Molecular Pharmacology

Molecular Pharmacology

Teachers: Federico Forneris, Andrea Sinz

Course content

Knowledge of basic concepts of molecular biology and biochemistry, as well as protein structure and function. It is expected that students can easily visualize and intepret structural representations of proteins to understand their mechanisms of function.

The course will provide an advanced view on modern strategies for drug development and targeted therapeutics, starting from analysis of drug targets, their structures and functions.

Molecular Pharmacology addresses the study of the molecular mechanisms and biological consequences of the interactions of drugs and other small molecules with biological targets. The course will comprehensively explore the topics of modern molecular pharmacology with a strong focus on the structure-function relationships that enable the specific interactions between drugs and their biological targets. The material covered by this course include: i) modern biophysical and structural approaches to study molecular interactions; ii) basic principles of drug-receptor interactions; iii) principles of pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics; iv) structural biology of drug targets: ion channels, transporters, GPCRs, kinases, RTKs, signaling complexes, transcription factors, nuclear receptors, enzymes and mediators of inflammation, with examples of interacting drugs as tools to achieve knowledge of cell macromolecular structure and function; v) mechanism of action of various drugs commonly used in clinical practice; vi) drug discovery, development, optimization, structure-based drug design, structural vaccinology; vii) protein engineering, biotechnological drugs (recombinant proteins, drug delivery reagents, antibodies as therapeutics), and strategies to overcome the possible drawbacks associated with their usage; viii) pharmacogenetics and pharmacogenomics; ix) gene therapy and gene editing.

– Katzung B. G. , Masters S. B. , Trevor A. J. , Basic and clinical pharmacology. 13th Edition, McGraw-Hill ed.
– Dickenson J., Freeman F., Mills C. L., Thode C., Sivasubramaniam S. Molecular Pharmacology: From DNA to Drug Discovery. (ed. Wiley)