia and psychoses, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease, reproduction and contraception, diabetes, thyroid function and metabolism and calcium homeostasis.


On completion of this unit, students will: have a broad understanding of how drugs can affect the nervous and endocrine systems; have an understanding of the mechanisms of action, uses, adverse effects and interactions of drugs acting on the nervous and endocrine systems; have an understanding of the molecular biological and genetic techniques being applied to neuropharmacology and endocrine pharmacology at the cellular level; have developed skills to critically evaluate the scientific literature in neuropharmacology and endocrine pharmacology; have an understanding of the design, performance, evaluation and reporting of experiments in neuropharmacology and endocrine pharmacology; have skills in obtaining and using scientific information to write and present reports and essays.


Examination (2 hours): 50%
Written assignment: 20%
Laboratory work and written practical reports : 20%
Test (1 hour): 10%

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Richard Loiacono

Contact hours

Two 1-hour lectures and three hours of laboratory or self-directed learning/ tutorial per week


PHA3011, PHA3021