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Monash University

Monash University Handbook 2010 Undergraduate - Unit

6 points, SCA Band 0 (NATIONAL PRIORITY), 0.125 EFTSL

FacultyFaculty of Science
OfferedGippsland First semester 2010 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Phillip Brook-Carter


The unit examines the pathways by which cells receive external information and process this into specific biochemical responses. We begin with a survey of different mechanisms of cellular signalling and their roles in 'normal' cellular activities and overall homeostasis. A diverse set of cellular processes is studied and the normal control mechanisms highlighted. This is followed by investigation of the dysfunction of signalling mechanisms in several disease states. Topics covered are: the cell cycle, apoptosis, haematopoiesis, atherosclerosis and HIV/AIDS. The aim is to demonstrate to students that dysfunction or inappropriate cellular signalling plays a key role in the pathogenesis of many common disease. Methods of clinical diagnosis are introduced and incorporated into the laboratory work, which is designed to illustrate concepts of the theory.


On completion of this unit students will be able to describe a range of cellular signalling mechanisms, understand endocrine control of cellular processes; discuss the dysfunction of signalling mechanisms in several common disease states; appreciate the use of biochemical and spectroscopic techniques in the diagnosis of disease; be able to plan and execute complex biochemical laboratory procedures; demonstrate proficiency in the interpretation of complex data acquired by biochemical and spectroscopic techniques; demonstrate basic competence in the safe handling of hazardous biological materials.


Final examination (3 hours): 50%
Major assignment (5000 words): 20%
Practical work: 30%

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Phill Brook Carter

Contact hours

Three hours of lectures per week and 40 hours laboratory work per semester




BCH3021, BCH3042