Fall 2020 - HSCI 323 D100

Principles of Pharmacology and Toxicology (3)

Class Number: 6264

Delivery Method: Remote


  • Course Times + Location:

    Th 8:30 AM – 11:20 AM

  • Instructor:

    Timothy Beischlag
    1 778 782-3071
  • Prerequisites:

    MBB 231, CHEM 282.



Biological, molecular and biochemical actions of drugs and toxicants. Genetic and environmental risk determinants. Understanding the broad spectrum of toxicological problems encountered in clinical practice, drug development and regulation, and medical research.


This course will provide students with an introduction to pharmacological and toxicological principles, and in particular pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics.  In addition, students will be provided with an overview of mechanisms of drug/toxicant action on various systems, and receptors, including signal transduction pathways.  Finally, students will be introduced to the topics of pharmaco-/toxico-genetics and genomics. This course is designed to prepare undergraduates who have an interest in medicine and human health services to pursue careers in these disciplines. In addition, this course will serve as the cornerstone of the Environmental and Occupational Health Bachelor of Science stream and support the Life Course in Human Health stream in the Faculty of Health Sciences.


The objectives of this course are to provide students with a firm and demonstrable understanding of the basic principles of pharmacology and toxicology.  By the end of the course students will be able to:

  1. Explain relevant principles of drug action such as absorption, distribution, metabolism, bio-activation, and the laws of mass action as they relate to the physiology of drug and toxicant action.
  2. The students should begin to be able to apply or relate this knowledge to practical pharmacological/toxicological problems commonly associated with human populations and those confronted in a basic laboratory situation. This should be evident by the student’s ability to extend theory to practice and/or provide relevant examples from the literature.
  3. Students should be able to identify what parameters, with regard to dose/exposure, peak plasma concentration, etc., are physiologically relevant.

Teaching Format:
This course is offered in lecture format. Notes from class presentations will be provided as Powerpoint presentations.


  • Multiple Choice/Short Answer Midterms (30% each x 3) 90%
  • Take-home Assignments (5% each x 2) 10%


There will be three multiple choice/short answer format mid-terms and two take-home assignments. Each exam will represent 30% of the final grade, each take home assignment will account for 5% of the final grade. The grade scale will follow the standard Canadian grading scale (i.e. ≥93% = A+, 85-92% = A, 80-84% = A-, etc.).  This scale is available in the FHS undergraduate education office.

This instructor may make changes to the syllabus and/or grading if necessary within University/Faculty regulations.



Course Textbooks and Reading Material: Rang and Dale’s: Pharmacology.  Ninth Edition. James Ritter, Rod Flower, Graeme Henderson, Yoon Kong Loke, David MacEwan, Humphrey Rang. Eds. 2019.  ISBN-13:  9780702074479

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


Teaching at SFU in fall 2020 will be conducted primarily through remote methods. There will be in-person course components in a few exceptional cases where this is fundamental to the educational goals of the course. Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112).