The Graduate Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences offers a wide-range of specialty courses designed to inform the research of graduate students.

For additional course information, contact the Graduate Administrative Coordinator.

PHM1107H Advanced Phamacokinetics I

S. Pang and P. Lee
This course examines basic pharmacokinetic principles which describe the processes of absorption, distribution, and elimination of drugs. Topics include: LaPlace transforms, linear mammillary models, compartmental analysis, model-independent methods, single and multiple dosing, protein binding, drug clearance, first-pass effects, effect of route of administration physiological modeling, and metabolite kinetics. An introduction to data processing by computers is also included.
Not offered in 2020-2021 academic year

PHM1109H Recent Developments in Dosage Form Design

S. Wu and P. Lee
The following are the most important topics to be covered: kinetics of drug release and physical parameters that affect them; constructional changes in well-established dosage forms; solid dispersion systems; osmotic devices; membrane-controlled drug delivery, as for example in transdermal administration; nanoparticles; microcapsules; liposomes; insoluble plastic matrices; soluble and bioerodable polymers; implants; aerosols; drug targeting using monoclonal antibodies; self-regulating drug delivery; prodrugs. Each dosage form will be placed in its scientific, practical, and historical perspective; the governing release mechanisms and its advantages and limitations will be discussed.
Not offered in 2020-2021 academic year

PHM1115H Special Topics in Radiopharmaceuticals II

R. M. Reilly
The purpose of this course is to enable the student to gain an appreciation of radiopharmaceutical design by examining two areas of radiopharmaceutical research:
i) molecular imaging of cancer, and ii) radioimmunotherapy.  This course will appeal to pharmaceutical sciences graduate students interested in radiopharmaceutical research but also imaging as a tool for cancer therapeutics as well as molecularly-targeted therapies for malignancies.
Not offered in 2020-2021 academic year

PHM1130H Biomolecular Interactions and Thermodynamics I

T. Chalikian and R. Macgregor
Students will be presented with the basic structures, theories, and methods of investigation of proteins, nucleic acids, and biological membranes. This course is intended for students working in the field of biomolecular sciences.

PHM1133H Special Topics in Pharmaceutical Sciences

This course is designed to provide for the study of special topics in the broad area of pharmaceutical sciences, including all the fields encompassed within our Graduate Department.

Advanced Pharmacokinetics I (Section 0701)
S. Pang and P. Lee
This course examines basic pharmacokinetic principles which describe the processes of absorption, distribution, and elimination of drugs. Topics include: LaPlace transforms, linear mammillary models, compartmental analysis, model-independent methods, single and multiple dosing, protein binding, drug clearance, first-pass effects, effect of route of administration physiological modeling, and metabolite kinetics. An introduction to data processing by computers is also included.

Introduction to Knowledge Synthesis within Health Services Research & Pharmaceutical Sciences (Section 0801)
S. Guilcher and G. Bradley-Ridout

This is a special topics graduate course designed for MSc, MScPhm, or PhD students with an interest in conducting knowledge synthesis for health services, health policy and pharmaceutical sciences. The Canadian Institutes for Health Research defines knowledge synthesis as “the contextualization and integration of research findings of individual research studies within the larger body of knowledge on the topic. A synthesis must be reproducible and transparent in its methods, using quantitative and/or qualitative methods.”1 There are many types of knowledge synthesis including systematic reviews, scoping reviews, realist reviews. The course will introduce students to different techniques used for knowledge synthesis. The course is divided into four main sections: 1) Research questions and types of knowledge synthesis; 2) Databases and search strategies; 3) Critical appraisal and synthesis of findings; 4) Knowledge Dissemination and Publishing. Students are expected to complete readings and activities each week and actively participate in discussions. Each class will use examples from the knowledge synthesis literature, with a specific emphasis on pharmaceutical sciences and health services research, as well as examples from the instructors and peer learner experiences. The course will involve didactic sessions and activities, as well as small and large group seminar discussions.
Not offered in 2020-2021 academic year

PHM1135H Nanomedicines in Oncology

C. Allen
This course covers a range of topics that pertain to the development and application of nanomedicines in oncology. Students will gain an understanding of the biological barriers to drug delivery in oncology as well as the tremendous heterogeneity in cancer and the challenge this presents for treatment. The concepts of passive and active targeting of nanomedicines will be covered with critical assessment of the enhanced permeability and retention effect. A detailed overview of the most advanced nanotechnology-platforms for drug delivery (i.e. liposomes, block copolymer micelles and polymer-drug conjugates) will be provided with additional discussion of new emerging platforms. The integration of imaging in drug development and development of theranostics and therapeutic-diagnostic pairs will also be discussed. Special emphasis on critical evaluation of scientific literature and pre-clinical/clinical studies will be made throughout the course.
Not offered in 2020-2021 academic year

