Faculty of Science

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2013 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.

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6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

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FacultyFaculty of Science
OfferedClayton Second semester 2013 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Richard Loiacono and Dr Bradley Broughton


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 be able to:

  1. Apply knowledge of central neurotransmitter and endocrine systems to predict the effects of drugs;

  1. Integrate and reconstruct knowledge underlying the cellular mechanisms of neuro- and endocrine pharmacology to predict outcomes in the whole animal;

  1. Present, analyse and interpret data from a range of experiment types and discuss this in the context of current scientific literature;

  1. Execute experiments in neuropharmacology and endocrine pharmacology to present, analyse and report the data obtained;

  1. Source, integrate and critically evaluate the scientific literature to address a defined pharmacological problem relating to neuro- or endocrine pharmacology.


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

Chief examiner(s)

Contact hours

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


PHA3011 and one of PHA3021 or BMS3021