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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 Neil Perkins, Dr Josana Rodriguez Sanchez, Dr Gabriele Saretzki, Professor Jonathan Higgins, Professor Fiona Oakley, Professor Penny Lovat, Professor Brendan Kenny, Professor Loranne Agius, Professor Mary Herbert, Dr Richard Daniel, Dr Catherine Arden
  • Owning School: FMS Graduate School
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0



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

This module covers:
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 cell division control 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 their impact on health and diseases. These 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.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture181:0018:00Lectures
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion130:0030:00Preparation and Submission of 2000 word Essay
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion150:0050:00Revision for Examination
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion130:0030:00Preparation of Presentation and Presentation
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching41:004:00Seminars/Tutorials
Guided Independent StudyReflective learning activity118:0018:00Reading and Reflective Learning
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study150:0050:00Preparing Notes from Lectures and Reading
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).

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination601A60N/A
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M202000 words
Prof skill assessmnt1M20Oral presentation
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Knowledge and understanding are assessed in the written examination and 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 skills are assessed in the short oral presentation and once again IT, literacy active learning and critical appraisal are part of this exercise.

Reading Lists