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BCH3042 - Cell signal transduction: role in cancer and human disease

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Science

Leader: Dr Alfons Lawen


Clayton Second semester 2007 (Day)


This unit provides an advanced understanding of the molecular aspects of cell proliferation, cell signalling, differentiation and cell death as they relate to cell biology and medicine, in particular cancer. Themes include basic mechanisms of cell signalling involving cell receptors, gene expression, hormones and endocrine networks, and intracellular signalling cascade. These concepts are applied to cell growth, differentiation and cell death and how the involvement of the immune system is regulated in diseases, including auto-immune diseases, cancer (and its treatment) and the destruction of T-cells after human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection.


On completion of this unit students will understand the basic mechanisms of cell signalling; have achieved a detailed understanding of disordered intracellular signalling and its role on the development of cancer; understand the various aspects of the immune system in relation cell signalling and infectious disease; understand the role of programmed cell death in differentiation and disease; have achieved a broad view of the importance of the discipline to current advances in biology, biotechnology and medicine; have developed skills, both technical and time/task-management, in the use of routine and advanced biochemistry laboratory equipment and performing a series of experimental procedures; be able to manipulate and interpret experimental data; be able to source information in the scientific literature and on the web concerning particular topics related to the discipline; have developed skills in the communication of scientific information associated with the discipline by verbal and written means and by poster displays.


Examination (1 x 3 hours): 55%
On-line MCQ quizzes: 10%
Evaluation of practicals: 25%
Research paper analysis: 10%

Contact hours

Three 1-hour lectures/tutorials/revisions and one 3-hour practical/tutorial/ self-directed learning exercise per week


One of BCH2011, BCH2022, CEL2012, MOL2011, MOL2022; or BMS2021 or BMS2042