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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Advanced Cell Biology
Module Code BE323
School School of Biotechnology
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Naomi Walsh
Semester 2: Naomi Walsh
Autumn: Naomi Walsh
Module TeachersPaul Cahill
Paula Meleady
Naomi Walsh
Denise Harold
Linda Holland
NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None
Repeat examination
Reassessment will consist of 100% exam

The purpose of this module is to help students build on their understanding of advanced concepts of cell biology, focusing on structure and function of proteins, lipids and extracellular vesicles; signaling pathways, cell cycle and cellular-cross talk with immune cells. Students will gain insight into dysregulation of cellular processes which can lead to diseases such as cancer and diabetes. They will also focus on tools (particularly lipidomics, proteomics, extracellular vesicles, targeted therapies) used for advancing molecular medicine, disease diagnosis and treatment.

Learning Outcomes

1. Value why lipids and extracellular vesicles are considered a new platform for drug delivery, biomarker discovery and future cancer therapies.
2. Describe the functional characteristics of human pancreatic beta cells and evaluate the most promising sources of new beta cells for functional replacement in Type 1 diabetes.
3. Discuss the advancement in proteomic/mass spec methods to detect specific proteins in biological samples
4. Define the molecules, cell types and pathways that uniquely distinguish the cells in the body including those of the immune system
5. Knowledge of molecular, genomic and cellular processes of immunological and cancer diseases
6. Identify and discuss the cell dysregulations that lead to the hallmarks of cancer

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture24No Description
Workshop6No Description
Assignment Completion10No Description
Independent Study85No Description
Total Workload: 125

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Cellular Immunology
Innate & adaptive immunity, Complement, B cells, T Cells, macrophages

Cellular Diseases
Cancer cell biology, interactions between tissue cellular systems (vascular and immune cells). Immune mechanisms in disease pathogenesis. Lipid Biomarkers in cancer and diabetes

Lipids in Cell Biology
Cellular compartments of common biological lipids; Lipid movements into and out of cells; Modern Lipid analysis Methods; Lipidomics

Pancreatic beta cell biology
Processing of Proinsulin; Secretion of insulin; Post insulin receptor binding events in target tissues; Beta cell replacement with allogeneic, xenogeneic pancreatic islets, expanded beta cells, embryonic or induced pluripotent stem cell-derived beta cells; Functionality criteria & analytical methods.

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment20% Examination Weight80%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Loop QuizTwo Loop quizzes each worth 10%, consisting of MCQ and/or short answer questions. To be carried out end of block 1-5 and end of block 6-1220%As required
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 3
Indicative Reading List

  • Lodish, Harvey F: 2013, Molecular Cell Biology, 7th Edition, W.H. Freeman, New York, 1464109818, 9
  • Karp, Gerald: 2010, Cell biology, 6th, John Wiley & Sons, 2010, Hoboken, N.J, 0470505761, 9
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes
AFUAge Friendly University Programme
ASBSc in Analytical Science
BPBSc in Bioprocessing
BTBSc in Biotechnology
GCBBSc in Genetics & Cell Biology
SHSAStudy Abroad (Science & Health)
SHSAOStudy Abroad (Science & Health)

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