Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center School of Medicine


Daniel R. Kapusta, Course Director and
Peter J. Winsauer, Co-Course Director 

Medical Class of 2014

Introduction to the 2012 Sophomore Medical Pharmacology Course, PHARM 200

Pharmacology is the study of chemical agents and their interactions with biological systems.  Those agents which are used for therapeutic purposes are nominally called medicinal drugs.  In addition, pharmacology is also concerned with non-therapeutic agents and their effects on biological systems, i.e., diagnostics, substances of abuse, and toxicants.  In this context, the study and mastery of pharmacology provides you with a critical foundation on which to build your clinical skills.  Each of you will be prescribing medications throughout your careers as physicians.  Hence, each of you has a genuine need to learn basic pharmacological principles and their applications to the evaluation of individual agents.  It is the purpose of this course to provide you with the information necessary to achieve those skills.

The following information is a guide to our course.  It lists the objectives (posted separately on ‘M’ drive and Moodle), means of evaluation and grading system that we will utilize, as well as recommended textbooks, attendance and professionalism policy, a list of faculty and other elements of the course you need to know.  Please note that the second year course directors put a lot of work and special attention into arranging your schedule for this year.  This was done to enhance your ability to attend regularly scheduled lectures.  We sincerely hope that you will avail yourself to this opportunity.

This is one of the most exciting periods to be in the field of medicine, particularly from a therapeutic perspective.  With the completion of the human genome and the establishment of technology platforms in gene arrays and pharmacogenomics, during the course of your career, you will be presented with unprecedented opportunities in terms of understanding disease mechanisms, diagnosis and therapeutics.

SCOPE AND OBJECTIVES (See M drive for general course objectives and a list of lecture objectives; this course information will also be provided via access through Moodle)

The course is designed to present the student with a broad overview of pharmacology with an emphasis on its application to the practice of medicine.  The objective of this presentation is to provide you with a basis for under­standing drug actions, desired as well as undesired, so that you will be prepared to use therapeutic agents in a rational manner throughout the span of your practice.  Although the importance of basic concepts and principles are recognized, straight facts and their applica­tions must also be learned, and an ability to integrate information concern­ing one class of drugs with another must be demonstrated.  The course content will generally reflect the Knowl­edge Objectives in Medical Pharmacology as established by the Association for Medical School Pharmacolo­gy (AMSP).  It should be pointed out that AMSP anticipates that the USMLE Part I will closely reflect these objectives in terms of content. 


Our primary means of communication is the lecture.  Just about every major lecture series is presented by a faculty member actively pursuing clinical or basic research in the area under discussion.  Mainly for this reason, the lectures in this course tend to focus on the leading edge of current thought.  Conse­quently, the lecturer often provides an alternative perspective than the textbooks and, not infre­quently, might differ from texts.

The lecture series begins with a treatment of general pharmacologic principles that apply to all drugs.  This is followed by lectures on specific drug classes, the application of specific agents for the preven­tion, diagnosis and treatment of disease states.  Throughout the course, we will revisit general topics relating to all drug classes by consid­ering such issues as the influences of disease states, age and other factors on drug disposition.

Our philosophy is that drug development changes rapidly while basic princi­ples evolve and change more slowly, and by understanding the latter, you will be able to keep up with the former.  Not only does the number of new drugs introduced into medicine continue to expand, but use of older agents endures.  In order to live with this expand­ing number of drugs, we focus our teaching on prototype drugs, pointing out how other agents vary from the most important agents of their class.


These conferences are intended to provide a somewhat more informal setting for subjects that we feel are best handled in a more interactive atmosphere.  The purpose of these conferences is to acquaint the student with how certain basic principles in pharmacology and specific agents contribute to the treatment of various disease states.  In addition, these conferences will provide the student with the opportunity to review drugs previously covered in the course in relation to their use in different patient-care settings.  The conferences will be presented by clinical faculty.  It should be noted that these conferences are intended to be interactive for the faculty and students.  Thus, it is expected that the students will ask questions during these presentations.


We try to adhere rigorously to the printed schedule, as many individuals make long-range plans based on it.  If and when a schedule change is absolutely necessary, this will be announced at lecture at the earliest possible time.  Students who miss these or other announcements due to absence are responsi­ble for obtaining this information.


