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MMB8022 : Regenerative Medicine & Stem Cells

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Annette Meeson
  • Lecturer: Dr Deepali Pal, Dr Gabriele Saretzki, Professor Andrew Mellor, Professor Matthew Wright, Dr Rachel Oldershaw, Professor Lyle Armstrong, Dr Michael White, Prof. Colin Jahoda, Dr Rakesh Heer, Professor Che Connon, Dr Gavin Clowry, Professor Majlinda Lako, Dr Julian De Havilland, Dr Andrew Filby, Professor David Jones
  • Owning School: FMS Graduate School
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


The modules aims are to:

1. provide a thorough introduction to biological aspects of stem cells and their development

2. introduce the stem cell related concepts: totipotency, pluripotency multipotency during different developmental stages

3. explain different types of stem cells and their sources

4. explain techniques used for derivation and culture of stem cells

5. explain the current understanding of the immunobiology of stem cells and potential alloantigen responses

6. explain current therapeutic clinical applications of stem cells and related social and ethical aspects

Outline Of Syllabus

A stem cell is a type of cell that has the ability to either divide for indefinite periods in culture to create more stem cells, or to give rise to specialized cells. Because of their ability to develop into different cell types, they could potentially provide an unlimited source of adult cells, such as bone, muscle, liver, or blood cells. Study of these important cell types now offers new insight into the fundamental processes of embryogenesis and homeostasis of adult tissues. Stem cell biology has gained tremendous interest in the recent years as part of a renewed interest in regenerative medicine – the replacement of defective cells and tissues with new cell types, offering the hope of new therapies for otherwise intractable disease. This module will draw upon very recent research in science and medicine to examine three broad areas in the field of stem cell and regenerative medicine: (1) the basic principles of stem cell science; (2). the basic biology of stem cells and (3) the role of stem cells in regenerative medicine.

The following topics will be covered:

• Origin and development of stem cells
• General terminology of stem cell classification
• Differentiation potential of stem cells
• Embryonic versus adult stem cells
• Isolation and culture of stem cells
• Tissue engineering
• Stem cell transplantation
• Stem cell based therapies
• Tolerance mechanisms and rejection
• Legal, political and ethical aspects of stem cells

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture72:0014:00Lectures All 2 Hour Sessions
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion127:0027:00Preparation and Submission of 2000 word Critical Essay
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion147:0047:00Preparation and Presentation of Research Proposal
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion148:0048:00Revision for Examinations
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture161:0016:00Lectures All 1 Hour Sessions
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study148:0048:00Preparation of Notes from Lectures and Reading
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

This will be a mainly didactic module. In lectures, students will learn fundamental principles of stem cell biology and their use and potential use in medical practice with examples from cutting-edge research. They will also learn how to evaluate and interpret current research. The will have the opportunity to discuss their ideas within the classroom environment and during their assessed presentations. In addition to the 30 hrs of formal teaching, the students will use the remainder of the time associated with this 20 credit module in independent study, including reading literature, preparing assignments, and revising for the end of module exam.

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination601A60One question to be answered from a choice of three
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M152000 word essay
Research proposal1M25N/A
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The unseen examination assesses knowledge and understanding of the subject. The essay will also provide the opportunity to assess the knowledge and understanding of the subject, as well as enabling the student to demonstrate their ability to critical assess the current literature. The project proposal addresses both the specific transferable skill as well as the ethical and regulatory framework of the topic.

Reading Lists