72726 - Veterinary Pharmacology and Gene Therapy

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Andrea Barbarossa

  • Credits 6

  • SSD VET/07

  • Teaching Mode Traditional lectures

  • Language Italian

  • Campus of Bologna

  • Degree Programme Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Animal Biotechnology (cod. 8522)

  • Teaching resources on Virtuale


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Good health and well-being Responsible consumption and production Life on land

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

The student will learn the major metabolic pathways of xenobiotics in different animal species and will achieve detailed knowledge on synthetic and biotechnology-derived drugs, also including regulatory and ethical aspects.

Course contents

Pharmacology: basic concepts and definitions; composition, nomenclature, origin and classification of medicinal products; drug development process.

Pharmacokinetics: routes of administration and absorption; distribution, metabolism and excretion; Kinetic profiles, compartmental analysis, repeated dosing.

Pharmacodynamics: mechanism of action; dose-response curve; agonism and antagonism.

Antibiotic resistance: several aspects of the problem and actions aimed at its containment; factors to consider in the development of new antibiotics.

Gene therapy: history of gene therapy; therapeutic genes; gene transfer; examples of applications of gene therapy; further points to consider, including ethical issues.

Analytical laboratory: liquid and gas chromatography; mass spectrometry; development of analytical methods.

Legislation: regulatory aspects governing the marketing of medicinal products; the dossier for marketing authorization; drug surveillance and vigilance.

Group project: each group has to develop a risk assessment on a specific issue, suggesting potential ways of managing that risk; a thorough discussion will arise from the presentation of the work of each group.


The teaching materials used in class is updated and available on the Virtuale platform of the University of Bologna, as well as the syllabus.

For further information the following texts are suggested:

- Ormas P., Carli S., Farmacologia Veterinaria, Idelson-Gnocchi, Napoli, 2021

- Lollini P.L., De Giovanni C., Nanni P., Terapia genica, Zanichelli Ed., Bologna, 2005

- Glick B.R., Pasternak J.J., Biotecnologia Molecolare – Principi e applicazioni del DNA ricombinante, 1° edizione italiana alla 2° americana, Zanichelli Ed., Bologna, 2003

- Giacca M., Terapia genica, Springer Biomed, Milano, 2011

Teaching methods

Individual lectures encouraging students' interaction, especially during laboratory classes and with the support of interactive quiz systems. In the last part of the course, students are divided into groups and each group has to develop a specific topic, linked to those treated during the course, from the perspective of a body responsible for risk assessment. At the end of the project, each group in turns presents its work, which is then discussed in a "role-playing game" during which the other groups interpret stakeholders involved in the specific topic.

Assessment methods

A written test will take place at the end of the course, allowing to verify the knowledge of the student on all the topics covered. The test consists of 30 multiple choice questions to be answered in 60 minutes. Each correct answer gives 1 point. The obtained mark will be weighted on those of the other modules, and in the final course mark the student’s participation in the group projects will also be taken in consideration: in particular, the degree of interaction during the final day of the discussion of the themes proposed will be evaluated, giving up to 1 extra point.

Students can enroll themselves to the test only using the online system Alma Esami (http://almaesami.unibo.it/almaesami/welcome.htm). Exam sessions are programmed in specific exam periods for all students, except for the out-of-course students, who can take the exam throughout the academic year. Students may not enroll themselves in more than one exam at a time. The student who does not pass the written exam, may attend later an oral examination (to be agreed with the teacher), consisting of 3 questions on different topics covered during the course. In the case of failure, the student may sit the exam again after at least three weeks.

Prof. Barbarossa is responsible for registering the final votes of the integrated course.

Teaching tools

Personal computer, projector, quiz platform, analytical instruments located in the CABA-Lab Laboratory.

Office hours

See the website of Andrea Barbarossa