CDL6301 – Cardiovascular Pharmacology: personalising medicine

IPP only.

Module Co-ordinator: Professor Sheila Francis


This unit aims to extend student’s knowledge and understanding of cardiovascular pharmacology as applied to ‘real-world’ (individual and patient/lifestyle based) clinical contexts. Particular emphasis will be placed upon network medicine, genomic strategies and personalising treatments for patients with heart disease.


This module aims to describe all aspects of modern cardiovascular pharmacology to enable the student to understand how and why medical treatments for cardiovascular disease are becoming increasingly personalised. Drugs that influence the function of the heart, blood vessels and blood cells in cardiovascular disease states and their interactions in humans will be discussed. New approaches to the multimodal treatment of heart disease will be explained.


By the end of the unit the student will be able to:

  1. describe and assess the molecular and cellular actions of drugs that affect the cardiovascular system
  2. classify the major cardiovascular drugs in current use by their actions at a cellular and molecular level
  3. evaluate the pharmacological basis for the treatment of major cardiovascular diseases and appreciate the common side effects that these drugs can produce
  4. show understanding of the importance of personalised medicine strategies for cardiovascular disease and how these are derived
  5. have knowledge of new and emerging pharmacological treatments for cardiovascular disease.

Teaching Methods

Teaching will be by conventional lectures with topics supported by directed reading. Each set of topic area lectures (heart, vessels, blood cells) will contain at least one example of a personalised treatment approach to heart disease and detail an emerging pharmacological treatment for that specific area. Each topic area covered will contain an explained example of cutting edge research that is leading to new pharmacological treatment. Lecturers may also set directed reading or a themed ‘real world’ clinical scenario to aid the learning outcomes. Lecturers may also direct students to useful databases or clinical trial literature.


Coursework (essay) 60%,
Examination 40%

The coursework will be an extended essay (from a choice of 3 titles) of 2000 words with a focus upon modern individualised pharmacological approaches in cardiovascular disease settings. This will test both specific knowledge imparted by the lectures and your ability to independently review the contemporary literature in the area. The final examination will be short answer questions (3 in total, all compulsory) allowing 40 minutes for each answer. This will test breadth of knowledge, factual recall of lecture material, extra reading and the your ability to apply knowledge to real world cardiology/haematology settings.