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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Deanery of Biomedical Sciences : Biomedical Sciences

Undergraduate Course: Receptors, signalling and regulation of cell responsiveness (BIME10007)

Course Outline
SchoolDeanery of Biomedical Sciences CollegeCollege of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryReceptor-mediated signal transduction is a key process through which extracellular molecules such as neurotransmitters, hormones, growth factors exert controlling influences on receptive cells. A wide variety of ligands, receptor types and intracellular signals allows pleiotropic control of physiological, metabolic and neural activity.
The integration of positive and negative influences underpins normal systems function but intracellular signals can crucially also drive alterations in cellular responsiveness to allow for adaptive physiological responses in the nervous system and peripheral tissues. Dysfunction in these processes can underlie pathology, so targeting the molecules and molecular interactions involved is the core theme of many pharmacological therapeutic strategies.
The content will focus on the properties and influences of G protein-coupled receptors but will include other receptor types where relevant. We will investigate structure and function, signal transduction and downstream pathways, protein:protein interactions, endocytosis and recycling and newly discovered areas of signalling. We will then focus on related mechanisms such as phosphorylation, protein docking and trafficking, effects on transcription and translation and how these bring about plasticity of responsiveness in normal and pathological conditions in both neurons and examples of peripheral cell types. We will further evaluate whether specific molecular interactions in these processes could represent targets for novel pharmacological agents to treat unmet therapeutic needs.
The course will consist of a mixture of lectures and seminars, with focused workshop/debate and tutorial sessions. The in-course assessment will involve a short Powerpoint presentation of a relevant research paper (10% of total mark) and a succinct written analysis of a recent ┐Trends-type┐ review article (10% of total mark).
Course description Course contributor: Rory Mitchell
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites It is RECOMMENDED that students have passed Biomedical Sciences 3 (BIME09008)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Students who are either enrolled on the BSc (Hons) Medical Sciences, or who spent their third year abroad, or who are taking an intercalated year, are exempt from the requirement to have taken and passed Biomedical Sciences 3
Additional Costs None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2016/17, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  12
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 26, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 2, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 6, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 2, Formative Assessment Hours 2, Summative Assessment Hours 4, Revision Session Hours 4, Other Study Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 148 )
Additional Information (Learning and Teaching) presentation preparation
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 80 %, Coursework 20 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Written exam 80%
Course work 20% (Essay 10% plus Presentation 10%)
Feedback Feedback on Workshop 1 presentations. Feedback for Practice Essay Plan/Outline on GPR 43.
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S1 (December)Receptors, signalling and regulation of cell responsiveness2:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. At the end of this course students should be able to: understand key concepts in receptor biology, signal transduction and processes by which receptor-mediated intracellular signals can modify cell responsiveness, both in the nervous system and in peripheral tissues.
  2. Understand how established or potential new drugs interacting with these targets might provide therapeutic benefit.
  3. Interpret original experimental data and discuss the significance of the findings.
  4. Demonstrate the ability to openly debate scientific issues.
  5. Demonstrate the ability to illustrate and present relevant information in a Powerpoint presentation.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Course organiserProf Sue Fleetwood-Walker
Tel: (0131 6)51 1696
Course secretaryMiss Kara Young
Tel: (0131 6)50 3160
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