BMS2021 - Human molecular cell biology - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

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


Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Organisational Unit

School of Biomedical Sciences


Professor Janet Macaulay

Unit guides



  • First semester 2017 (Day)


This unit covers the molecular principles of cellular metabolic regulation, metabolic interrelationship of tissues, molecular events associated with the fed and fasted states, and the generation of metabolic energy by oxidation of macronutrients.

It discusses hormone action and the molecular and cellular basis of diseases, and gives an overview of tissue metabolism.

The autonomic control of energy, exercise and metabolism, and how drugs can modulate these processes will be considered and discussed.

The unit will also cover the molecular mechanism of cell growth, differentiation and death, and introduces the basic principles of developmental biology covering cell fate, pattern formation and tissue morphogenesis during embryonic life.


Upon successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. Discuss how energy and nutrients are supplied to mammalian cells and how metabolism is regulated and integrated.
  2. Discuss the mechanisms by which cells communicate to coordinate metabolism, cell growth, differentiation and cell death.
  3. Describe the mechanisms by which precursor and stem cells differentiate into mature cells.
  4. Explain the molecular and cellular basis of selected diseases and how they can be modulated by drugs.
  5. Demonstrate an ability to present, analyse and interpret data from molecular and cell biological experiments clearly and concisely in oral and written form.
  6. Demonstrate the ability to work in a team.


  • Exam (3 hours) (55%)
  • Small group learning sessions (35%)
  • Online quizzes (10%)

A pass in the final exam must be obtained to pass the unit.

Workload requirements

3 hours of teacher directed activities and 3 hours of practical or equivalent activities

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

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



Must be enrolled in one of the following:

  • Bachelor of Biomedical Science (including double degree programs)
  • Bachelor of Biomedical Science (Scholar Program)
  • Bachelor of Biomedical Science Advanced with Honours
  • Bachelor of Behavioural Neuroscience


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