Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

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 Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
OfferedParkville Second semester 2015 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr John Haynes


This unit was previously coded as PSC3032 - Current aspects of pharmaceutical biology.


This unit will introduce students to cancer cell biology. The specific topics covered include The Nature of Cancer, Cellular Oncogenes & Tumor Suppressor Genes, Growth Factor Receptors and Cytoplasmic Signalling, Multistep Tumorigenesis, and Invasion & Metastasis.


At the end of this unit students will be able to discuss:

  1. What, in a cellular context, cancers represent;
  2. How cells usually prevent their own uncontrolled growth;
  3. Common signalling underlying tumor growth;

Furthermore students should be able to use this knowledge to:

  1. Answer specific questions around the pathophysiology of cancer cell growth;
  2. Use sound scientific principles and inquiry-based approaches to design, undertake and analyse experiments that increase our knowledge of the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying cancer cell growth


Final exam (2 hour): 60%; Mid-semester test, practical work and learning exercises 40%.

Workload requirements

Contact hours for on-campus students:

  • Twenty four 1-hour lectures
  • One 2-hour Tutorial
  • Four 3-hour practical laboratories
  • Directed independent study

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)


PSC2011 Biochemical Pharmacology
PSC2012 Molecular Pharmacology

Additional information on this unit is available from the faculty at: