Faculty of Science

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2015 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Science
OfferedClayton Second semester 2015 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Caroline Speed


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 be able to:

  1. Discuss the basic mechanisms of cell signalling and how disordered intracellular signalling contributes to the development of cancer;

  1. Discuss the various aspects of the immune system in relation cell signalling and infectious disease;

  1. Explain how cell death contributes to differentiation and disease;

  1. Conduct literature-based research to critically evaluate how our evolving understanding of signal transduction contributes towards advances in biology, biotechnology and medicine and effectively communicate their research by both verbal and oral means;

  1. Discuss the importance of the discipline to current advances in biology, biotechnology and medicine;

  1. Illustrate how relevant laboratory techniques can be exploited to define essential steps in biochemical pathways;

  1. Plan and apply advanced biochemical laboratory methods to solve problems in cell signalling and demonstrate appropriate methods for data analysis and interpretation;

  1. Demonstrate technical and time management skills.


Examination (1 x 3 hours): 55%
On-line MCQ quizzes: 10%
Evaluation of practicals and assignments: 35%
A pass in both the final examination and the practicals and assignments must be obtained to pass the unit.

Workload requirements

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

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study