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Psychopharmacology: Unit 1 - The Basics

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Mental Health |  Science
Dr. Sam Liss
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This course provides an introduction to the principles of pharmacology, particularly the interaction of chemistry and biology to produce behavior, and the use of psychotropic medications for a range of populations and disorders. This will include an examination of the pharmacological features of different drugs, including: drug interactions; the basic physiology underlying the pharmacology; and the psychological impact of medications in therapeutic contexts. Also addressed will be a review of regulatory and governmental control issues, and the role of the psychologist in collaborating with physicians and other primary healthcare providers. This course is not intended to prepare the student for a primary role of prescribing, administering or overseeing the use of medications.


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Affiliated Faculty

Union Institute & University

Sam Liss, (M.A.) is in his 12th year instructing psychopharmacology and neurophysiology for the Psy. D. and Masters/Certificate curricula at Union Institute and University. He previously served as faculty at Vermont Technical College (VTC) from 2000 – 2019 in their undergraduate nursing program. Sam has taught general pharmacology, human anatomy and physiology, microbiology, nursing math, and other science courses for VTC. Prior to teaching, he was a hospital and community practicing pharmacist. 

Sam has twice served as Chairperson of the VT Statewide Independent Living Council (SILC) and as chair of the Advocacy, Outreach and Education (AOE) committee of the Vermont State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) - both gubernatorial appointments. He was VP of the Board of Directors of Vermont Center for Independent Living (VCIL) from 2001 through 2020. He was also appointed to the Green Mountain Care Board General Advisory Committee (advising the GMCB on health care reform). More recently, Sam was appointed by former Governor Shumlin to serve on the Governor's Committee on Employment for Persons with Disabilities (GCEPD). Sam has been an advocate for people with disabilities for many years - specializing in eliminating inherent disincentives to employment. He is involved in the health care reform initiatives in Vermont, having served on a number of committees and workgroups.