Spring 2020 - HSCI 774 G100

Seminar in Neuropharmacology (3)

Class Number: 7065

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo 9:30 AM – 12:20 PM
    BLU 10031, Burnaby

  • Instructor:

    Frank Lee
    1 778 782-8649
    Office: BLU 10520
    Office Hours: by appointment



Mechanisms of drug action in the brain, including several classes of drugs and neurotransmitter systems that are involved in mental health disorders, drug addiction and neurodegeneration.


This course will introduce students to basic concepts of neuropharmacology - the study of drug actions on the central nervous system.  General topics will include receptor pharmacology and neural signaling systems.   This will provide the basis to examine several classes of drugs and neurotransmitter systems that are involved in mood disorders, schizophrenia, drug addiction and neurodegenerative disorders.  This course is designed to prepare undergraduates who have an interest in medicine and human health to pursue careers in these disciplines.


OVERALL GOAL:  The objectives of this course are to provide students with a fundamental knowledge of neuropharmacology.  At the end of this course, the students should have a basic overview of the molecular, cellular and behavioural affects of drug action on the central nervous system and will be able to identify major neurotransmitter systems.  In addition, this course should prepare students with the appropriate understanding and background if they choose to pursue graduate studies in the life sciences.  

CORE COMPETENCIES: The core competency addressed by this course is to describe human physiology and basic mechanisms of cell and molecular biology relevant to health and disease.


  • Student presentations and report 40%
  • mock grant proposal 30%
  • class participation & quizzes 15%
  • test 15%


EXPECTATIONS / IMPORTANT NOTES:  The professor may make changes to the syllabus if necessary, within Faculty / University regulations.   This course is offered in seminar format.  Some assignments, readings and articles will be available from Canvas.


PREREQUISITES:    HSCI 323 and either MBB 331 or HSC 321, (or equivalents) or permission from instructor



TEACHING FORMAT:  lectures/seminars  
RECOMMENDED TEXT:  Nestler, Hyman and Malenka.  Molecular Neuropharmacology: A Foundation for Clinical Neuroscience, 2nd or 3rd Edition. McGraw-Hill

Graduate Studies Notes:

Important dates and deadlines for graduate students are found here: http://www.sfu.ca/dean-gradstudies/current/important_dates/guidelines.html. The deadline to drop a course with a 100% refund is the end of week 2. The deadline to drop with no notation on your transcript is the end of week 3.

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html