Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

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 Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
OfferedParkville Second semester 2015 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr John Haynes


This Unit will build on Biochemical Pharmacology and Molecular Pharmacology year two units within the DDB major of the Bachelor of Pharmaceutical Science. Chemical biology is an emerging discipline that applies chemical approaches and tools to understand and manipulate biological systems with molecular precision. This unit lays a foundation that will prepare students for the processes involved in contemporary translational drug discovery research. The chemical sciences are increasingly of more immediate relevance to modern biomedical research, which relies increasingly on novel chemical tools as probes of biological function or as leads for new drugs.


On completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Describe how chemical probes and new drugs are discovered.
  2. Describe the major mechanisms whereby targets for drug action are identified
  3. Be cognisant of the important systems used in assaying potentially therapeutically useful compounds.
  4. Compare and contrast the pharmacological properties various classes of drugs and how these can modulate biological function.
  5. Evaluate data - determine drug properties if given real or simulated experimental data
  6. Explain how molecular biology and various chemistry methods are used to probe biological function,
  7. Explain the principles involved in the design, performance and evaluation of experiments to discover new compounds (analyse papers, rate them according to those principles?)
  8. Critically evaluate the scientific literature in the area of chemical biology
  9. Obtain and effectively use scientific information to write and present reports and essays.


Exam 60%; Practical class 30%; and Active learning 10%

Workload requirements

Contact hours for on-campus students:

  • Twenty four lectures
  • Four 2-hour tutorials
  • Two 4-hour practical laboratories
  • Thirty-two hours directed independent study / active learning

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)


PSC2012 Molecular pharmacology
PSC2322 Molecular cell biology

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