Module Catalogue 2022/23

MMB8008 : Chromosome Biology and Cell Cycle Control in Health and Disease

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s):
  • Owning School: FMS Graduate School
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
Pre Requisites
Pre Requisite Comment

Programme Admission Criteria Only

Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment

None

Aims

Aims

This module is designed to introduce students to the molecular cell biology of four fundamental areas:

(1) control of mitosis and meiosis, including asymmetric and bacterial cell division;
(2) gene expression, epigenetics and chromatin;
(3) DNA damage and genome instability; and
(4) the chromosomal functions of RNA.

Students will gain a thorough understanding of the essential mechanisms controlling cell division in somatic and reproductive eukaryotic cells and in bacterial cells, and how this guards genome integrity. They will learn about chromatin and chromosome structure and function, including histone modification and DNA methylation, the regulation of gene expression, epigenetics, DNA damage responses and repair, the origin of aneuploidy and chromosome abnormalities, and mechanisms of chromosome-associated RNA function. Students will also cover how changes in these essential activities contribute to ageing, birth defects, fertility problems and diseases such as cancer and arthritis, and how this knowledge can aid drug discovery and other therapeutic approaches.

Outline Of Syllabus

A.       There are twelve lectures given by world-class research scientists in four fundamental areas of molecular cell biology, combined with first hand research and clinical implications/applications:

1.       Five lectures focusing on cell division control in human/mammalian somatic and reproductive cells, C. elegans and bacterial cells; the essential G1 CDK-cyclin complexes and insight from the structure.

2.       Two lectures on chromosome structure (chromatin, centromeres, telomeres) and its control mechanisms, histone modification, DNA methylation and epigenetics, the regulation of the gene expression, and their alterations in human diseases.

3.       Three lectures on DNA damage responses and therapeutic opportunities; telomeres in ageing and cancer; and molecular mechanisms causing aneuploidy and chromosome abnormalities and their clinical significance.

4.       Two lectures focusing on the molecular roles of coding and non-coding RNAs on chromosomes, including maintaining genome integrity and regulating gene expression, and disease relevance.

Nine of these lectures will be delivered on campus in appropriately designed seminar rooms, and three of above lectures will be delivered as pre-recorded videos saved online for student access at will. We will also provide on campus present-in-person (PIP) teaching for three sessions on “Critical analysis of papers in the relevant areas of chromosome biology and the cell cycle. Led by faculty members, students in small groups will be given training in critical appraisal by discussing research papers. This will involve looking at the background literature; hypotheses tested; experimental approaches used; quality, interpretation and significance of the results; and the potential for future experiments and research.

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

At the end of this module the students should be able to discuss the following topics in the light of their impact on health and diseases:

1.       Discuss cell cycle control, especially in mitosis and meiosis in different model organisms and its impact on health and diseases.

2.       Discuss the molecular mechanisms that establish cell polarity in controlling asymmetric cell division and their impact on health and diseases

3.       Discuss the G1 CDK-Cyclin complexes and insight from their structures in drug discovery and therapeutic applications.

4.       Discuss the chromosome structure in terms of chromatin, centromeres and kinetochores, telomeres, and chromosome dynamics in cell cycle.

5.       Discuss the molecular mechanisms of epigenetic signalling pathways including histone modification and DNA methylation, their relevance to cell division and gene expression, and their impact on health and diseases.

6.       Discuss the molecular mechanisms controlling DNA duplication, DNA damage responses and relevant therapeutic opportunities.

7.       Discuss the molecular functions of telomeres and their impact on health and diseases.

8.       Discuss the molecular mechanisms causing aneuploidy and chromosomal abnormalities (translocations, deletions, inversions etc.), their detection and characterisation, and their clinical significance.

9.       Discuss the molecular roles of coding- and non-coding RNAs on chromosomes, including in maintaining genome integrity and regulating gene expression, and their impact on health and diseases.

Intended Skill Outcomes

By the end of the module the students should be able to:

1. Interpret and understand data from the specific scientific areas of chromosome biology and cell cycle control, and a wide range of molecular cell biology and cancer biology literature and present this in the form of a review essay.

2. Critically appraise the current literature in a selected topic and present an essay.

3. Perform short oral presentations on selected topics from the taught components of the course.

4. Communicate ideas and information on the topic of chromosome biology and cell cycle control to an audience of their peers both orally and in writing.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion140:0040:00Preparation of an abstract - 600 words in length based on the content of the oral presentation topic
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture92:0018:00Present in person (PIP): Lecture sessions
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion137:0037:00Preparation of oral presentation based on a given topic from a taught component
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion137:0037:00Preparation and completion of the written evaluation of a scientific paper
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials32:006:00Non Synchronous lectures: Pre-recorded videos available online
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching32:006:00Present in person (PIP): Critical analysis of scientific papers
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops13:003:00Present in person (PIP) - oral presentations
Guided Independent StudyReflective learning activity145:0045:00Reading and reflective learning
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study32:006:00Preparing notes from online accessible lecture notes/pre-recorded videos/reading.Q/As via Email/Zoom
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk21:002:00Present in person (PIP): Introductory session
Total200:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Knowledge and understanding are gained from the lectures and seminar/tutorials. Intellectual skills are developed in the tutorials and by the coursework. Key (transferable skills – communication, literacy, critical appraisal) are developed during the tutorials and by the coursework and practiced in the oral presentation and written work (essay).

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1A60Critical appraisal (1,500 words) based on a given scientific paper.
Prof skill assessmnt1A4010-12 minutes oral presentation (PIP) with a 600 words abstract based on a given topic from a taught component, with 3 minutes Q/A
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Knowledge and understanding of the taught components are assessed in the 1500 word essay. Skills in writing and literacy, sourcing materials, critical appraisal and use of IT are assessed in the 1500 word essay and in the essay of the critical paper analysis separately. Presentation showing IT, literacy active learning and critical appraisal and communication skills are assessed in the short oral presentation, concise summary of information is assessed in the abstract.

Timetable

Past Exam Papers

General Notes

Original Handbook text:

Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2022/23 academic year. In accordance with University Terms and Conditions, the University makes all reasonable efforts to deliver the modules as described. Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback. Module information for the 2023/24 entry will be published here in early-April 2023. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.