20519 Toxins and Toxicology

Credits: 3 advanced seminar credits in Life Sciences

Prerequisites: 36 credits in the Sciences, including General Biology II or Human Physiology, General Chemistry1 (or General Chemistry I + General Chemistry II, for Biology Students; or General Chemistry I + General Chemistry II), Biochemistry I, Cell Structure and Function (single-semester format or year-long format) and Organic Chemistry for Biology Students (or Organic Chemistry). Students must also fulfill all English requirements and take bibliographic instruction in the Library.

Recommended: Biochemistry II

The course is based on a reader edited by Uri Wormser.

The modern era has witnessed the development of a widespread chemical industry, ranging from medications and food additives to pesticides, organic solvents and chemical warfare agents. Exposure to these substances poses a potential risk to the individual as well as to entire populations. Along with increased public awareness of the importance of this issue and allocation of resources for its development, there has been enormous progress in toxicology research in recent years. This has resulted in major advances in understanding the molecular basis of various types of poisoning. Subsequently, medications and measures to prevent these poisonings have been developed.

Objectives: To acquaint students with the molecular toxic mechanisms of toxins on the cell, organ and organism level, as well as the symptoms of poisoning and the epidemiology and monitoring of toxic substances; To introduce students to pharmacological means of treating poisoning, their functioning on the molecular level, and the physical and chemical principles of treating poison victims; To acquaint students with types of toxicity tests and provide an understanding of the background for determining danger/safety levels in using toxic substances.

After studying the material, students write a seminar paper based on analysis of updated research findings and discuss it with their tutor.

1or General Chemistry (20477 or 20487), which is no longer offered.