Pharmaceutical Sciences

Since 1946, the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences at UBC has made a lasting difference in the health and well-being of people throughout British Columbia and beyond.
UBC Pharm Sci is proud to have shaped the education and expertise of thousands of pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists whose work has improved patient care and pharmaceutical research across the world.

July 13 - August 13, 2019 Course Packages

Pharmaceutical Sciences

The Discovery of New Medicines

What does it take to find a new drug? The objective of the course will be to answer this question by introducing the participants to the drug discovery and development process. Specifically, the role of the Pharmaceutical Sciences in the discovery of new medicines will be described. Case studies will be presented by experienced scientists that illustrate challenges that interdisciplinary drug discovery teams must overcome. In addition, participants will have an opportunity to visit the laboratories of a local research organization involved in supporting drug discovery efforts. By taking this course, participants will gain an appreciation of the collaborative work that is required in the search for new therapies.

Personalizing Medicines with Genomics and Biotechnology

For millennia, we have sought to understand how to treat disease using potions, teas, pills and most recently, genetically engineered cells. Todays pharmaceuticals are remarkable in their ability to target specific cancers, infectious agents and other ailments such as diabetes and heart disease. Yet despite their effectiveness, these medicines tend to treat all patients as members of one homogeneous population.

Recently, next generation DNA sequencing is making the possibility of medicine tailored to an individual a reality. Cancer treatments can now be designed to match your specific DNA, eliminating the trial-and-error approach to treatment. Similarly, DNA sequencing can match your prescriptions to your genome. The integration of DNA sequencing with drug therapy has been a disruptive innovation, bringing the science of “big data” to medicine and pharmacy. In this course we will use interactive lecture and a labortaory experience (see below) to explore how these and other innovations are revolutionizing healthcare and wellness.

Laboratory Component: The first human genome cost almost $3BillionUSD and took several years to complete, yet today we can sequence a genome for less than $1000 in a few days. One of the most exciting insights from DNA technology is the field of pharmacogenomics, which can help determine how your genome affects how you will respond to dozens of medications. In the laboratory we will isolate our DNA and decode the sequence of these ‘pharmacogenes’. We will then analyze these data to predict how we will respond to commonly prescribed medications.