Dept. of Pharmacology, 8683
School of Medicine
Tulane University
1430 Tulane Ave
New Orleans, LA 70112

Molecular & Cellular Pharmacology: Course Policies



Course Director: Craig W Clarkson PhD
(Office: Rm 3554, 1430 Tulane Ave.; Tel: 504-988-2641; Email:

Teaching Faculty: 

Asim Abdel-Mageed, PhD
Barbara S Beckman, PhD
Bruce A Brunnell, PhD
William J George, PhD
Prasad Katakam, MD, PhD
Sarah Lindsey, PhD
Debasis Mondal, PhD
William Wimley, PhD



Provides an introduction to the theory & applications of molecular biology in research and medicine.


This is a "team taught" course involving 8 faculty. Each lecture will have a handout covering the content of the lecture or exercise, along with a list of learning objectives. Lectures are commonly recorded on Tegrity & can be reviewed online at a later date. A list of lecture topics includes:

  • Monoclonal Antibodies
  • Structure & Function of Proteins
  • Microscopy
  • Stem Cell Biology
  • Stem & Gene Therapy
  • Electrophoresis & Immunoblotting
  • Tissue Culture
  • Hybridization & PCR
  • DNA Sequencing
  • Use of Animals in Research
  • Gene Transfer Technology
  • Recombinant DNA Technology
  • Gene Array & Proetomics



No recommended text. Lecture material is presented in class & posted online.




A. Lectures

Lectures are given in Rm 4700 in the Department of Pharmacology. See the online lecture schedule for exact times. Lectures will cover concepts and methods in cell & molecular biology, physiology and pharmacology. Each lecture will have an associated handout posted online on our Graduate wiki (hosted on the protected Tulane Greenspace server). Handouts describe the essential concepts and facts to be learned.  Each lecture will also have a list of specific learning objectives that further clarify which major facts and concepts should be addressed in order to master the material. The learning objectives are also posted on Greenspace wiki. Some lectures may utilize our Classroom Response System. All graduate students are  loaned a clicker at the beginning of the academic year (which needs to be returned at the end of the year).

B. Exams (Summative Assessment)

We have 3 progress exams scheduled in the Fall Semester. Each block has a variable number of lectures, and questions worth 15 points per 2 hour lecture are included on each block exam.

A zero will be given for an unexcused absence from an exam. A letter is required from the Dr. Craig Clarkson (course director) & Director of Graduate Studies, to obtain an excused absence from an exam. Students with valid excuses will typically be required to take the exam within a week of the original date.

Goals of the Examinations

They are used:

  1. As a motivational force to stimulate you to achieve a minimal knowledge of drug actions to prepare you for the practice of medicine.
  2. To determine your areas of strength and weakness.
  3. To stimulate you to study further in your area of weakness.
  4. As a teaching modality and learning process.

C. Copyright Restrictions on Summative Assessment Questions:

All exam questions and all other questions used to assess knowledge in this course are copyrighted and owned by Tulane University School of Medicine and this department. REPRODUCTION OF THESE QUESTIONS BY ANY MEANS and/or DISTRIBUTION OF THESE RESOURCES is strictly prohibited, and will be considered A VIOLATION OF THE TULANE UNIVERSITY HONOR CODE.


D. Tips on How To Study

Remember Einstein's quote "You do not really understand something unless you can explain it to your grandmother". If your grandmother isn't available, you should review frequently with smal groups of your classmates (peers) to challenge each other about your depth of understanding. The best way to learn is to try and teach others! This is a tenant of peer instruction/discussion and team-based learning. In teaching others you will achieve a depth of learning that cannot be obtained by attending traditional lectures or by self study. Review frequently.



  • The course grade will be determined from the percent of the total possible points you obtain from all exam questions.
  • An end of semester cumulative average of ≥ 90% is needed to earn an A, and a cumulative average of ≥ 80% is needed to ensure a B letter grade. Cumulative averages of less than 80% are likely to result in a grade of B- or lower.



Attendance at formal lectures is required. 


Excused Absence Policy

If a student has a legitimate reason for missing a lecture or exam (e.g. illness, family emergency, or a medical school interview), they should request an excused absence from Dr. Clarkson (Course Director) as soon as possible. If an excused absence is granted, lack of participation will not negatively affect their grade. It is the student's responsibility to request & obtain the excused absence in a timely manner, and to consult with classmates & the course director for any questions on the missed activity. Students should also notify the course director concerning their excused absence ASAP. Exams missed with an excused absence will be made up in a timely manner.


1430 Tulane Avenue, SL-83, New Orleans, LA 70112 504-988-5444