Introduction to Medical Pharmacology

Introduction to Medical Pharmacology, GMS PM 730

Prereq: Premedical curriculum.

Wainford staff. 4 cr, 2nd sem.

Objectives, Assignments, and Grading

Course Objectives: This course is designed to introduce medical pharmacology to students who are pursuing degrees in the Medical Sciences. Topics will include the basic principles of pharmacology and several major classes of therapeutic agents, with attention to their mechanisms of action. Issues of current and future concern in medical pharmacology will be addressed including the sources of information about pharmacologic agents, the ethics of human experimentation, the drug development process and its costs, problems of drug abuse, and new biotechnological approaches to drug design.

Reading Assignments: The text for this course is Levine’s Pharmacology: Drug Actions and Reactions, 7th ed., Carol T. Walsh and Rochelle Schwartz-Bloom, Taylor & Francis, 2005. The book is available through e-Book resources in the library. The reading assignments for each class are indicated on the lecture schedule. Other reading assignments may be distributed in class or on the CourseInfo site.

Course Grade: The course grade will be determined from the grades for the writing assignment (20%) and the two examinations (40% each). The numerical paper grade times 0.2 plus each exam score times 0.4 will be summed. This final score will be converted to a letter grade as follows: 94 and above, A; 90-93, A-; 87-89, B+; 84-86, B; 80-83, B-; 77-79, C+; 74-76, C; 70-73, C-; 60-69, D; less than 60, F.

Course Manager: Richard Wainford, Ph.D. – 700 Albany Street, 617-414-2648,

Lecture Schedule

Semester 2, 2018-2019
Mondays and Wednesdays, 10:00-11:50 AM
Lectures in L-110

Jan 17- Introduction and Development of Pharmacology – Richard Wainford & Carol Walsh

Jan 22 – Mechanisms of Drug Actions – Pietro Cottone

Jan 24 – Drug Transport and Absorption – Carol Walsh

Jan 29 – Drug Distribution and Elimination – Carol Walsh

Jan 31 – Time-Concentration Relationships – Carol Walsh

Feb 5 – Biopharmaceutics, Drug Delivery Systems, and Generic vs. Proprietary
Drugs (video) – Carol Walsh

Feb 7 – Pharmacology of the Autonomic Nervous System – Richard Wainford

Feb 12 – Population Pharmacology 1: Phenotype, Genotype and the Placebo Response – Carol Walsh

Feb 14 – Population Pharmacology 2: Adherence, Interactions, the Allergic Response, and Mechanisms of Tolerance – Carol Walsh

Feb 21 – Principles of Pharmacodynamics – Pietro Cottone

Feb 26 – Protecting Human Subjects in Research – Susan Fish

Feb 28 – Pharmacology of Hypertension – Richard Wainford

Mar 12 – Sources of Information about Drugs – Walsh, Flynn & Wirtz

Mar 14 – Mid-Term Examination

Mar 19 – Principles of Toxicology – Marcia Ratner

Mar 21 – Incidence and Treatment of Poisonings – Sophie Dyer and Richard Wainford

Mar 26 – Dopamine and Serotonin: Anti-Parkinson’s agents, Anti-psychotic agents and Anti-depressants – Dr. Ash

Mar 28 – Pharmacology of Substance Abuse and Pharmacology of CNS Stimulants: Cocaine, Amphetamines, Caffeine, and Nicotine – Pietro Cottone & Valentina Sabino

Apr 2 – Pharmacology of Pain and Inflammation – Carol Walsh

Apr 4 – Principles of Chemotherapy – Carol Walsh

Apr 9 – Pharmacology of Cancer Chemotherapeutics – Anurag Singh

Apr 11 – Development and Pharmacology of Antianxiety and Antiepileptic Agents – Shelley Russek

Apr 18 – Advances in Drug Development: Biopharmaceuticals – Jas Seehra

Apr 23 – The Drug Development Process – Barry Berkowitz

Apr 25 – Economic Aspects of Drug Development and Drug Use – Joseph DiMasi and Paul Jeffrey

May 7 – Final Examination


BERKOWITZ, Barry, Ph.D., Adjunct Professor of Pharmacology. Formerly President and CEO, Scion Pharmaceuticals. Research interest: Drug development. 508-877-4522, 508-982-0509,

COTTONE, Pietro, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Pharmacology and Psychiatry. Research interest: Neurobiology of addictions including eating disorders. R-618, Ext. 8-5662,

DIMASI, Joseph, Ph.D., Center for the Study of Drug Development, Tufts University, 192 South St. Suite 550, Boston, 02111.  Research interest:  Economic aspects of drug development. 636-2116 or 636-2170,

DYER, Sophia, M.D., Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine, Dowling G06, 617-343-1125,

FLYNN, David, Head of Library and Information Management Education, BUSM Alumni Library, 8-4271,

JEFFREY, Paul L., Pharm.D., Former Director of the Pharmacy, Boston Medical Center. Pharmacy Consultant, Massachusetts Division of Medical Assistance, Office of Clinical Affairs, 617-847-3732, Assistant, Nancy McDonald,, 617-847-3749

RATNER, Marcia, PhD, DABT, Project Manager, Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. L-601, 8-9573,

RUSSEK, Shelley, Ph.D., Professor of Pharmacology.  Research interest:  Regulation of genes for CNS receptors.  L-606, Ext. 8-4319,

SABINO, Valentina, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Pharmacology and Psychiatry. Research interest: Neurobiology of addiction and stress-related disorders. R-612, Ext. 8-4327,

SEEHRA, Jasbir, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer, Ember Therapeutics, Watertown, MA,

WALSH, Carol T., Ph.D., Professor of Pharmacology.  Research interest:  Pharmacokinetics, gastrointestinal pharmacology, metal toxicology.  R-610, Ext. 8-4326,

WAINFORD, Richard, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Pharmacology and Medicine.  Research interest: CNS regulation of blood pressure and renal function.  W-602, Ext. 4-2648,

WIRTZ, Veronika, Pharm.D., Center for Global Health & Development, BUSPH, 801 Mass. Ave., Ext. 4-1440,


Nadiyah Shaheed, Academic Manager, Department of Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics. L-603, Ext. 8-4301,