The Department recommends the following books for this course as references, some of which are available online via Access Medicine (*see below).

1)    * Goodman & Gilman's The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics;

available from the library via AccessMedicine.


2)    * Basic & Clinical pharmacology. Edited by Bertram G. Katzung 2009;

available electronically via AccessMedicine.


3)    FIRST AID for the USMLE STEP 1, 2011, Eds. Tao Le, Vikas Bhushan and Juliana Tolles;

for preparation for USMLE Step 1.  This book is available in the bookstore.


Lecture notes, power points and objectives will be available on the M-Drive. Note, the same course material will also be made available to students via Moodle.

In addition to the textbooks listed above, there are many excellent sources of information that deal with the clinical aspects of pharmacology that may be of interest to you and serve as references.  These include - but are not limited to - The Medical Letter, The New England Journal of Medicine, Drugs, and Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics. These texts are available in the library.

* How to use library online resources from LSUHSC or your Home :

If you are at the university grounds and your computer is part of the university network:

Go to:

Click on “Libraries”

Click on “John P. Ishe Library”

Click on “Electronic Resources”

Click on “A”

Click on “Access Medicine”   “Access on Campus”

Click on “Text books”

You will find G and G and Basic and Clinical Pharmacology on that page


Go to:

Click on “Libraries”

Click on “John P. Ishe Library”

Click on “INNOPAC”

Type the title or author of the book, then ask to access electronically

If you are at home or elsewhere, or you are at work but your laptop is not part of the university network:

Go to :

Click on “Libraries”

Click on “John P. Ishe Library”

Click on “Electronic Resources”

Click on “A”

Click on “Access Medicine”   “Access off Campus”

You will get a page to register your name etc:

Fill in Your “last name, first name”

Fill in the “Bar code number behind your ID card (no spaces)”

If you do not have a PIN it will guide you to make up a PIN number, then you can proceed as above.


Go directly to INNOPAC as described above and find the book by title or author and then click on electronic access.


There will be 3 progress exams and a final examinat­ion. The dates and times of the exams are listed on the Lecture and Exam Schedule. The Final Examination will be given on Friday,May 11th, 2012, and will be a shelf exam of the National Board of Medical Examiners. 

All progress exams will consist of multiple choice questions from the material presented in lectures, clinical correlations, and in some cases from the suggested reading material. They will be given in the MDLS labs located on the 4th floor of the MEB.  The NBME Shelf Examination will begin at 9:00 am and will last for 2.5 hours.  


The “Professionalism Expectations” for PHARM 200 are posted on the M drive and Moodle. Each student will be required to sign an Honor Statement before each examination. It is expected that you will uphold this statement and conduct yourself in an honest, trustworthy and ethical manner.  Since the exams are closed book, this includes not accepting from or providing information to fellow students or copying.  In addition, you are expected to understand that the materials on the exams, lecture power point presentations and lecture note are all copyrighted materials.  Distributing or posting of such materials requires prior permission from the owner of these intellectual materials or will result in legal action.

Traffic during examinations is a distraction.  If you must leave, obtain an acknowledge­ment from a proctor and leave your exam materials with him/her.  Also, the proctors will try to keep announcements during exams to minimum.


The Department of Pharmacology will not use a challenge system.  All Exams will be reviewed by at least 5 faculty members before each exam. 


A student who is unable to take any particular scheduled and required examina­tion is expected to notify (by phone or in person) the Department ATONCE.  An unexcused absence will result in a grade of ZERO for that exam


The passing grade for each examination is 1.5 standard deviation units below the class mean or 70%, whichever is lower.  Thus a grade of 70% is always passing, irrespec­tive of the class mean. 


Each exam will be evaluated on a percent basis. Exams will be weighted as follows: Exam I, 27%; Exam II, 27%; Exam III, 27%; Shelf Final, 19% .

Each exam will contain 100 questions with the exception of the shelf final.                        

It is our policy to award an “Honors” grade to those students with a final average of 91% or above, a “High Pass” to those with a final average of 80%-90%, and a “Pass” to those with a final average of 70%-79%.

