Accessibility statement

Mechanisms to Therapies - BIO00077H

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  • Department: Biology
  • Module co-ordinator: Prof. Dimitris Lagos
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: H
  • Academic year of delivery: 2021-22

Module summary

This module will consolidate knowledge from several modules and focus attention on how understanding mechanisms (molecular, cellular, anatomical etc) can lead to therapies. Principles of clinical trial design and interpretation and drug development will be covered.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Autumn Term 2021-22 to Summer Term 2021-22

Module aims

Advances in antibodies, biologics and cell therapy are leading to a new era in therapeutic development, however the cost of developing these therapies is estimated to be upwards of £2.5 billion each. We will focus on the development of therapeutics from understanding molecular mechanisms of disease through to clinical trials and approval. This will include the development of novel therapy approaches and molecular targeting strategies. Examples from human disease will include inflammatory disorders, thrombotic disorders, vaccinology and cancer. Through interactive paper discussion workshops students will obtain key exposure to the process of therapeutic discovery and development and understand how to critically evaluate therapeutic successes and failures.

Module learning outcomes

1: Explain how different therapeutic interventions including biologics, small molecules and cell-based therapies can be optimally engineered and used to treat human disease. Assess the advantages and disadvantages of different molecular targeting approaches.

2: Identify and justify experimental approaches that could be applied to development of novel therapeutics for human disease.

3: Explain the principles in designing and interpreting clinical trials and evaluate clinical data sets.

4: Synthesise concepts from pathology, physiology, pharmacology, and mechanistic biology and clinical studies to explain how clinical success can be determined.

5: Efficiently and accurately communicate concepts and experimental findings underpinning therapeutic approaches.


Task Length % of module mark
Essay: Comprehension, criticism and design
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Essay: Comprehension, criticism and design
N/A 100

Module feedback

Marks for open assessments will be made available to you and your supervisor via e:vision. Individual comments will be added to your script and/or on separate summary feedback document. Histograms of module marks will be posted on the notice boards outside the Biology Student Services office. You should take the opportunity to discuss your marks and feedback with your supervisor.

During the teaching of the module you will receive feedback that may be at a whole class or individual level. Forms of feedback may include: model answers and discussion of workshop questions, summaries of performance in practicals, VLE-based quizzes, individual spoken comments during workshops, individual written comments on formative work.  

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.