PHM1136H Introduction to Biostatistics

P. Grootendorst

The goal of this course is to provide students with the tools to conduct quantitative analyses of data derived from a two group RCT.  By the end of the course, students should be able to use these tools to:

•       Choose the right research question
•       Use appropriate data and statistical methods to address the question
•       Interpret results

We will model the impact of different randomly assigned treatments on outcomes using the linear regression model, and consider the properties of the ordinary least squares (OLS) estimator of the parameters of the linear regression model.  As we will see, the properties of the OLS estimator depend on the nature of the unobserved random component of the model (the “error term”).  We will we will consider the implications for our estimator of clustering and heteroskedasticity in the error term, and correlation of the error term with treatment choice.

The course will be lecture-based with ample opportunity for discussion.  This is a 2-hour course, once per week.  Additional tutorials will be scheduled at a convenient time to learn how to use Stata, which is the statistical software package that I use.

I am developing a follow-on course to be taught in the winter term that covers the multiple linear regression model, a maximum likelihood models for binary outcomes and for time to event data.  This follow-on course will use basic linear algebra.

Not offered in 2020-2021 academic year

PHM1137H Introduction to Qualitative Research Methods in the Health Science

H. Boon
This course will introduce students to interpretive and critical qualitative research methods in the health sciences.  The course is divided into three blocks: 1) Qualitative Research in Theory and Practice; 2) Data Collection and 3) Data Analysis.  Students are expected to complete the readings (methods text and exemplar study) each week, and to come to class ready to participate in discussions.  Each 3-hour class will use examples from the qualitative health sciences literature and from the instructor’s own research to help connect information from methods texts into actual, published empirical articles.  It will also combine didactic sessions with hands-on activities and small- and large-group discussions.  Students may use this course to start writing their thesis proposals.

PHM1138H Pharmaceutical Data Acquisition & Analysis

D. Dubins
The goal of this course is to introduce students to theoretical and applied concepts in electronic circuitry, for the purpose of collecting and analyzing experimental data in pharmaceutics and other contexts. The course is designed as approximately half small-group didactic teaching, and half laboratory exercises to experiment with and illustrate concepts. The course discusses introductory circuit design, with an emphasis on how common components work (e.g. resistors, capacitors, diodes, transistors, operational amplifiers, and a variety of sensors) in scientific and pharmaceutical manufacturing instrumentation.

Practical and mathematical aspects of circuit design are discussed (e.g. Ohm’s Law, voltage dividers, analog vs. digital signals). There is a heavy emphasis on programming in C++, taught from an introductory level, which will complement learning activities. Assessments will include quizzes, problem sets, a design project, a participation component, and a final exam.

With the recent advent of low-cost, consumer-level microprocessors (e.g. ATtiny, Arduino, Raspberry Pi, ESP8266), affordable and accessible processing power has empowered researchers with resources to take experimental designs to new heights. Such microprocessors are relatively simple compared to the complexity of today’s desktop computer; however, are more than powerful enough and fast enough to control sophisticated equipment such as scientific instrumentation and 3D printing. Previously, DACs (Digital-to-Analog Converters) were thousands of dollars, requiring high programming aptitude to bridge the gap between computer and instrument. Serial communication ports were reliable only at slower speeds (e.g. 1200 bps). Serial communication was finicky, and required access to equipment subroutines not always readily available. However, the climate has now changed for experimental design. Libraries are readily available, interfaces are more intuitive, and a large open source community exists to support scientists and hobbyists alike. Knowledge of programming and circuitry will provide a solid foundaPtion not only in experimental design and analysis for this field, but in many other areas as well.

The modern era of electronics has caused a paradigm shift. Due to economies of scale, electronic components have become very inexpensive. The electronics hobbyist niche has driven the development of modular electronic components marketed for general purposes, geared towards on open-source platforms (e.g. opto-isolator power relay circuits, and H-bridge motor controllers). Circuits that would previously need to be thoughtfully considered and designed are now available and packaged as low-cost, ready-to-use modules. This course will examine some of these modules and their usefulness in circuit design.

