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The interpretation of nutritional information relies on an understanding of how nutrients are metabolised and what can go wrong in disease states. The subject material covers control of the digestion and absorption of nutrients; the regulation of blood glucose concentration and the causes of diabetes; the generation of free-radicals and the importance of antioxidants in protecting proteins, lipids and DNA from oxidative damage; metabolic reprogramming in cancer cells, neurons and immune cells; metabolism in the gut: the role of the microbiota; metabolomics and other research methods for the study of metabolism.
Intended learning outcomes
By the end of the subject the student should be able to:
- Describe the molecular basis of how humans handle nutrients via metabolism and what can go wrong in disease states
- Explain the mechanisms and consequences of metabolic reprogramming in cancer cells, and in neurons and immune cells in both physiological and pathophysiological conditions
- Describe how the emerging field of metabolomics (the study of a range of metabolites in a cell or tissue) is being applied as a diagnostic tool
- Describe how targeting critical events in metabolic reprogramming of cancer cells as the therapeutic strategy for cancer treatment
- Analyse experimental data to detect changes in metabolism
- Critically analyse of the current scientific literature on metabolomics and metabolic reprogramming in diseases.
Students will be provided with the opportunity to develop skills in critical thinking, particularly through researching a relevant topic and preparing a 1000-word essay assignment. They will learn to apply theoretical principles to the explanation of observations and acquire skills in time management.
Last updated: 10 November 2019