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Aberrations in the structure and expression of hormones, growth factors, neurotransmitters and their receptors can give rise to diseases such as cancer and neurodegenerative diseases. To understand the molecular basis of these diseases, it is essential to know how hormones, growth factors and neurotransmitters are synthesised, and how their signals are recognised, amplified and transmitted by intracellular signalling pathways in the target cells.
Topics covered include structures of hormone and neurotransmitter receptors, mechanisms of intracellular signal transduction, second messengers and protein phosphorylation-dephosphorylation; regulation of gene expression; mechanism of neuronal apoptosis and necrosis, molecular basis of neurodegenerative disease, molecular basis of cancer formation and progression and the use and design of protein kinase inhibitors as therapeutics for treatment of cancer and neurodegenerative diseases.
Intended learning outcomes
On completion of the subject:
- students should understand the molecular basis of hormone and neurotransmitter actions.
- the techniques used to investigate the mechanism of hormone action and neurotransmitter functions.
- how abnormalities in synthesis and intracellular signalling pathways contribute to disease such as cancer and Parkinson's disease.
On completion of this subject, students should have developed the following generic skills:
- the ability to interpret scientific literature and interpret data from electronic databases.
- the capacity to integrate knowledge across disciplines.
- the ability to comprehend a question, evaluate the relevant information and communicate an answer.
Last updated: 2 December 2019