Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Cell Signalling and Cancer Biology

LEVEL 03 - Years 2, 3, 4 in Modular Undergraduate Course



DESCRIPTION This study-unit explores, together with the participation of the students, the path of discovery from basic research to the clinic. It describes the molecular and cellular basis of cancer from different aspects including cell signaling, epigenetics, alterations in DNA repair, proliferation, tumour suppressor, oncogenes, cancer metabolism, angiogenesis. It discusses the past, current and future cancer treatments and the mechanism by which they target cancer cells.

Study-unit Aims:

The aim of this study-unit is to convey an understanding of the molecular and cellular processes involved in tumour formation, progression and metastasis that is essential to the development of innovative therapy for cancer patients. The epidemiology, genetics and relevant signaling transduction pathways are elucidated together with the metabolic reprogramming that cancer cells undergo.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- Describe the various steps in the transformation process that converts a normal into a tumor cell;
- Describe the biological difference between benign and malignant tumor;
- Examine the environmental factors implicated in carcinogenesis;
- Discuss the application of basic science to the identification of cancer biomarkers; and
- Describe the technology involved in studying cancerous tissue.

2. Skills:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- Critically analyse scientific literature; and
- Design experimentation using interdisciplinary techniques to investigate cancer biology.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Main Text:

Weinberg, R. The Biology of Cancer. 1st. edition. New York. Garland Science. 2013.

Supplementary Reading:

Nelson, D. L. and Cox, M. M. Lehninger Principles of Biochemistry. 6th edition. New York, Worth Publishers. 2013.

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture, Independent Study, Seminar and Tutorial

Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Examination SEM1 Yes 100%


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The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.