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BCH3021 - Cellular organisation: organelle structure and function in health and disease

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Science

Leader: Dr Tim Cole


Clayton First semester 2007 (Day)


This unit provides an advanced understanding of the structure-function of the individual structural organelles and components of the cell in the context of cell biology and disease processes. Topics include the cytoskeleton, the formation of the membranes, the intra-cellular trafficking of proteins, the cellular internalization/export of proteins. Over-riding themes of this subject are:

  1. to view the cell as a dynamic unit composed of a series of interacting organelles; and
  2. to understand the cell as a semi-independent biological entity in constant contact and communication with the extracellular environment and with other cells in multi-cellular organisms.


On completion of this unit students will understand the biochemistry and molecular biology of cellular membranes; achieve a detailed understanding of the structure and function of subcellular organelles including the nucleus, mitochondria, peroxisomes, endoplasmic reticulum and golgi, and lysosomes in health and disease; understand the various aspects of intracellular and extracellular vesicle trafficking; comprehend the basis of many types of molecular machines that exist in cell biology; achieve a broad view of the importance of the discipline to current advances in biology, biotechnology and medicine; develop skills in the use of routine and advanced biochemistry laboratory equipment, procedures and techniques; manipulate and interpret biochemical data; be able to source information in the scientific literature on particular topics related to the discipline; develop skills in the communication of scientific information associated with this discipline by verbal and written means and by poster displays.


One examination (2 hours): 65%
Evaluation of practicals and synicate sessions/data assessment/oral presentations undertaken in the weekly practical/tutorial/self-directed learning sessions: 35%

Contact hours

Two 1-hour lectures and one 4-hour practical/tutorial/self-directed learning exercise per week


One of BCH2011, BCH2022, CEL2012, MOL2011, MOL2022; or BMS1021