PSC2016 : Molecular Physiology and Pathophysiology

Semester 2 Credit Value: 15
ECTS Credits: 8.0


To provide an understanding at the molecular level of (1) aspects of the normal physiology and diseases of the aerodigestive tract and (2) connective tissue and proteoglycans in health and disease.

To provide a knowledge of how reflux of gastric duodenal juice, a normal physiological event can under certain conditions lead to damage of the aerodigestive tract.

This strand will also aim to give you an excellent understanding at a molecular level of structure function relationships involving proteoglycans e.g. connective tissue function and how this changes in disease. Also the role of proteoglycans in malaria and cancer cell migration.

Students will learn about: the relationships between acid and pepsin production by the stomach, reflux and diseases of the aerodigestive tract, such as GORD, LPR, sinusitis, rhinitis, asthma, vocal fold leukoplakia, laryngomalacia and OME. In addition they will see and discuss the experimental evidence for a link between the reflux of gastric juice and lung transplant rejection and the molecular mechanisms for the development of bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome. In addition the mechanisms of other aerodigestive diseases associated with reflux will be investigated. As a second molecular theme the students will learn about structure and functions of cartilage and the proteoglycans there contained and the changes that occur in osteoarthritis. They will also learn about the cellular functions of proteoglycans in other tissues. A mixture of formal lectures, seminars and a laboratory practical session, study group sessions, and student-led study groups will be used.

Outline Of Syllabus

Pepsin isoenzymes, bile acids and acid as inflammatory mediators, mucosal protection of different mucosal types.
Human diseases related to reflux.
Connective tissues/proteoglycans
Functions of proteoglycans and related diseases

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture161:0016:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion1121:00121:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion23:006:00Study group exercises
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical17:007:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures convey the core scientific material. Practicals provide laboratory experience and practical demonstrations to support the core material, provide experience in computer-based presentation skills, and support the core material by placing basic scientific knowledge in a clinical context. Seminars provide opportunity for discussion and aid the development of critical skills and problem solving. Individual study topic encourages use of the scientific literature at a deeper level than that presented in lectures, promotes individual creative work, provides an opportunity to teach and learn through collective study, and promotes scientific discrimination of the literature.

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination902A70The MCQ section is worth 1/3 (33.3%) the essay section is worth 2/3 (66.7%) Two questions to be answered from a choice of four.
Exam Pairings
Module Code Module Title Semester Comment
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written exercise2M8Extended Essay
Practical/lab report2M8N/A
Written exercise2M7Analysis of Paper
Written exercise2M7Study Group Work
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The examination is appropriate way of testing core knowledge and understanding of the subject under time-constraint conditions. The practice essay promotes revision and provides an opportunity to consolidate knowledge and identify areas of weakness in learning and teaching. The practical report and abstract analysis exercise test critical skills, problem solving and data interpretation. The group study topic assesses a range of skills including teaching, data interpretation, computer-based presentational skills, written communication skills, and promotes deeper learning, and scientific discrimination of the literature, and encourages group discussion and constructive criticism of scientific work.

Reading Lists