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Christina Dalla, Assistant Professor of Psychopharmacology, Department of Pharmacology, Medical School of Athens, National & Kapodistrian University of Athens

Nikolaos Kokras, Psychiatrist/Psychopharmacologist, Department of Pharmacology, Medical School of Athens, National & Kapodistrian University of Athens

Teaching hours and weekly schedule

This is a 2nd semester, 3 weeks elective course that corresponds to 6 ECTs and 53 total hours of teaching and student presentations.


This is an intensive three-week course focused on neuropsychopharmacology that includes lectures from pharmacologists, clinicians, neuroscientists and other specialties. The course will also accommodate student’s presentations on specific neuropsychopharmacological issues, as well as written-exercises on pharmacological experimental design.

The lectures will focus on basic principles of pharmacology (such as pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics), information on drug design and discovery, treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders, as well as drug-induced changes in functioning of the nervous system. Additionally, the lecturers will give an overview of the techniques and models used for the study of neuropharmacology, as well as the basics of CNS clinical research, including regulations and statistical principles.

The goal is that students will become accustomed with neuropsychiatric treatment, modelling and research. Ultimately, they will be able to pose relevant neuropsychopharmacological questions and contribute to the design of preclinical and clinical studies. 

Course Overview

The course will include lectures on drug design/discovery, as well as principles of neuropsychopharmacology preclinical and clinical studies. Students will have the opportunity to present specific neuropsychopharmacological issues, as well as to perform written-exercises on pharmacological experimental design and analysis.

Most importantly, an interactive approach, with the use of poll-machines, will be used for the teaching of the neuropsychopharmacological basis, study and mechanism of action of:

•             Antipsychotics

•             Antidepressant drugs and mood stabilizers

•             Antiepileptics

•             Cognitive enhancers

•             Drugs of abuse

•             Antiparkinsonian drugs and drugs for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases

•             Neuroimaging ligands

Skills & Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

1.            Understand basic pharmacological principles

2.            Know about most classes of neuropsychopharmacology drugs

3.            Know about adverse effects, drug interactions and genomics of CNS-acting drugs

4.            Identify new targets for CNS treatments and pose relevant questions

5.            Understand the methods used in preclinical and clinical neuropsychopharmacology

6.            Contribute to the design of preclinical and clinical neuropsychopharmacology studies

Titles of lectures and names of the lecturers

Neuropsychopharmacology Lecturers
Co-ordinators: Christina Dalla, Nikolaos Kokras
Introduction and assignments Christina Dalla and Stella Vlachou
Drug design/discovery  Dimitrios Vassilatis
Pharmacokinetics/Pharmacodynamics Nikos Kokras
Neuroimaging ligands  Ioannis Pirmettis 
Treatment of Neurodegenerative disorders (PD) and new targets Neny Pervanidou
Neurodevelopmental disorders (ADHD, autism etc) and treatment Leonidas Stefanis
The use of novel analytical techniques in medical research and drug discovery  Antonis Tsarbopoulos 
Pharmacokinetics/Pharmacodynamics Nikos Kokras
Antiepileptics  Christina Dalla and Marinos Sotiropoulos
Treatment of Neurodegenerative disorders (MS) and new targets Harris Alexopoulos
Neuropsycho-pharmacogenomics Dimitris Dikaios
Treatment of Neurodegenerative disorders (AD) and new targets Ioannis Sotiropoulos
Neurobiology of Addiction, Alcohol Foteini Delli
CNS Stimulants, Cannabis Katerina Antoniou and Alexia Pollisidis 
Addiction and Nicotine Stella Vlachou
Opioids and Psychedelics Alexia Pollisidis 
Antipsychotics and lithium Nikos Kokras
Anxiolytics and Antidepressants Nikos Kokras and Christina Dalla 
Pharmacoepidemiology Giota Touloumi
Basics in clinical research Eirini Griva