SHE Level 3
SCQF Credit Points 10.00
ECTS Credit Points 5.00
Module Code M3C125261
Module Leader Patricia Martin
School School of Health and Life Sciences
Subject Biological and Biomedical Sciences
  • B (January start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

Physiology 1 & 2, Introduction to Microbiology, Cells & Biomolecules.

Summary of Content

This module aims to provide 'state of the art' information on managing disease progression and designing novel therapeutic strategies. In depth information on strategies to control and prevent infectious disease are highlighted. The emerging role and concepts of use of stem cell technologies and cell based therapies are explained and rationale of novel chemotherapeutics, including monoclonal antibody therapy considered.


Stem cell Technology and cell based therapies (8h) Origin of stem cells including concept of asymmetric cell division, review of cell cycle and apoptotic pathways Theoretical and practical aspects of Stem cell technologies and use of iPS cells Case studies of advances of alternative sources of stem cells and towards cell based therapies for disease states such as Diabetes or cardiovascular disease. Tissue banks and cell based therapies for wound healing Cancer chemotherapy (8h) Cell cycle, Drug classes:- Antimetabolites, Alkylating agents, Microtubule inhibitors, Steroid hormones, Immunocytokines Monoclonal antibody therapy; Technology used in the development of monoclonal antibody therapy Examples of unconjugated and conjugated antibody therapy. Ovarian carcinoma: Toll-like receptor 8, B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia: Blinatumomab, Melanoma: Ipilimumab, Melanoma: monoclonal antibodies targeting CD137, Ovarian cancer: trifunctional antibody catumaxomab (anti-EpCAM d7 _anti-CD3). Control and prevention of infectious disease (8h) Antimicrobial agents and chemotherapy. Use and misuse of antimicrobial agents. Resistance to antibacterial agents, genetic events leading the resistance, mechanisms of resistance. Case study on the evolution of multidrug resistant organisms. Antimicrobial drug development. Past, present and future antimicrobial therapy. Novel approaches to the treatment of infectious disease. Biofilms. Therapeutic challenge of biofilms, tolerance and treatment failure. Novel approached to the treatment of biofilm-related infection. Protecting the host through vaccination. Vaccine types, use in the control and prevention of disease, immunization programmes, disease eradication.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module, the student should be able to:1. Recognise the origins of stem cells and principles of stem cell technologies2. Explain the concept of asymmetric cell division and apoptosis and its importance for cell based therapies3. Discuss the benefits, drawbacks and ethics underlying stem cell based therapies4. Describe the use of a variety of chemotherapeutic agents, their design and impact on the cell cycle5. Explain the development of monoclonal antibody therapy with examples of their success in treatment of specific cancers6. Discuss the use and misuse of antimicrobial agents and the evolution of multidrug resistance7. Explain approaches towards design of novel approaches and vaccination strategies to control infectious disease

Teaching / Learning Strategy

The module is divided into three core components of cell biology, microbiology and pharmacology and initially utilizes a convergent teaching approach through the media of lectures in order to ensure that each of the different student groups taking the module quickly achieves the required background. Thereafter however, both evidence-based lecture material together with individual subject specific case studies aims to facilitates a divergent thought process . Evidence-based learning of new scientific findings in cell biology, pharmacology and microbiology aims to develop the student's ability to critically analyse new evidence-based concepts. Analytical and communication skills are further developed in the data analysis component of the module where students critically analyse published scientific papers as a written report. The subject areas covered in the module are at the leading edge of the science providing the student with an in-depth understanding, which together with analytical and communications skills develops broad and deeper learning , promoting long-term retention of knowledge and students who are confident in their chosen field . The lecture material is challenging, relative to the real world, requires substantial self-input and is engaging and generative, producing engaged learners that develop strategic learning skills and the ability to transfer these skills to solve scientific problems creatively. For example students glean knowledge of a number of infectious diseases that have global implications and develop the scientific knowledge to research new pharmacological approaches for their management. The module therefore promotes knowledgeable, confident and engaged learners who are able to make professional judgement and take responsibility in order to solve real world scientific and medical problems .

Indicative Reading

i) Essential texts Rang and Dale's Pharmacology (2015). Rang, H.P., Dale, M.M., Ritter, J.M., Flower, R.J. & Henderson, G. 8th Edition. Churchill Livingstone. Molecular Biology of the Cell, 6th edition (2015), Garland Science In addition students will be provided with selected topical references to original and review articles as a basis for deeper learning

Transferrable Skills

On completion of this module students should have a key understanding of novel therapies to manage disease states and be able to apply this to the three disciplines of cell biology, pharmacology and microbiology. They should have improved their interpretation and critical analysis of scientific data. A subject specific case study on the design of novel therapies will provide divergent though processes (e.g. via evidence-based learning) and use of data bases and literature retrieval.

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Lectures (FT) 24.00
Assessment (FT) 3.00
Independent Learning (FT) 61.00
Tutorials (FT) 12.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Exam (Exams Office) 2.00 70.00 35% Unseen written exam: 2 short essays (2/4) and 4 short questions (4/8)
Coursework 1 n/a 30.00 35% Data Analysis and Case Study