The proposed Short Course in Integrative and Organ Systems Pharmacology is designed to provide graduate students, postdocs, junior faculty and industrial scientists with lectures, demonstrations and lots of hands-on experiences with intact animals and various isolated organ systems. This request is for four years of funding to continue our highly successful current Short Course. The teaching of these techniques and ways of thinking have become increasing important as more and more pharmacology training programs have become exclusively cellular and molecular in nature. The course is offered during two weeks in the summer and focuses on cardiovascular and behavioral/neuropharmacology. Lectures are provided on the functioning of IACUCs, the humane treatment of animals and applicable regulations, background material on cardiovascular physiology, pharmacology and neuropharmacology. Instrumented animals will be used (dogs, rats) for whole animal cardiovascular experiments and various techniques will be used for examining nociception and cognition and other behaviors in rodents. Isolated vascular material and hearts will be used for organ system studies. The drugs used in these experiments will be the same as those used in the instrumented animals. There will also be a 2 days set aside for elective, hands on, focused experiences selected by the students. An optional subsequent internship experience will be available for interested students.
The pharmaceutical industry and academic biomedical research institutions are increasingly realizing the essential role of intact organ systems and in vivo animal models in the conduct of biomedical research. There is a growing need for functional analysis of complete biological systems that include the complex genetic and environmental determinants that are only expressed in whole organisms. To meet this need, we propose a short course to provide formal training in Integrative and Organ Systems Pharmacology.
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