School of Medical Sciences


Computer laboratories

The laboratories for this course (11 in total, one per week) are online computer labs called Pharma-CAL-ogy. These can be done at any time, day or night, providing you have a computer that can access the internet. There are 8 lab programs in all, several of which you will access more than once during the course. You do not have to complete the entire lab program at one sitting - follow the guidelines in your lab manuals.

Running the Pharma-CAL-ogy programs

The Pharma-CAL-ogy programs need Macromedia Authorware to run. Many computers in the FMHS and University will have Authorware already loaded. If so, you just need to click on the lab links in the table below to start the programs. You won't be able to run the lab programs unless you have this plugin/driver on your computer.

Note: The username and password for the labs is your EC user name and password.
Week Lab Worksheet Program
4 3 Drug targets (30.4KB PDF) Drug targets
5 4 G-protein coupled receptors (30.8KB PDF) G-proteins
6 5 Enzymes as drug targets (38.5KB PDF) Enzymes as drug targets
2 1 Drug metabolism 1 (52.9KB PDF) Drug metabolism
3 2 Drug metabolism 2 (35.1KB PDF) Drug metabolism
9 6 Toxicity testing (40.1KB PDF) Clinical trials
10 7 Drug discovery & development (56.6KB PDF) Clinical trials
11 8 Clinical trials & drug development (31.4KB PDF) Clinical trials
12 9 Opiods (24.4KB PDF) Central peptides
13 10 Drugs & inflammation (47.2KB PDF) Inflammation
14 11 Laboratory calculations (33.4KB PDF) Answers to questions (15.3KB PDF)

Installing Adobe Authorware on your home computer

The download will take about 10 minutes using a 56k modem (much faster if you have high-speed internet access). It will install itself automatically on your computer. Once Adobe Authorware is installed, select a lab from the list above. It should open automatically and will be activated by mouse click. The first time you open a new program,  Authorware may download additional files to run, so don't be alarmed or confused if these start to download before the blue Pharma-CAL-ogy welcome page appears. Click on this to start the program. Because each page/image needs to be downloaded from the web there may be a delay of a few seconds as new pages open. Obviously, if you have high speed internet access, or use a University computer, the delays will be minimal.

Installing Authorware on Windows Vista with Internet Explorer

If you are running Windows Vista and Internet Explorer (IE), you may have troubles installing Authorware. You need to disable 'Protected mode' in IE before you click the link to install Authorware. The easiest way to do this is to run IE as administrator:

  1. Right click on the Internet Explorer icon or shortcut, then select “Run as Administrator” from the right click menu.
  2. Click “Allow” at User Account Control dialog.

You will then see Protected Mode: Off at the status bar. Now install Authorware from the Adobe Webplayer Download Centre. There are also a bunch of other ways to turn off protected mode. They are described in detail here.

You may need to disable 'Protected mode' every time you access the Pharma-CAL-ogy programs. If you add to your trusted sites list, IE will disable 'Protected mode' whenever you run a lab.

Installing Authorware on Mac OS X

Unfortunately Authorware does not appear to run web-based applications on Intel Macs (those manufactured from mid-2005 onwards). Authorware is a PowerPC plug-in so your browser will need to run in PowerPC mode (using Rosetta). If you manage to get it working, please let one of the tutors know how you did it!

Common error message - security settings

You may, when first accessing a lab program, get an error message stating something about "JumpFileReturn" or "non trusting mode". This is because your version of Authorware is attempting to restrict access to the lab files for security reasons. You need to change the security settings on Authorware to correct this.

Solution: Hold down the control key then click on the link to the lab to boot the software. This should bring up the following grey security panel:


Select the “security options” tab and click on the “Trust all locations” option (or you can choose “add this location” if you are security conscious, but this will have to be done for each lab), and save settings. Exit and restart the lab by clinking on the link.

Note: You may have to offer the password first to get into the page before you can get the security box to appear. If this is the case, click on the link to open the program, log in using the password, and then press the back button on your browser to get back to the labs page; now try again and this time hold the control key down before you click on the lab link.

MDC Lab computers

It is intended that most students will take advantage of the flexibility that on-line labs allow and do the labs at home or at University in their own time. Computers in the MDC Lab (room 4336, 3rd Floor, building 504 FMHS) are also available for usage during the day if they have not already been booked for other courses.

Rules pertaining to the use of the MDC lab 

  1. No food or drink may be consumed or brought into the laboratory.
  2. No smoking is allowed in the laboratory. Do not attempt to erase anything.
  3. If you have a problem then ask the support staff.
  4. The MDC lab is on an automatic timer - be out before 5.30 pm.



While each individual lab will not be marked, a major portion (20%) of your final grade will be assessed on the lab content by way of a 50 minute multiple-choice laboratory test scheduled for Thurs 21st October. Lab content is examinable in both the final and mid-semester tests.

For problems with the computer labs, contact: