Applied Toxicology

All substances existing in the environment are potentially poisonous when present in high levels. Toxicology is the study of poisons and their harmful effects on biological systems. Drugs are remedies for diseases but can also have harmful effects leading to toxicity and deadly injuries. Clinical toxicology tests for all potential poisons, diagnoses overdosed patients, develops new remedies, and understands how substances can cause harmful effects to people. The environment and ecosystems are constantly attacked by certain potentially hazardous chemicals, such as pesticides, herbicides, heavy metals and pollutants. Environmental toxicology is a field that screens these substances for a better monitoring of the environment.

Toxicologists are polyvalent scientists who can work in industries, specialty laboratories, universities and poison control centers.

Toxicology is also an efficient tool to diagnose genetically inherited diseases and diseases caused by toxic substances or drug of abuse, detect doping, identify the cause of death in order to solve the mystery of a crime, study the effect of pollution on individuals and on the environment, and develop new products, such as cosmetics, drugs, safe bio-pesticides and food additives.

The Specialty program in Applied Toxicology at the AUST is divided into two parts:

The first part is dedicated to familiarize participants with topics related to Applied Toxicology, such as: Medicinal Chemistry, Biochemistry, Environmental Chemistry, Pharmacology, Pharmacodynamics, Pharmacokinetics and Instrumental Chemistry.

The second part includes a series of courses rich in applications and practical training. These courses include advanced topics in Applied Pharmacology, Environmental Toxicology, Pharmaco-Toxicology, and new trends in Applied Toxicology.

Participants can learn the analysis of various biochemical molecules, drugs, heavy metals, chemicals, pollutants, drugs and pesticides in biological fluids and tissues and explosives. Students will have a hands-on training on Gas and Liquid Chromatography, Mass Spectrometry, UV Visible, Atomic Absorption and Infrared Spectroscopy equipment.

CLS 529 Quality Assurance None
CLS 570 Bioorganic Chemistry NONE
CLS 571 Advanced Instrumental Chemistry NONE
CLS 573 Sample Preparation NONE
CLS 575 Pharmacology and Medicinal Chemistry NONE
CLS 579 Applied Toxicology NONE
CLS 580 Seminars in Biotechnology NONE
CLS579L Applied Toxicology Laboratory NONE
CLS583L Forensic Chemistry Laboratory NONE
CLS585L Forensic Toxicology Laboratory NONE
Course Descriptions
CLS 529
Quality Assurance
In both pharmacology and toxicology, an effective Quality Assurance is crucial to preserving the integrity of the data generated in the laboratory and to be released in the form of raw, processed and finished materials. This course provides hands-on practice of Good Laboratory Practices (GLP) and Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) that must be adopted to produce materials in compliance with international standards. Major aspects of QA will be addressed, among which the identification of critical sources of variability and their control, sampling systems, regulatory requirements for lab operations, prediction of product quality, and the methodology for the measurement of manufacturing quality.
Prerequisite: None
CLS 570
Bioorganic Chemistry
This is an advanced course designed to provide biochemical principles and applications pertinent to cell function and membrane structure. Research-related biochemical methodologies of macromolecules identification and analysis will be emphasized.
Prerequisite: NONE
CLS 571
Advanced Instrumental Chemistry
This course triggers in-depth understanding of current methods used in advanced instrumental chemistry, their uses, strengths and limitations. Students will acquire advanced theoretical knowledge of analytical instruments used in chemical and biochemical laboratories including spectroscopic techniques, mass spectrometry, ion mobility, high performance liquid chromatography, gas chromatography and computational modeling all of which methods are used in the identification of sample composition and structure.
Prerequisite: NONE
CLS 573
Sample Preparation
This short course is designed to provide theoretical insight into the different toxicology and pharmacology sample types, their preparation schemes, sizes, storage methods and handling. Course also covers the statistical requirements in sampling planning and incoming materials evaluation.
Prerequisite: NONE
CLS 575
Pharmacology and Medicinal Chemistry
This course combines an in-depth understanding of pharmacology with a condensed overview of medicinal chemistry and its applications. The pharmacology part will address the use, effect, and interaction of a drug in the organism with an emphasis on major action, side effects, toxic symptoms and linkage to chemical configuration of the drug molecule. The Medicinal Chemistry part of the course will describe the alteration of chemical properties and functional groups in drugs to better their availability, absorption, metabolism, pharmacokinetics and duration of action.
Prerequisite: NONE
CLS 579
Applied Toxicology
This course will drive students through the concepts of drug toxicokinetics and toxicodynamic activities on public health. Course will discuss the adverse effects of drugs on living systems (cells, tissues, organs, and organisms) with an overview of drug distribution, cellular penetration, metabolic conversions, and excretion. Aspects of drugs adverse effects will be addressed in the context of specific toxicology-related diseases and will include an understanding of the environmental factors that can enhance drug toxicity.
Prerequisite: NONE
CLS 580
Seminars in Biotechnology
Includes review and scientific critique of literature, overview of research design and style of scientific papers related to Biotechnology. Students will present papers related to current literature on a weekly basis. In addition, students will attend a minimum of seven seminars by visiting scientists and submit a final report listing the date, title and name of the speaker along with a one paragraph summary of each seminar.
Prerequisite: NONE
Applied Toxicology Laboratory
This course covers the application of different methods and analytical techniques including Mass Spectrometry, Gas and Liquid Chromatography, UV Visible and AAS equipment. Students can learn the principle of these techniques and try to identify and monitor their various aspects.
Prerequisite: NONE
Forensic Chemistry Laboratory
This course covers the applications of wet chemistry techniques in the field of Forensic science: TLC, Color Test, Extraction Method, as well as the analysis and monitoring of controlled substances.
Prerequisite: NONE
Forensic Toxicology Laboratory
This laboratory course will address practical aspects in the toxicological testing methods of bodily fluid samples or tissue samples during the identification of toxic products. Another outcome of the course consists in becoming familiar with the determination of the level of contribution of a given substance to the intoxication or lethality of the body contaminated.
Prerequisite: NONE

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