Epigenetics, Gene Regulation and Disease
Advances in Toxicology: Pick Your Poison
We are surrounded by substances that may do our bodies harm i.e. poisons. The harm these poisons causes depends on our exposure - the dose. The science of toxicology, a discipline that crosscuts biology, chemistry, pharmacology, and medicine, is based on the principle that the dose makes the poison.
This module is compulsory for BSc Medical Pharmacology students and acts as a follow on from PM-147 Introduction to Toxicology: The Dose Makes the Poison.
This module will provide students with the opportunity to expand their toxicology knowledge and apply it to three distinct fields within toxicology; analytical toxicology, forensic toxicology and clinical toxicology.
Students will learn about the experimental procedures and techniques we employ for the isolation and detection of compounds as well as their effects on biological systems. Students will then learn about the role of employing these methods in the field of forensic toxicology and the role of toxicology within the legal system.
Within the module, students will also learn about the role of clinical toxicology and patient presentation following poisoning events and the techniques we have for detection and treatment of toxicology within the clinical setting.
The course is designed to provide an advanced study of the identification of human genes and the determination of the influence of human genes upon disease and health status. Gene identification provides targets for the development of new pharmaceuticals and the range of variation present in the population.
The aim of this module is to provide a capstone experience to students¿ learning, through participating in their own enquiry-based research project. The project may be laboratory or non-laboratory based, but it will always involve a research question that is drawn from the literature, and focused on a topic relevant to the life sciences. It will ask a novel research question and involve the critical analysis of research findings. Students will refine their oral and written communication skills to a graduate level through creating an introductory presentation on the project background, and a written dissertation and oral presentation on their research conclusions.
Drug Development and Regulation
This is an applications and project management driven module designed to provide the student with an introduction to drug development and the key role of separation science and mass spectrometry within the pharmaceutical industry. This module will introduce Good Laboratory, Clinical and Manufacturing Practice (GLP, GCP, GMP), assay validation (as requested by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)), the need and implementation of SOPs with particular focus on the pharmaceutical and medical industries, and how these correlate with stringent quality control procedures and health and safety existing due to current legislation. The ethical principles of research, including clinical trials and animal research (design, implementation and reporting) will be outlined, as well as the essential nature of the principles of reduction, refinement and replacement for the use of animals in research. Students will also be able to characterize and map the path of a drug from administration, to metabolism and elimination, for critical evaluation of drug design.
Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine
This module will provide students with a firm understanding of the principles of Regenerative Medicine that extend from cellular to tissue and organ repair and regeneration.
This module will focus on the practical aspects of revolutionary technologies, generated through research, that have the potential to significantly improve how we treat injury, illness and disease.
Laboratory Measurement Techniques for Medicinal Chemistry and Nanomedicine
This module will enable students to understand the basic and advanced concepts of measurement techniques used in medicinal chemistry and nanomedicine, how they may be applied with relevant methods of detection, gain `hands on¿ problem solving experience and strategic method development for complete bioanalysis according to target molecule characteristics and method application.
Nanomedicines, pharmaceuticals and advanced therapeutics
This module will explore the history and development of molecular medicines and pharmaceuticals, providing the basis for an advanced understanding of next generation therapeutic approaches. Using landmark technology and chemical development phases informed by separation science and mass spectrometry, the module uses an application driven approach to provide the student with an extensive knowledgebase of drug development, the pharmaceutical industry and nanotherapeutics.
Students will be able to characterize and map the path of a drug from administration, to metabolism and elimination, and critically evaluate drug design and delivery approaches. Traditional small chemical entities used in molecular medicine will be outlined, using drugs such as taxols and tamoxifen as exemplars. Common target oncology and non-oncology disorders will provide the context; with students encouraged to explore targeted nanoparticle fabrication, drug encapsulation and release profiling, from early first generation drugs such as Abraxane to second generation biologically targeted SMART delivery systems. Future molecular medicines such as antibody drug conjugates and kinase inhibitors will be taught by guest lectures from industry and clinicians, covering the spectrum of drug development to delivery and clinical considerations.
Research Innovation and Management
The growth of the personalised medicine industry and advances within medicine and engineering that have led to the emergence of nanomedicine, present exciting opportunities for the development of advanced therapeutics.
However, the management of research and innovation from discovery through to the transition to clinical trial, present unique project management, regulatory and ethical challenges that must be considered to effectively develop new diagnostics and therapeutics.
This module will take students through the development process for a novel nanomedicine, highlighting the project management, ethical and regulatory considerations at each stage. The module will also explore the challenges faced from an academic and industry perspective, as well as providing the opportunity for students to learn from industry leaders with direct experience of the research and innovation journey.
Postgraduate Taught Masters Dissertation
In this module the student will be able to gain extensive specialist expertise in a chosen topic which could be targeted to their future career in the field of nanomedicine.
Students will be supervised by University academics and/or members of their research and innovation teams. A variety of project types are available that include:
1. Laboratory based experimental research and data analysis (dependant on laboratory access and capacity).
2. Analysis of experimental data originating from the project supervisor¿s laboratory*
3. Meta-analysis of publicly available experimental data*
4. Systematic analysis of publicly available reported data*
*potentially linking with Swansea¿s data health science or clinical trials unit.
Working with a dedicated academic supervisor students will develop a clear research question, experimental plan and derive, analyse and present research data.
The research topic choice will be made in conjunction with the supervisor, based upon novelty, feasibility and practical considerations on a 'first come first served' basis. The final approval of the topic rests with the project supervisor.
The module lead and academic tutor will provide additional support available throughout the module period.
A series of information sessions and engagement events such as the 3 Minute Thesis and employability for an innovative and integral part of this module.
A small number of placement opportunities may arise with external academic and industry partners. These opportunities will be highlighted early in the first semester, with placements, in the event of high demand, based on student academic performance.
Nanomedicines and Therapeutics
The module will explore the history and development of molecular medicines. Using landmark technology and chemical development phases, the traditional small chemical entities using in molecular medicine will be outlined, using drugs such as taxols and tamoxifen as exemplars. The common target oncology and non oncology disorders will outlined and their respective targets for such medicines detailed alongside drug modes of action and delivery (IV and oral). Further exploration of targeted nanoparticle delivery, from early first generation drugs such as Abraxane to second generation biologically targeted SMART delivery systems, will expand the knowledge to future molecular medicines such as antibody drug conjugates and kinase inhibitors. Excitingly the module will include guest lectures from industry and clinicians, covering the spectrum of drug development to delivery and clinical considerations.