Models for Biological Systems

7.5 credits

Syllabus, Master's level, 3FB207

A revised version of the syllabus is available.
Education cycle
Second cycle
Main field(s) of study and in-depth level
Drug Discovery and Development A1N, Pharmaceutical Sciences A1N
Grading system
Fail (U), Pass (G), Pass with distinction (VG)
Finalised by
The Educational Board of Pharmacy, 26 May 2016
Responsible department
Department of Pharmacy

General provisions

The course will be given in English.

Entry requirements

For applicants within:

- the programmes for Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy and Master of Science in Pharmacy, at least 60 credits within the area/subject is required, including Pharmacokinetics 7.5 credits, and knowledge corresponding to the programme courses in pharmacology and physiology.

- the programme for Master of Science in Chemical Engineering, at least 60 credits within the programme is required, and courses corresponding to Pharmacokinetics 7.5 credits, Physiology 6 credits and Pharmacology 7.5 credits.

- Admitted to the Master Programme in Drug Discovery and Development.

- Acceptance to a single subject course requires a) basic qualification according to the higher education ordinance, and b) knowledge corresponding to 60 credits within the subject Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical science or within the subject Pharmaceutical bioscience, including Pharmacokinetics 7.5 credits, and c) knowledge corresponding to Physiology 6 credits and Pharmacology 7.5 credits.

Learning outcomes

After having completed the course, the student should be able to construct, understand and use drug-oriented computer models representing biological systems. Specifically, the student should be able to:

• Formulate compartmental models using mathematical equations.

• Describe and explain the differences between direct and indirect effect models.

• Describe how tolerance to drug effects can be included in pharmacodynamic models.

• Describe the fundamentals of physiologically based pharmacokinetic models and their application compared to traditional compartmental


• Perform computer simulations of pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic models taken from the literature and use these models to address

scientific issues.

• Describe and apply methods for estimating drug elimination in man based on (non-clinical) laboratory data.

• Understand the methodology for fitting biological models to experimental data and to perform such model fitting in practice.

• Describe and use basic statistical methods for evaluation and interpretation of modelling results.

• Show a capacity for addressing scientific issues related to the results of work with biological models.


The course deals with computer models for biological systems that are important in a drug development context. Specifically, the focus is on models for clinical pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic data, however, the course will also include models of systems that are of importance for preclinical research in the pharmaceutical field. Evaluation of modelling results is an important part of the course.

The course will also illustrate the use of the models for addressing scientific issues and aspects of study design. Technical, mathematical and statistical aspects on model fitting and non-linear regression form an integral part of the course.


The studies will take place during the normal work week and the student should be prepared to attend full days Monday - Friday, each week. The main part of the work is performed in groups (2-4 students).

Teaching is a mixture of lectures, workshops, demonstrations of software and exercises in the use of this software. The workshops are tasks to be solved and reported in groups as well as individually in some cases.

There are several parts of the course that are compulsory; the course introduction and the introduction to and presentation of each workshop.


During the course several examinations will take place and will comprise an oral and/or written presentation.

Passing the course requires, apart from approved examinations in each part, presence during compulsory sections of the course.

No reading list found.