BCH3042 - Cell signal transduction: Role in cancer and human disease - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

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




Dr Caroline Speed

Unit guides



  • Second semester 2017 (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 be able to:

  1. Discuss the basic mechanisms of cell signalling and how disordered intracellular signalling contributes to the development of cancer;
  2. Discuss the various aspects of the immune system in relation cell signalling and infectious disease;
  3. Explain how cell death contributes to differentiation and disease;
  4. 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;
  5. Discuss the importance of the discipline to current advances in biology, biotechnology and medicine;
  6. Illustrate how relevant laboratory techniques can be exploited to define essential steps in biochemical pathways;
  7. Plan and apply advanced biochemical laboratory methods to solve problems in cell signalling and demonstrate appropriate methods for data analysis and interpretation;
  8. Demonstrate technical and time management skills.


Examination (3 hours): 55% (Hurdle)

On-line MCQ quizzes: 10%

Practicals: 20% (Hurdle)

Paper analysis exercise: 15% (Hurdle)

This unit is subject to the Hurdle and Threshold Standards policiesHurdle and Threshold Standards policies (http://www.med.monash.edu.au/policies/assessment-policy-2017.html) of the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing & Health Sciences.

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


One of BCH2011, BCH2022, MOL2011, MOL2022, MCB2011, MCB2022; or BMS2021 or BMS2042