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Molecular Basis of Disease - BIO00059M

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  • Department: Biology
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. William Brackenbury
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2020-21

Module summary

The broad aim of the module is to give students a critical awareness of research into the molecular basis of disease. Topics will be drawn from biomedical research specialisations in the Department, including cancer, immunology, microbiology, neuroscience and parasitology.
Several research case studies will be presented, each covering initial ideas, preliminary findings, basic research and how an understanding of molecular mechanisms can translate into potential disease interventions.
In addition to learning about mechanisms of disease pathology, the lectures will provide students with a critical insight into the research process, including how various factors, such as funding opportunities, new technology, methodological development, competition and often, serendipity, contribute to important breakthroughs.
As appropriate, the lecture sessions will include a lab visit/tour and/or opportunity for post-docs to tell students about their research, in order to provide hands-on exposure to the underpinning methodological approaches, technologies and molecular mechanisms being studied.
Supported by tutorials and inspired by the lectures, students will undertake research of the literature in a disease of their choosing and write a critical review that appraises the validity and impact of mechanistic data in the design of potential therapies.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Spring Term 2020-21

Module aims

The broad aim of the module is to give students a critical awareness of research into the molecular basis of disease. Topics will be drawn from biomedical research specialisations in the Department, including cancer, immunology, microbiology, neuroscience and parasitology.
Several research case studies will be presented, each covering initial ideas, preliminary findings, basic research and how an understanding of molecular mechanisms can translate into potential disease interventions.
In addition to learning about mechanisms of disease pathology, the lectures will provide students with a critical insight into the research process, including how various factors, such as funding opportunities, new technology, methodological development, competition and often, serendipity, contribute to important breakthroughs.
As appropriate, the lecture sessions will include a lab visit/tour and/or opportunity for post-docs to tell students about their research, in order to provide hands-on exposure to the underpinning methodological approaches, technologies and molecular mechanisms being studied.
Supported by tutorials and inspired by the lectures, students will undertake research of the literature in a disease of their choosing and write a critical review that appraises the validity and impact of mechanistic data in the design of potential therapies.

Module learning outcomes

Students will have a comprehensive and critical understanding of:
the mechanistic basis of selected diseases at the molecular level
how research has been designed and implemented to investigate a specific disease.
the theory of, and when to apply, various experimental techniques to study the molecular basis of disease.
Academic and graduate skills
Students will be able to:
Write a review that critically evaluates peer-reviewed scientific literature in an area of molecular medicine.
Synthesise an argument that draws on several (potentially contradicting) sources.
Provide constructive feedback on written work.

Assessment

Task Length % of module mark
Essay/coursework
3,000 word review
N/A 100

Special assessment rules

None

Reassessment

Task Length % of module mark
Essay/coursework
3,000 word review
N/A 100

Module feedback

Feedback on your progress is important to your learning process; your draft review will be commented on and returned to you, your final submission will also be returned with comments.

Indicative reading

These are available through the VLE module site.



The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.