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MMB8032 : Toxicology

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Matthew Wright
  • Lecturer: Professor Ann Daly, Dr Paul Jowsey, Dr Christopher Morris, Dr Vanessa Armstrong, Dr Ernest Harpur, Dr Simon Wilkinson, Dr Ruben Thanacoody
  • Owning School: FMS Graduate School
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


The aims of the module are to give a broad understanding in Toxicology, from basic concepts and molecular mechanisms to a review of target organ toxicities, pre-clinical and clinical pharmaceutical toxicology testing. The module will provide a broad overview of Toxicology as it is applied in the Pharmaceutical industries.

Outline Of Syllabus

The module will consider:

1. Basic concepts in Toxicology, (type of toxic response/factors affecting toxicity)

2. Toxicokinetics (ADME/toxicokinetic parameters)

3. Xenobiotic metabolism (phase I/II)

4. Molecular mechanisms (oxidative stress, genotoxicity, carcinogenicity, epigentics)

5. Necrosis

6. Apoptosis

7. Non-genotoxic carcinogenesis

8. Target organ toxicity (liver, kidney, skin, immune, neuro, lung)

9. Compound safety – pharmaceuticals – pre-clinical

10. Compound safety – pharmaceuticals – clinical trials

11. Idiosyncratic adverse drug reactions

12. Mechanism-based risk assessment

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion150:0050:00Revision for Examination
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture201:0020:00Lectures
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching31:003:00Tutorials - class may be split
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching21:002:00Seminars - class may be split
Guided Independent StudyReflective learning activity115:0015:00Additional Reading and Reflective Learning
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study130:0030:00Preparation and Submission of 3000 word Essay
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study130:0030:00Preparation of Oral Presentation based on Paper including Presentation
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study150:0050:00Preparation of Notes from Lectures and Reading
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

A grounding in the fundamental tenets of Toxicology will be provided by the lectures and through guided private study of course texts, additional suggested materials during the course and through attendance of research seminars. Critical appraisal will be covered in a seminar and essay feedback. Communication of toxicological data will be covered in tutorials and feedback on their presentations.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination601A60One question to be answered from a choice of three
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Report1M20Appraisal of scientific literature (3000 word essay)
Prof skill assessmnt1M20Oral presentation
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The written exam will test the students’ knowledge base in toxicology and as a key component forms the majority of the assessment marks. Critical appraisal of toxicological data and presentational skills will be tested by both the 3000 word essay and oral presentation. The significant amount of time required for these tasks warrants the 40% of assessment marks.

Reading Lists