PHM1140H Principles of Synthetic Biology

K. Pardee
In this course, we will explore the foundations of synthetic biology and its application to the pharma­ceu­tical sciences and beyond. Synthetic biology is an emerging discipline that lies at the interface between biology and engineering.  Work in the field involves the design and construction of new biological components such as genetic circuits and metabolic pathways, and in doing so is creating new ways to produce small molecule drugs, novel protein/RNA-based therapeutics and diagnostics.

The course is designed to introduce students without a background in the field to the theoretical and applied concepts of synthetic bio­logy so that they can incorporate aspects into their own re­search and, more broadly, be aware of the poten­tial of this emerging discipline.  The course is organized to include a mixture of didactic teaching (17 hours) and practical classes (13 hours). Lectures will include an overview of synthetic biology, the technologies driving the field, practical theory on the design and assembly of genetically encoded tools, and the application of these technologies for human health.
Not offered in 2020-2021 academic year

PHM1141H Introduction to Education Theory, Practice and Scholarship

This course will introduce future educators to foundational aspects of teaching, learning, assessment, rooted in the discipline of social psychology, to help support effective pedagogy in diverse settings.  The goal of this course is to provide students with knowledge, skills, and motivation to identify learning needs of audiences, design curriculum, use effective teaching methods, and undertake program evaluation for the purpose of quality improvement, all in a scholarly, evidence-informed manner.
Not offered in 2020-2021 academic year

PHM1142H Methods for Patient-Focused and Pharmacy Practice Research

This course will focus on the methods for the conduct of patient-focused and pharmacy practice research.  This research commonly uses quantitative, qualitative or mixed methods approaches to generate new knowledge in areas such as pharmacy practice, clinical pharmacology, the effectiveness or implementation of interventions that improve health outcomes,  patterns in medication use, health care team function, and patient or other stakeholder perspectives.  Topics that will be covered include human research ethics, regulatory considerations, grant writing, project management, research design, and data collection and management approaches. Further, students will develop the concept for a research project as a component of this course. For MScPhm students this project can be the major research project required by the program.
Not offered in 2020-2021 academic year

PHM2100H Course Module: Sciences in New Drugs and Biologics

L. Kotra
This course module introduces students to the drug discovery and development sciences behind the latest drugs and biologics approved by Health Canada and/or US FDA. First two hours will be dedicated to introducing drug discovery and development sciences, interplay between regulatory path-pharmaceutical sciences and high-level discussions about technologies and tools. Students will be given assignments for a class presentation involving review, literature surveys and a 20-minute presentation per student, followed by 5-minute Q/A. Students are expected to get exposed to drug discovery/development integrated thought process, and various facets of new drugs and biologics. The overall module is designed to provide the overall understanding of many dimensions of drug/biologics development efficiently with a plug-in for the business of new medicines.
This course is worth 0.25 FCE.

AGE2000H Principles of Aging

D. Burnes
This is a graduate-level review of the theories and theoretical foundations of gerontology. Gerontology deals broadly with aging in relation to older individuals, aging populations, and with age as a category of social structure. This course will address a broad range of theories and concepts related to gerontology.  The application of theories and concepts to practice, policy and research by the student is a major focus of this course. A critical thinking approach to learning will be encouraged.

BTC1830H Medical & Scientific Challenges in Marketing New Drugs

J. Parker
This course is about Medical Marketing – a unique role in industry for scientists.  This course demonstrates how science (physiology, pharmacology, statistical analysis) is adapted to marketing issues in the pharmaceutical industry to market drugs (off label and pre-approval).  The course is intended for research based graduate students in life sciences with no prior business or regulatory background.  Business students may enroll but must have a life science background.  The regulatory environment is reviewed in Canada and its impact on how to use clinical and laboratory data to attack and defend compounds in a commercial setting.  The course is discussion based and goes through a series of case studies.  The class is divided into 3 teams each committed to defending a monoclonal antibody currently sold to treat a disease.  Each team is subdivided based on regulatory compliance.  At the conclusion of the course life science students should know:  how to adapt their background to the needs of the pharmaceutical industry; be regulatory compliant in making statements about a product and understand the current hiring needs of the pharmaceutical industry.

BTC1840H Patent Law for the Life Sciences

J. Parker
This course is intended for law students (ideally with some background in life science) and life science graduate students.  The course introduces patent law in the first four lecturers and then examines the application of this framework through a series of specific examples drawn from commercial examples of biotechnology and medical devices.  Patent agents and lawyers working in specific areas of patent protection will participate in the latter part of the course.  Lectures, through cases drawn through the industrial application of biotechnology and medical devices, will expand and build upon the legal basics set out in the introduction of the course.  Guest speakers will either be patent agents or patent lawyers who work in the area in question.

