PAC2161 - Cell function, communication and pathology - 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.


Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences


Dr Sab Ventura (Parkville)

Dr Tang Kim San (Malaysia)

Unit guides



  • First semester 2017 (Day)


  • First semester 2017 (Day)


  1. This unit will provide a foundation of fundamental aspects of cell biology, cell physiology and ways that cells communicate with each other in the human body.
  2. This unit will relate the pathophysiology of various diseases and disorders with the use of specific drug classes.

    This will involve:

    • introduction to Cell Biology
    • cell biology & signalling
    • stem cells and development
    • cell pathophysiology (cancer)
    • pharmacology
    • autocoids
    • inflammatory responses
    • endocrinology.


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

  1. Differentiate between the basic molecular-genetic mechanisms by which cells are regulated in a multicellular organism;
  2. Appreciate the fundamental approaches and methods used to study cells;
  3. Describe the special properties inherent to stem cells or specialized cells;
  4. Understand the ways in which cell control is disrupted in diseases such as cancer;
  5. Diagnose a disorder by examination of signs and symptoms;
  6. Relate modifications of physiological and molecular mechanisms to the observed disorder and describe the role of receptor activation and intracellular signalling in normal and abnormal cellular function.


In lecture active learning clicker questions 5%, Mid semester MCQ test 10%, Immunotechniques lab report 10%, Adrenergics tutorial 10%, two other tutorial/workshop/practicals 5% each of the final assessment; 2 hour final exam 55%; Exam will consist of ~45 multiple choice questions (1 hour) and six questions requiring written answers (1 hour).

Workload requirements

Contact hours for on-campus students:

  • Thirty 1-hour lectures
  • One 1-hour tutorial
  • One 3-hour tutorial
  • One 3-hour practical class
  • Two 3-hour computer aided learning classes

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)


PAC1111, PAC1132


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