In accordance with the policy of the School of Medicine in New Orleans, the Department reserves the right to re-examine a student at any time to obtain a more accurate evalua­tion of the student's knowledge in Medical Pharmacology.  After prior notification by the student of a problem related to an exam and at the discretion of the Faculty, a student whose over-all grade in the course is at the level of a near-pass due to poor performance on one of the regularly scheduled examinations may be re-examined on that material.  In such cases, the student will be informed in writing of the deficit and in consultation with the Faculty, a remediation program will be estab­lished.  The nature of the program will be tailored to individual needs of the student.  The student will be re-examined on the material by the faculty member(s) directing the remediation.  The remediation process must be completed by a date to be announced.  At the end of the program, the faculty mem­ber(s) overseeing the remedial work will submit a written evaluation to the Depart­ment for their consideration and assignment of a final grade.  The student will receive a copy of the evaluation.  A student who successfully remediates their deficiency will receive a "Pass" grade for the course.  A student who does not successfully remediate the deficiency will receive a "Fail" grade for the course. 


It is the policy and expectation of the Pharmacology Department that students attend all regularly scheduled class functions.  The School of Medicine policy on attendance:

Students are expected to meet the standard of performance as specified by the faculty in each course, including requirements governing attendance at lectures and other course activities.  It is expected that students will attend all course activities.  Explana­tion of absence from course activities is to be submitted in writing by the student to the course director or teaching unit involved. When absence from course activities can be anticipated, arrange­ments should be made in advance with the appropriate faculty member for whatever make-up work may be required.  Faculty action concerning student absences should be reported to the Office of Student Affairs and Records for inclusion in the student's file.


Faculty members will, at their discretion, attempt to cooperate with the note-takers in identifying errors and providing clarifi­cations.  However, the faculty cannot guarantee perfection in this endeavor and cannot accept responsibility for note-takers' errors.  In addition, faculty members will not correct an error of omission. 


Administrative matters will be handled by the Academic Coordinator in the Department of Pharmacology.  The telephone number is 504-568-4740.

One major responsibility of the Course Directors is to see that everyone who needs it is given the necessary help to succeed in the course.  Don't hesitate to come to us if you are having difficulty with the course.  A faculty member's door is always open to you.



Daniel Kapusta, Ph.D., Professor of Pharmacology,

Peter Winsauer, Ph.D., Professor of Pharmacology,


Murtuza Ali, M.D., Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine

Wayne L. Backes, Ph.D., Professor of Pharmacology and Associate Dean for Research

Hamid Boulares, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Pharmacology

Andrew Catling, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Pharmacology

Charles Cefalu, M.D., Professor of Internal Medicine and Chief of Section of Geriatric Medicine

Stephania Cormier, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Pharmacology

Bennet J. deBoisblanc, M.D., Professor of Medicine and Physiology, Director of Critical Care Services

Marcus Delatte, Ph.D.  Pharmacology Toxicology Reviewer, Food and Drug Administration, Silver Spring MD

Catalin Filipeanu, M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Professor – Research, Pharmacology

Harry Gould, Ph.D., M.D., Professor of Neurology and Neuroscience

Paula Gregory, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Genetics

James Hill, Ph.D., Professor of Ophthalmology, Neuroscience, Pharmacology, and Microbiology

Jeffrey Hobden, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Microbiology, Immunology, and Parasitology

Kristopher Kaliebe, M.D. Assistant Professor of Psychiatry

Stephen Kantrow, M.D., Associate Professor of Medicine

Daniel R. Kapusta, Ph.D., Professor of Pharmacology

Alan Kaye, M.D., Ph.D., Head and Professor of Anesthesiology, Professor of Pharmacology

Eric Lazartigues, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Pharmacology

Kim E. LeBlanc, M.D., Ph.D., Chair and Professor of Family Medicine

Diana McDermott, M.D., M.P.H.,Clinical Instructor, Department of Pediatrics

Donna Neumann, Ph.D., Assistant Professor – Research, Pharmacology

Charles Nichols, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Pharmacology

Dennis Paul, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Pharmacology

Reginald D. Sanders, M.D., Rheumatologist in Private Practicen (

Victor Tuckler, M.D., Clinical Instructor of Medicine

Kurt J. Varner, Ph.D., Head and Professor of Pharmacology

Peter Winsauer, Ph.D., Professor of Pharmacology


        Department Office – Medical Education Building, Suite 7103, Phone 504-568-4740