Faculty of Science

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2015 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

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

FacultyFaculty of Science
OfferedClayton Second semester 2015 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Barbara Kemp-Harper and Dr Eva Patak


Modern drug development will provide the student with an appreciation of the process of discovery, testing, approval and marketing of new drugs. This will include the diseases most likely to be targeted by pharmaceutical companies for drug development; the technical issues underlying drug discovery; the role of genomics in identifying novel targets; rational drug design; the importance of screens including molecular models and high throughput screening; disease models; case studies illustrating the successful development of drugs. Career opportunities in all aspects of drug development will be highlighted.


On completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Discuss the steps involved in the drug discovery process, including sources of drugs, how targets are identified and screening processes that can be used to test for desired activity;

  1. Discuss the steps involved in developing a commercial product from a potential drug candidate, including the relevant regulatory framework and marketing considerations;

  1. Describe the approaches to the development of new therapies for neglected and emerging diseases;

  1. Demonstrate the ability to critically evaluate methodologies and data from experiments in the context of the drug development process;

  1. Demonstrate the ability to obtain, present and interpret data from pharmacological experiments relevant to the area of drug development;

  1. Demonstrate the ability to source and critically evaluate the scientific literature to address an issue in the area of drug development and to communicate this orally, in written form or via a poster presentation;

  1. Demonstrate the ability to work both independently and as part of a team.


Examination (two hours): 60%
Group assignment: 15%
Practicals and in-class exercises: 25%
A pass in the final examination and in the practicals and in-class exercises and the group assignment must be obtained to pass the unit.

Workload requirements

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

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


PHA3011 and one of PHA3021 or BMS3021