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Module

MMB8008 : Cell Cycle Control and Cell Signalling in Health and Disease

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Jun-yong Huang
  • Lecturer: Professor Loranne Agius, Professor Neil Perkins, Dr Richard Daniel, Dr Tyrell Cartwright, Dr Catherine Arden, Dr Adam Wollman, Dr Josana Rodriguez Sanchez, Dr Gabriele Saretzki, Professor Jonathan Higgins, Dr Andrew Porter, Professor Fiona Oakley, Professor Penny Lovat, Professor Brendan Kenny, Dr Iglika Ivanova
  • Owning School: FMS Graduate School
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0

Aims

Aims

This module is designed to introduce students to the fundamental areas of cell biology especially control of the cell cycle and cell signalling pathways using various model organisms. Students will gain both a thorough understanding of the regulation of some key signalling pathways and some essential mechanisms of cell division with a wide range of cellular responses, and how the altered activities of critical components of these pathways may result in diseases such as diabetes, liver fibrosis, and cancer.

Outline Of Syllabus

A. There are twelve online lectures given by world-class research scientists studying chromosome biology, mitosis, meiosis, the cell cycle, and cell signalling using a variety of techniques and model systems. These will cover the following two main areas:

1.       The fundamental biology of cell cycle control in different model organisms (bacteria, Drosophila, Caenorhabditis elegans, Saccharomyces cerevisiae and human culture cell lines). It will cover the control of cell division in mitosis and meiosis; establishment of cell polarity; apoptosis; the functions of the telomere and telomerase; the NF-kB signalling pathway in the regulation of cell proliferation and survival, and in the DNA damage response; and how these areas impact on health and diseases. These topics will be covered in the light of the lecturers’ current research interests.

2.       Some key intracellular signalling pathways. This will cover the following topics: how epigenetic signalling impacts on histone modifications and changes the configuration of chromatin during cell division; the role of NF-kB in regulating the transcription; gene expression and immune response to infection, stress, cytokines, etc.; the role of glucose metabolism, insulin signalling and diabetes; the impairment of the mechanism of cell death in disease; and how the signalling pathways related to EPEC alter the biology of differentiated epithelia encompassing in health and diseases.

B. We will still provide on campus present-in-person (PIP) teaching combined with ZOOM or Microsoft TEAMS interactions for those students who aren’t resident on campus. These will cover:

1.       Three sessions of ‘Critical analysis of papers in cell signalling and the cell cycle’. Led by faculty members, students in small groups will be given training in critical appraisal by discussing research papers in the relevant fields. This will involve looking at the backgrounds of literature; hypotheses tested; experimental approaches used; quality, interpretation and significance of the results; and the potential for future experiments and research.

2.       Four seminar sessions of ‘State-of-the art’ technologies and their research applications in the relevant fields discussing the technical mechanisms, experimental designs and applications

Teaching Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion125:0025:00Preparation of oral presentation
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion124:0024:00Preparation and completion of the written evaluation of a scientific paper
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion150:0050:00Preparation and submission of 2000 word Essay
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials191:0019:00Non-synchronous online: mixture of 1 and 2 hours sessions
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching41:004:00Present in person: Seminars on technologies and their applications
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching22:004:00Synchronous online: seminars
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching32:006:00Present in person: Critical analysis of scientific papers - graded participation and involvement
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching82:0016:00Synchronous online: preparing notes from online seminars and reading. Q/As via emails or Zoom appts
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops13:003:00Synchronous online: presentations delivered by Zoom/Teams
Guided Independent StudyReflective learning activity124:0024:00Reading and reflective learning
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study122:0024:00Preparing notes from online accessible lecture notes /readings. Q/As via emails or Zoom appts
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk11:001:00Synchronous online: introductory session
Total200:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Knowledge and understanding are gained from the lecture materials 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).

Assessment Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M602000 words
Prof skill assessmnt1M20Oral presentation: 12 minute presentation with 3 minutes Q/A
Prof skill assessmnt1M20Critical appraisal (assessed by participation in seminars 5% and written exercise 15% 1,000 -1,500 words)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Knowledge and understanding are assessed in the 2000 word essay. Skills in writing and literacy, sourcing materials, critical appraisal and use of IT are all part of the 2000 word essay. Presentation showing IT, literacy active learning and critical appraisal and communication skills are assessed in the short oral presentation. The literacy active learning and critical appraisal on given scientific papers or technologies from seminars are assessed on course.

Reading Lists

Timetable