BCH3042 - Cell signal transduction: Role in cancer and human disease - 2019

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.



Chief examiner(s)

Professor Mike Ryan


Dr Caroline Speed

Unit guides



  • Second semester 2019 (On-campus)


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




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 autoimmune 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.


NOTE: From 1 July 2019, the duration of all exams is changing to combine reading and writing time. The new exam duration for this unit is 3 hours and 10 minutes.

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

  • Two hours of lectures
  • One hour guided learning/revision/online activity and;
  • One 3-hour practical/tutorial self-directed learning exercise per week

See also Unit timetable information

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