SHE Level 5
SCQF Credit Points 15.00
ECTS Credit Points 7.50
Module Code MMC126367
Module Leader Patricia Martin
School School of Health and Life Sciences
Subject Biological and Biomedical Sciences
  • B (January start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

At least a 2:2 honours degree (or equivalent) in a biomedical or biological science discipline.

Summary of Content

This module is designed to provide detailed concepts of integration of cells into tissue complexes, with a focus on the epithelial stem cell niche in tissue renewal, repair, associated disease states and therapeutic strategies. The influence of intracellular parasites and toxins on host cell protein trafficking and secretion pathways and emerging therapeutic strategies relating to wound healing and the neuronal microtubule network will be explored.


Tissue organisation (6 lectures and tutorials) - 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. Role of cytoskeleton in host-pathogen interactions (SCL) Wound healing and repair (6 lectures and tutorials) 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. Protein trafficking and secretion pathways (SCL) Topics on Protein processing, folding and degradation, the molecular mechanisms controlling vesicular traffic and protein sorting pathways and Receptor-mediated endocytosis and sorting of internalised proteins and a review of influence of intracellular parasites such as Plasmodium spp. and Leishmania on these events. Microtubules in neuronal networks (6 lectures and tutorials) Role of Microtubules in neuronal networks and emergent targets for intervention

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module, the student should be able to:1. Develop a critical awareness of the molecular mechanisms underlying specified disease states.2. Demonstrate independent learning in tackling and solving problems.3. Undertake critical evaluation of a range of numerical and graphical data.4. Identify experimental approaches enabling development of therapeutic strategies from bench to bedside.

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 tools such as TurningPoint. To encourage research-led teaching students will engage with topical Research articles relating to specific topics in a 'case study' approach focussed on data interpretation and analysis, interrogated in the final exam. A blended learning approach will be taken following a Horizon BBC documentary followed by literature research, data retrieval and analysis to be written as an extended essay on the topic. Students will make wide use of state of the art reviews to consolidate recent research events in the areas covered by the lectures.

Indicative Reading

Molecular Biology of the Cell (Sixth Ed) Alberts B, Johnson A, Lewis J, Morgan D, Raff M, Roberts K, Walter P. Molecular Cell Biology (Sixth Ed) Berk A, Kaiser CA, Lodish H, Amon A, Ploegh H, Bretscher A, Krieger M, Martin KC. In addition students will be provided with selected current original research and review articles to maintain a research led teaching approach.

Transferrable Skills

Students will further develop personal transferrable skills including independent working, critical reading, information retrieval, IT skills and data handling. Consolidation of communication skills will be provided by written work and oral communication skills developed through group activities in tutorial discussions. A comprehensive student centred learning package will further encourage independent learning and information retrieval thereby facilitating divergent thinking about the mechanisms of disease and therapeutic strategies relating to real world situations.

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Lectures (FT) 24.00
Independent Learning (FT) 98.00
Assessment (FT) 15.00
Tutorials (FT) 13.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Exam 01 3.00 60.00 45% Unseen written exam
Course Work 01 8.00 40.00 45% SCL (extended essay/critical appraisal)