SHE Level 4
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code MHC126369
Module Leader Patricia Martin
School School of Health and Life Sciences
Subject Biological and Biomedical Sciences
  • B (January start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

SCQF 8 Cell & Molecular Biology or equivalent

Summary of Content

This module is designed to provide an in depth understanding of organisation of cells into complex tissue networks with a focus on cell adhesion and cytoskeletal components. It addresses globally impacting disease states and novel therapeutic strategies including wound healing, cardiomyopathy and the influence of changes in the microbiome on the gut-brain signalling axis.


Tissue organisation - epithelial stem cells, tissue turnover and renewal and signalling pathways involved (e.g. wnt and notch signalling). Overview of the role of cell to cell and cell to matrix adhesion, extracellular matrix and cytoskeleton in maintaining tissue architecture . Role of gap junctions in tissue homeostasis. Wound healing and repair Structure and organisation of the skin, key events in wound closure, complications in diabetic wound healing, changes in skin microbiome and examples of targeted therapies and strategies for improving wound healing. Myocardial Infarction and cardiomyopathy Structure of cardiac tissue and remodelling in disease -including myocardial infarction, dilated cardiomyopathy. Current management and therapeutic targets including the involvement of cytokines and benefits of ACE inhibitors . The gut-brain signalling axis Role of Microtubules in neuronal networks and emergent targets for intervention. Tight junctions as therapeutic targets for enteric infection, the gut microbiome and the gut-brain signalling axis in neurological disease.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module, the student should be able to:1. Critically evaluate current research literature on specified topics.2. Demonstrate an advanced understanding of molecular mechanisms underlying specified disease states.3. Discuss experimental approaches enabling development of therapeutic strategies from bench to 'bedside'.4. Demonstrate the synthesis of knowledge and information derived from multiple sources.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

Lectures and interactive tutorials will be used to deliver the core material. To encourage independent learning all lecture material will be provided on GCU Learn with associated revision questions. Tutorials will be held to encourage students to discuss, evaluate and consolidate their knowledge with support of interactive learning technologies such as TurningPoint. To encourage research-led teaching students will engage with topical literature and coursework will be assessed by journal club style talk presentations followed by on-line quizzes. This will develop students' abilities to perform literature searches and improve their data retrieval and communication skills.

Indicative Reading

Molecular Biology of the Cell, 6th edition (2015), Garland Science In addition, students will be provided with selected topical references to original research and review articles.

Transferrable Skills

Students will consolidate personal transferrable skills including independent working, critical reading, information retrieval, IT skills and data handling by written work and oral communication skills developed through group activities and journal club presentations. Such activities will encourage deeper learning and divergent thinking about real world situations and therapeutic strategies.

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Assessment (FT) 20.00
Tutorials (FT) 18.00
Independent Learning (FT) 138.00
Lectures (FT) 24.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Course Work 01 5.00 30.00 35% Alternative Assessment
Exam 01 3.00 70.00 35% Unseen written exam: 3 questions out of 6