BTC1850H (Y) Creating Life Science Products

J. Parker
This is an interdisciplinary graduate course which draws together students to focus on a singular product problem.  A diverse cross section of students will be drawn from biomedical engineering, law, business, biotechnology, computer science, biology and design disciplines (e.g. OCAD University).  The course will meet twice monthly, which provides students the opportunity to seek out customers and experts relevant to their product idea.  Projects can seek to enhance existing products or propose new products.  The course consists of lectures, in-class team work exercises, and discussion components to move projects forward.  Evaluations will be based on participating (15%), final exam (20%, milestones in the major project (25%), major project report (30%) and presentation (10%).

HAD5312H Decision Modeling for Clinical Policy and Economic Evaluation II

D. Naimark
The course is designed to build on the skills acquired in the introductory decision analysis course (HAD5304). It will focus on practical, advanced decision modelling techniques. Most sessions will consist of a didactic component lasting 90 minutes followed by a hands-on lab session for 90 minutes. During the latter period, an exercise or exercises will be provided that will require application of the concepts covered in the didactic portion of the session.  The lecturer will be on hand to answer questions or provide clarification during the lab session. Each exercise will require the construction or modification of a small decision tree or sub-tree. Students may finish the exercise in the allotted time or complete the exercise after class. Students will be expected to turn in the completed exercise (tree and output files) the following week for grading. Students will also be expected to build a new decision model or modify an existing model (e.g. from the introductory course) in order to address a clinical policy or economic question of interest to them and to incorporate the new concepts acquired in HAD5312 into their models. On the last session, students will be expected to give a 20 minute presentation on their model and findings and turn in a final paper describing the model (no more than 3500 words and written as if for publication).
Prerequisite: HAD5304H, HAD5730H

HAD5744H Introduction to Health Econometrics

D. Rudoler
This course is designed to provide an introduction to econometric methods. That is, the basic principles of model development and testing that underlie much of applied health economics and health services research. The starting point is the fact that a great number of possible data generating processes yield very similar looking data series. The course deals with how to determine which data generating process, from among the range of possible ones, has actually generated the data you are working with. To that end, the course deals with application of statistical tests and procedures in the context of distinguishing between models. It is therefore assumed that students have a basic training in statistics.

HAD5746H Applied Health Econometrics

P. Pechlivanoglou
Application of econometric methods to predict or forecast, to estimate treatment effects, and to assess the precision of predictions or treatment effects estimates in a variety of different scenarios distinguished by:

  • The nature of the outcome variable (such as continuous, binary, ordered categorical)
  • The research design (experimental or observational)
  • The type of observations (cross sectional, time series or longitudinal)

In the case of treatment effects estimation, whether treatment effects are the same for all observations or if they are heterogeneous.


JCV3065H Advanced Topics in Cardiovascular Sciences: Systems Biology

A. Gramolini
Systems biology is a recent area of science that links general medical scientific research approaches with ‘large scale’ analyses. The overall goal of systems biology science is to connect complex biological networks with biochemical and physiological outcomes. Systems biology platforms include many of the ‘omic’ disciplines such as: genomics, epigenetics, transcriptomics, network signaling, metabolomics, interactomics, lipidomics and proteomics.

Links between cellular physiology and systems biology have profound significance to our understanding of general physiology.  This course will teach students of these recent developments, and importantly, enable them to extract and utilize information at the systems biology level.

The course will begin with a set of general lecture overviews of the approaches available, basic theory, and application.  The remaining lectures will be student-driven, seminar-based discussions with Faculty members as facilitators of this discussion. We will cover the major systems biology literature and technical approaches. The general course detail will be relatively narrow given the topics covered, however the written essay will provide the student sufficient opportunity to explore one area in greater detail.

The content will focus on areas of these omic approaches with a special focus on the cardiovascular systems.

JNP1014Y Interdisciplinary Toxicology

P. McPherson
A survey course examining several contemporary topics in toxicology with emphasis on human/mammalian toxicology. Topics in the course may include: adverse drug reactions, acute poisonings, natural toxins, maternal-fetal toxicology, forensic toxicology, environmental chemistry, pesticides, dioxins, endocrine disruptors, regulatory toxicology, occupational toxicology, food toxicology, herbal products, alcohol, smoking, and drugs of abuse. Students are evaluated by their performance on written tests and assignments.
Recommended Preparation: BCH210H, PCL201H,  PC302H, PCL362H, or their equivalents.

