ES.S10: Drugs and the Brain

Warning: This page is likely to be out of date. More recent information can be found here:
datb.mit.edu

Stellar class page: https://stellar.mit.edu/S/course/ES/sp14/ES.S10/

This redirects to the Stellar class page: zakfallows.com/s

Class title: Drugs and the Brain

Pseudo-title: Special Seminar in Science

Course number: ES.S10

Credits and grading: 6 units of general elective credit, graded pass / fail. The units are useful toward the requirement that all MIT undergrads take 180 units beyond the GIRs.

On the registrar's website: http://student.mit.edu/catalog/mESa.html#ES.S10 ...but the registrar's website is rife with inaccuracies. For instance:

Time: Monday evening, 7 to 9 PM (the time is negotiable)

This is a Spring 2013 class, this is NOT an IAP class.

This chart that I made should give you a taste of why the class is awesome: http://zakfallows.com/static/drugchart/drugchart.html

One sentence description:
A multidisciplinary introduction to pharmacology, neurotransmitters, drug effects, and brain diseases from schizophrenia to addiction.

One paragraph description:
From Abilify to Zyrtec, the world is full of interesting drugs. Did you know that Viagra might help alleviate jet lag, or that the chemical warfare agents BZ and VX are antidotes for one another? This class teaches students the basics of pharmacology. The approach is very multidisciplinary, some days we talk about the fluid dynamics of inhaled general anesthetics and the physics majors get a chance to shine, other days we discuss the impact of patent law on drug development. The structure of the class interleaves basic concepts with specific examples and entertaining tangents, so it is not loaded with boring abstract theory at the beginning. In the first class we learn what a receptor and neurotransmitter are, and we immediately use this new vocabulary to discuss caffeine.

I have taught the class before, many materials are on OCW: http://zakfallows.com/c