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Defining and unpacking the core concepts of pharmacology: a global initiative
  • +15
  • Clare Guilding,
  • Paul White,
  • Margaret Cunningham,
  • Roisin Kelly-Laubscher,
  • Jennifer Keonig,
  • Anna-Marie Babey,
  • Steve Tucker,
  • John Kelly,
  • Laurel Gorman,
  • Patrik Aronsson,
  • Martin Hawes,
  • suong Ngo,
  • Janet Mifsud,
  • Arend Werners,
  • Tina Hinton,
  • Fouzia Khan,
  • Mohamad Aljofan,
  • Tom Angelo
Clare Guilding
University of Newcastle upon Tyne

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Paul White
Monash University
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Margaret Cunningham
University of Strathclyde
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Roisin Kelly-Laubscher
University College Cork
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Jennifer Keonig
University of Nottingham
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Anna-Marie Babey
University of New England
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Steve Tucker
University of Aberdeen
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John Kelly
NUI, Galway
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Laurel Gorman
University of Central Florida
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Patrik Aronsson
University of Gothenburg
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Martin Hawes
University of Surrey
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suong Ngo
The University of Adelaide
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Janet Mifsud
University of Malta
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Arend Werners
Saint George’s University
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Tina Hinton
The University of Sydney
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Fouzia Khan
Imperial College London Faculty of Medicine
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Mohamad Aljofan
Nazarbayev University School of Medicine
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Tom Angelo
University of North Carolina Wilmington
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Background and Purpose Development of core concepts in disciplines such as biochemistry, microbiology, and physiology transformed teaching. They provided the foundation for the development of teaching resources for global educators, as well as valid and reliable approaches to assessment. An international research consensus recently identified 25 core concepts of pharmacology. The current study aimed to define and unpack these concepts. Experimental approach A two-phase, iterative approach, involving 60 international pharmacology education experts was used. The first phase involved drafting definitions for the core concepts and identifying key sub-concepts via a series of online meetings and asynchronous work. These were refined in the second phase, through a two-day hybrid workshop followed by a further series of online meetings and asynchronous work. Key Results The project produced consensus definitions for a final list of 24 core concepts and 103 sub-concepts of pharmacology. The iterative, discursive methodology resulted in the modification concepts from the original study, including the change of ‘drug-receptor interaction’ to ‘drug-target interaction’ and the change of the core concept ‘agonists and antagonists’ to sub-concepts of drug-target interaction. Conclusion and Implications The definitions and sub-concepts of the 24 core concepts provide an evidence-based foundation for pharmacology curricula development and evaluation. The next steps for this project include the development of a concept inventory to assess acquisition of the concepts, as well as the development of cases studies and educational resources to support teaching by the global pharmacology community, and student learning of the most critical and fundamental concepts of the discipline.
04 Apr 2023Submitted to British Journal of Pharmacology
05 Apr 2023Submission Checks Completed
05 Apr 2023Assigned to Editor
05 Apr 2023Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
24 Apr 2023Reviewer(s) Assigned
02 Jul 2023Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
10 Jul 20231st Revision Received
12 Jul 2023Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
12 Jul 2023Submission Checks Completed
12 Jul 2023Assigned to Editor
12 Jul 2023Reviewer(s) Assigned
08 Aug 2023Editorial Decision: Accept