PCL362H S - Introductory Toxicology


Dr. Peter Wells
email: pg.wells@utoronto.ca

This lecture course is concerned primarily with human diseases or toxicities caused by drugs and environmental chemicals, collectively termed xenobiotics. The goal is to provide students with a conceptual framework for understanding the broad spectrum of toxicological problems encountered in clinical practice, in drug development and regulation, and in medical research.The first half of the course provides an introduction to the field of toxicology, the molecular and biochemical basis of how xenobiotics initiate toxicity, and major genetic and environmental determinants of risk. In the second half of the course, these principles are applied in a detailed evaluation of a limited number of illustrative organs and biochemical systems that are adversely affected by xenobiotics.The general approach of the course, reinforced by the essay format of all exams, is to encourage a mechanistic strategy for addressing toxicological problems, rather than a recitation of adverse drug reactions.

Marking Scheme: Essay examinations. Two mid-terms (25% each); final exam (50%).

Recommended Reading: Students will download handouts (required reading)from the course web site at the beginning of the term.

While not required, the following textbooks most closely reflect the course material in a relatively brief format: Essentials of Toxicology, CD Klaassen and JB Watkins (eds.), McGraw-Hill, 2003; and Principles of Biochemical Toxicology, 3rd edition, John Timbrell, Taylor and Francis, 2000. More detailed information, including many topics not covered in this course, can be found in library copies of the following two major references: (1) Toxicology: The Basic Science of Poisons, 6th edition, CD Klaassen (ed.), McGraw-Hill, 2001; and, (2) The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics, 11th edition, Brunton et al. (eds.), McGraw-Hill, 2006 (also available online).