Advanced course in Biotechnology and Pharmacology

A.Y. 2020/2021
7
Max ECTS
88
Overall hours
SSD
BIO/14
Language
Italian
Learning objectives
The two modules of course have well-defined objectives:
1. The module of Practical course on Biotechnology and Pharmacology aims to provide the student with the necessary skills to consolidate knowledge on the availability, purpose and possibility of using of biotechnological tools for the study of new drug targets and their preclinical validation

2. The module of Pharmacogenomics will provide the student the knowledge regarding genetic studies aimed at improving the analysis of the activity and adverse reactions of novel molecules with potential therapeutic activity. The practical exercises provide the student the bases to analyze the impact of genetic polymorphisms on pharmacological response and the knowledge on molecular approaches to validate the functional effect of polymorphisms.
Expected learning outcomes
Module of "Practical course on Biotechnology and Pharmacology": knowledge of the availability, purpose and possibility of using advanced biotechnologies in the study of new drug targets and their preclinical validation

Module of "Pharmacogenomics": knowledge of the impact of genetic interindividual variability (in particular genetic polymorphisms) on the pharmacological response. Knowledge of some methods used in pharmacogenomics and examples of applications. Ability to critically evaluate data included in scientific papers and to apply the acquired knowledge to understand specific cases.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Responsible
Lesson period
First semester
Module of Practical course on Biotechnology and Pharmacology
During the emergency teaching phase, the course program and reference material will not change.
Teaching methods:
During the emergency teaching phase, the methods for verifying learning will not change and will take place online on the Microsoft Teams platform
The practical exercises will be held both in person (20 hours) and online (28 hours), while the lessons (8 hours) will all be held online. Online teaching can be followed in sync on the Microsoft Teams Platform and will be made available as audio/video recording on Teams and Ariel platforms. The calendar of practical exercises and lessons, as well as the indications for online connection will be communicated in time on the Ariel platform, together with any update related to the evolution of roles imposed by Covid-19.
Learning verification procedures and assessment criteria:
During the emergency teaching phase, the exam procedure will not change and will be held in person or eventually online on the Microsoft Teams Platform

Module of Pharmacogenomics
During the emergency teaching phase, the course program and the reference material will not be changed.
Teaching methods:
The course will be held mainly by online synchronous lectures using the Microsoft Teams platform, with the exception of some in presence lessons and exercises (if possible). The schedule of lessons and criteria for attending face-to-face lessons will be published in due time in Ariel as well as any updates related to Covid-19 regulations.

Learning verification procedures and assessment criteria:
The exam will be a written test consisting in 30 multiple choice questions concerning the topics covered in the course and it will be aimed at ascertaining the achievement of the objectives in terms of knowledge and comprehension. The exam will take place in moodle platfom + safe exam browser with Zoom as web conference system or, if so permitted by regulation, in person, in a University classroom.
Course syllabus
Module of Practical course on Biotechnology and Pharmacology
1. Ligand-mediated regulation of gene transcription
2. Reporter systems for the study of transcription regulation: types, assays for activity and image acquisition
3. Transcriptomic analysis and bioinformatics techniques
4. Practical exercises for the maintenance and manipulation of cell cultures
5. Practical exercises for the transfection of plasmid DNA in cultured eukaryotic cells
6. Practical exercises for dose-response studies of transcriptionally active ligands
7. Practical exercises for the design of studies on efficacy and safety of drugs
8. Practical exercises for the design of studies on the mechanisms underlying sexually dimorphic pathologies and on the differential response to drugs among men and women
The course includes 8 hours of lectures for the presentation of topics related to advanced biotechnologies in preclinical drug development and 48 hours of laboratory practical exercises in which students will elaborate the definition of experimental systems and modern biotechnological tools for the study of specific drugs. In particular, practical exercises include: 1) the manipulation of a eukaryotic cell line and transfection of plasmid DNA; 2) the realization of a dose-response curve of drugs that directly regulate gene transcription; 3) the execution of biochemical and image acquisition assays for the detection of reporter proteins; 4) critical analysis of the results and resolution of practical / theoretical problems inherent to specific drug under study.
The purpose of the course is to consolidate the student's knowledge of the availability, purpose and possibility of using biotechnological tools for the study of new drug targets and their preclinical validation

Module of Pharmacogenomics:
1 Introduction to Pharmacogenetics and Pharmacogenomics: definition, objectives and impact for a personalized medicine. Genetic basis of interindividual variability in drug response. Human genome sequencing; genetic polymorphisms; genotype and phenotype associations.
2 Examples and studies on genetic polymorphisms in drug metabolizing enzymes (ex. CYP2D6, CYP2C19, CYP2C9, TPMT..)
3 Examples and studies on genetic polymorphisms in drug targets
4 Methods in Pharmacogenomics: genome-wide association studies- applications
5 Pharmacogenomics applied to oncology
6 Applications of pharmacogenomics research in oncology
7 Pharmacoepidemiology
8 Human clinical and genetic studies
Prerequisites for admission
Subjects learnt in preparatory courses are mandatory
Teaching methods
Classroom-taught lessons
Practical exercises
Teaching Resources
Slides, protocols and other material used for lessons and practical exercises are available through the ARIEL website

Books:
Vegeto, Maggi, Minghetti. «Farmaci biotecnologici-aspetti farmacologici e clinici» Zanichelli
Clementi E, Fumagalli G «Farmacologia generale e molecolare» V edizione - Edra
Assessment methods and Criteria
Module of Practical course on Biotechnology and Pharmacology: the final examination is an oral test and consists of the discussion of topics covered in the course and during practical exercises, and will be aimed at verifying the achievement of the objectives in terms of knowledge and comprehension

Module of Pharmacogenomics: the final examination is a written test consisting in 30 multiple choice questions (evaluation score: correct answer +1, wrong -0.2, missin answer:0) and it will be aimed at ascertaining the achievement of the objectives in terms of knowledge and comprehension.

The final mark will consist of the weighted average, based on cfu, of the partial marks for the two modules
Pharmacogenomics
BIO/14 - PHARMACOLOGY - University credits: 3
Single bench laboratory practical: 16 hours
Lessons: 16 hours
Professor: Fumagalli Marta
Practical course on Biotechnology and Pharmacology
BIO/14 - PHARMACOLOGY - University credits: 4
Single bench laboratory practical: 48 hours
Lessons: 8 hours
Professor: Vegeto Elisabetta