SHE Level 5
SCQF Credit Points 15.00
ECTS Credit Points 7.50
Module Code MMC123489
Module Leader Patricia Martin
School School of Health and Life Sciences
Subject Biological and Biomedical Sciences
  • B (January start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

Relevant underpinning from related previous knowledge

Summary of Content

This module will consider the use of 'Fluorescent Proteins' to enable live cell visualisation of cellular events and introduces the origin of stem cells and apoptotic pathways. It aims to provide 'state of the art' information on managing disease progression and designing novel therapeutic strategies. Technologies behind stem cell therapy will be discussed with case studies on progress of cell based therapies in the disease management. The rationale and use of chemotherapeutic and monoclonal antibody therapies in treatment of a variety of cancers will also be explored. In depth information on strategies to control and prevent infectious disease will be highlighted.


Stem cell Technology and cell based technologies and stem cell therapy (11h) Overview techniques in Cell biology including generation and use of Chimeric-Fluorescent proteins and live cell imaging of protein trafficking and advanced microscopy techniques 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. Explain the use of 'chimeric fluorescent proteins' and imaging technologies in understanding cellular events2. Identify the origins of stem cells and explain principles of stem cell technologies3. Describe the concept of asymmetric cell division and apoptosis and its importance for cell based therapies4. Discuss the benefits, drawbacks and ethics underlying stem cell based therapies5. Describe the use of a variety of chemotherapeutic agents, their design and impact on the cell cycle6. Explain the development of monoclonal antibody therapy with examples of their success in treatment of specific cancers7. Discuss the use and misuse of antimicrobial agents and the evolution of multidrug resistance8. Explain approaches towards design of novel approaches and vaccination strategies in the control and prevention of disease

Teaching / Learning Strategy

This module is divided into three core components of cell biology, microbiology and pharmacology. Each of the topics covered are at the leading age of emerging therapies for disease states and topical examples of development of the technologies and their application will be explored. Lectures will be used to deliver the core material, with tutorials encouraging students to evaluate and consolidate their knowledge base. Tutorials and an online discussion forum will also provide opportunity for case studies and group work enabling divergent thinking and deeper understanding. The subject area is continually evolving and represents unique case studies in relation to cell and pharmacology based approaches to manage disease progression.

Indicative Reading

Molecular Biology of the Cell, 6th edition (2015), Garland Science Rang and Dale's Pharmacology (2015). Rang, H.P., Dale, M.M. & Ritter, J.M. & Flower, R.J. Henderson, G. 8th Edition. Churchill Livingstone. 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 consolidated their knowledge of cell biology, microbiology and pharmacology and be able to apply this to appreciate the design of novel therapies to manage disease states. They should have improved their interpretation and critical analysis of scientific data (lecture material/ work/data analysis/research for extended essay). A subject specific case study on the design of novel therapies will provide divergent thought processes ( e.g. via evidence-based learning) and use of data bases and literature retrieval. Communication skills by the written word will also be enhanced (via the media of extended essays and exam questions).

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Independent Learning (FT) 112.00
Tutorials (FT) 8.00
Assessment (FT) 3.00
Lectures (FT) 27.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Exam (Dept) 01 n/a 10.00 45% Data Analysis
Exam (Dept) 02 n/a 10.00 45% Short class test (x2)
Exam (Exams Office) 3.00 60.00 45% Unseen written exam (3 essays out of 6 questions).
Coursework 1 n/a 20.00 45% Subject specific case study.