JNP1016H Graduate Seminar in Toxicology (Offered in alternate years)

C. Woodland
This course is a seminar-based course in which students critique scientific papers in the area of toxicology. Faculty members from a wide variety of disciplines will guide these sessions and give an overview of the relevant issues in the field. Students are evaluated by oral and written critiques of the scientific literature and by their participation in class discussions. This is a compulsory course for all M.Sc. and Ph.D. students in the Collaborative Program in Biomedical Toxicology. It is also open to other qualified graduate students if space permits.
Not offered in 2020-2021 academic year

JNP1017H Current Topics in Molecular and Biochemical Toxicology (Offered in alternate years)

J. Henderson
This course will emphasize the biochemical principles and mechanisms underlying the toxicity of drugs and foreign agents. In particular the current hypotheses that explain the events at the molecular level which determine and affect toxicity are examined and critically evaluated. This course is suitable for graduate students of pharmacy, toxicology, pharmacology, biochemistry, environmental science, pathology, neuroscience and medical biophysics. A weekly journal club will also be held after the lectures.

JNP1018H Molecular and Biochemical Basis of Toxicology I (Offered in alternate years)

J. Henderson
This course will emphasize the molecular biology principles and mechanisms underlying the toxicity of drugs and foreign agents. A journal club format is used to examine and critically evaluate the current hypotheses that explain the events at the molecular level which determine and affect toxicity. This course is suitable for graduate students of pharmacy, toxicology, pharmacology, biochemistry, environmental science, pathology, neuroscience and medical biophysics. A weekly journal club will also be held after the lectures.

JRH1000H Introduction to Pharmacoepidemiology

S. Cadarette, S. Frise, G. Liu
This joint course offered by the Graduate Departments of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Public Health Sciences provides an overview of foundational principles in the field of pharmacoepidemiology, from drug development and drug utilization research to drug safety and effectiveness studies that employ common pharmacoepidemiologic study designs. Students will develop foundational knowledge and skills in the field of pharmacoepidemiology. Each topic will include discussions that consider views from multiple perspectives from academia, government, healthcare professionals, industry and patients. Experience will be gained through practice exercises and assignments, class discussions, and small group exercises.
Prerequisites: CHL5401H, CHL5402H or other courses in observational research methods upon approval of course coordinators

PAS3700H Multidisciplinary Aspects of Addictions

B. Brands/N. Giesbrecht
This is a multidisciplinary course required of all students in the Collaborative Program in Alcohol, Tobacco and other Psychoactive Substances. The course aims at providing the student with the core knowledge and understanding of different behavioral, biological, historical, medical and socio-cultural perspectives regarding the use of psychoactive substances, including the epidemiology, etiology, treatment and prevention of problems associated with use.

PCL1004Y Graduate Course in Clinical Pharmacology

C. Woodland
This course aims at familiarizing the student with the rapidly growing field of clinical pharmacology. Graduates may pursue a career in this field in a hospital setting, in the pharmaceutical industry or regulatory agencies. The first part of the course focuses on clinical pharmacokinetics. The second part is devoted to selected topics in clinical pharmacology with special emphasis on how to design and interpret drug studies.

PPG2010H Panel Data Methods for Public Policy Analysis

O. Falenchuk
The course provides a rigorous introduction to statistical methods for the analysis of panel data with specific application to the major Canadian longitudinal data sets. This course is offered in collaboration with the Toronto RDC. The RDC provides secure access to Canada’s preeminent panel data sets for public policy analysis as well as variety of other Statistics Canada data. The course will take place within RDC providing students hands on experience with these important sources of information on public issues. The RDC offers both lecture space and a computer lab for tutorials. While the specific goal of this course is to introduce students to empirical methods for the analysis of longitudinal data, an important by product is their exposure to the RDC data. These data are increasingly “the basis” for new survey based research in health, education, economics and other social sciences in Canada. Instruction includes a combination of lectures and tutorials. In tutorials, students will complete series of problem sets that provide an introduction to the RDC panel data sets and practice in their analysis. The statistical methods reviewed will be drawn from a variety of disciplines to promote the inter-disciplinary study of public policy. Certain topics of particular relevance to the RDC panel data (e.g., cluster sampling, bootstrapping) may also be covered.