PSC2011 - Biochemical pharmacology - 2018

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

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


Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Betty Exintaris


Dr Betty Exintaris

Unit guides



  • First semester 2018 (On-campus)





This unit introduces students to essential concepts and techniques in biochemical pharmacology. Participants in this unit will learn how membranes and proteins are involved in relaying extracellular signals to the inside of the cell to activate specific cellular responses and how these responses are linked to physiological functions, human health and drug action. The topics covered include membrane and protein biochemistry, focussing on their roles in signal transduction, receptor families and different types of signalling pathways within the cell.

In practical classes and workshops, participants will be introduced to common biochemical techniques, including gel electrophoresis, size exclusion and ion exchange chromatography. They will apply these techniques to analyse protein samples and learn how to record, interpret and communicate their experimental results.

The subject provides an essential foundation for understanding biochemical pharmacology and its use in biological research and the pharmaceutical industry.


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

  1. Explain how the structure of biomolecules influences their physiological function;
  2. Explain how extracellular signals effect cellular responses;
  3. Design experiments to investigate cellular signalling processes;
  4. Predict the effect of signalling pathway disruptions on physiological functions and human health;
  5. Analyse and critically interpret experimental data;
  6. Analyse biomolecular samples using common biochemical laboratory techniques;
  7. Record experimental data and report it in written and visual formats.


Final exam (2 hour) 50%; practicals/workshops 20%; mid-semester test 10%; online quizzes 5%, assignment(s) 10% and in-class assessment 5%

Workload requirements

Nominal contact hours for on-campus students:

  • Twenty two 1-hour lectures
  • Four 1-hour tutorials
  • Four 4-hour workshops
  • Four 4-hour practicals
  • Twelve hours self- directed learning

See also Unit timetable information

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