MSc in Toxicology

Lead Research Organisation: University of Birmingham
Department Name: Sch of Biosciences


The programme consists of 6 taught modules (120 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits) as outline in the progamme specification. TAUGHT MODULES take place between October and May and are as follows: 1: Metabolism and excretion of xenobiotics: 20 credits Literature retrieval, computer data bases, communication skills. ADME; metabolic pathways, phase I and II reactions; polymorphisms; effect of age sex, genotype. Methods used to study drug metabolism including application of molecular biology techniques to drug metabolism and toxicogenetics. Metabolism and distribution as a basis for toxicity of xenobiotics. Drug transporters. 2: Pharmacological and clinical aspects of toxicology: 20 credits Principles and applications pf pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, pharmacogenetics. Safety pharmacology. Adverse reactions to drugs; drug development. Forensic toxicology; detection of drugs and toxins, post mortem investigations. Clinical toxicology; diagnosis, complications, management of poisonings. 3: Molecular and cellular mechanisms of toxicity and carcinogenesis: 20 credits Molecular mechanisms of toxicity; necrosis and apoptosis. Application of molecular and cell biology to toxicology; cDNA arrays, stress responses, reporter gene assays. Toxicogenomics, proteomics, metabolomics, bioinformatics. Receptor mediated toxicity. Mechanisms of carcinogenesis; genotoxic vs nongenotoxic. In vitro testing. Immunotoxicity. Nanoparticle toxicology. Computer assisted structure activity relationships. 4: Toxicology in Practice; safety assessment in industry and the environment. 30 credits Pathology of acute and chronic inflammation, degeneration, necrosis, neoplasia, atrophy and hypertrophy. Histology, Haematology. Respiratory toxicity, hepatotoxicity, neurotoxicity, nephrotoxicity, reprotoxicity. Use of animals in toxicology. Safety and risk assessment. Statistics. Occupational, environmental and ecotoxicology: Environmental pollutants; land air and water contamination; monitoring, global effects. Pesticides in food. Ecotoxicology; biological effects and biomarkers from molecules to eco systems, examples and case studies including endocrine disruptors and PCBs. Occupational toxicology, epidemiology, risk assessment. Role of regulators such as HSE, FSA. Impact of REACH 5: Skills 10 credits Improves communication, IT, data handling and team working skills and is embedded throughout the programme. Exercises in literature searching/information retrieval, communication of findings in written, oral and poster formats. Experimental design, statistics, computational techniques including bioinformatics and DEREK. Risk assessment exercises. 6; Synoptic. 20 credits Consolidation and integration: time for directed, student-centred learning. Revision. RESEARCH PROJECT: 60 credits 3 months full time; carried out in an appropriate research environment. All modules are compulsory. In addition students are offered the option of completing Modules 1, 2 and 3 of the Home Office training course during the Easter vacation. The taught component is delivered by a combination of formal lectures, tutorials, workshops, computer exercises, practical classes and demonstrations and is supported by directed reading and course work. The programme specification gives details of learning and teaching methods and assessment methods along with knowledge, understanding, skills and attributes the students are expected to attain. Research projects are carried out over a 12 week period in May - August and are typically based in industry, research institutes, environmental agencies, hospitals and universities, in the UK and overseas. The project represents the major practical element of the course during which students have the opportunity to plan their work and analyse and interpret data. Some students opt for research projects that are literature or computer based but all give experience of current problems in toxicology.



Anne Pheasant (Principal Investigator)
Mike Walker (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Rob Chilcott (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Russell Huby (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Peter Cotton (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Meera Cush (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Lucy Wilkinson (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Jenny Odum (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Chris Pollard (Researcher Co-Investigator)
David Edward Ray (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Neil Hotchin (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Ian Wakefield (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Francesco Michelangeli (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Kathryn Chapman (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Sunil Sarda (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Tim Marrs (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Katie Barrett (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Kerry Foxall (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Owen Jones (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Helen Garside (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Matthias Soller (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Ruth Roberts (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Mark Alexander Webber (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Ian Robinson (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Jamie Lead (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Joshua Zachary Rappoport (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Tim Williams (Researcher Co-Investigator)
John Foster (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Lynne Harris (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Saverio Brogna (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Timothy Schulz-Utermoehl (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Stephen George (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Christopher Seaman (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Lindsey Southall (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Craig Jackson (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Sally Bradberry (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Simon Elliott (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Stuart Harrad (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Laura Jane Piddock (Researcher Co-Investigator) orcid
Robin Braithwaite (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Richard Francis Shore (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Alison Bigley (Researcher Co-Investigator)
D Osborn (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Francesco Falciani (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Steve Minchin (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Lesley Earl (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Bridget Wallace (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Christopher Martin Bunce (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Claire George (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Lorna Burns (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Ian Kimber (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Jane Stewart (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Leonard Stephen Levy (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Will Redfern (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Mark Viant (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Timothy David Williams (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Russell Westwood (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Mark Wheatley (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Susy Brescia (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Jason Weeks (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Jean-Pierre Valentin (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Steve Sadhra (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Alastair Strain (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Matt Jacobsen (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Janet Kelsall (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Graham Betton (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Mike Kelly (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Timothy Dafforn (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Stewart Owen (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Ted Sheehan (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Caroline Chadwick (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Tim Hammond (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Natalie Thatcher (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Allister Vale (Researcher Co-Investigator)
Nikolas Hodges (Training Grant Holder)


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