The molecular basis of normal and abnormal cell function...
Molecular Cell Biology is the study of how cells function at the molecular level. Knowledge of these processes is essential for understanding the mechanisms underlying both normal cell processes and disease processes including cancer.
BIOL3006 provides advanced lectures and tutorials on interactions involving proteins, nucleic acids, lipids and sugars that occur in cells, how experimental techniques contribute to our investigation of cell biology and how current discoveries were made and what they lead us onto next.
What do I do in this course?
Advanced studies on the molecular basis of cell structure and function. Topics include cell architecture, cell interactions, cell differentiation, nuclear structure and function and protein trafficking. A strong emphasis on the role of these processes in normal cell function and abnormal cell function (eg cancer) is provided. There is a strong emphasis on research approaches and practical techniques, and on problem-based learning, in this course. 
Cell interactions -
Cell-cell interactions: structure and function of adherens junctions, tight junctions.
Cell-matrix interactions: components of the extracellular matrix, basal lamina and connective tissue.
Protein and proteoglycan mediated interactions between cells and matrix.
The role of these interactions in normal tissue homeostasis and in cancer. 
 
Cell differentiation -

Stem cell biology.

Differentiation, determination and development.

The role of these processes in normal development and in cancer.

Differentiation of key cell types of the skin, blood, muscle and brain.


Nuclear structure and function -

Nuclear envelope, nuclear matrix, nuclear bodies.

Euchromatin and heterochromatin.

Nuclear processes (eg replication, transcription and splicing) in the context of an ordered 3D nuclear space).


Protein trafficking -

Mechanics and regulation of protein trafficking via the secretory and endocytic pathways.

Molecular components and functions of the endoplasmic reticulum and golgi.

Receptor-mediated endocytosis; from surface to lysosomes. 


Clinical applications -

The role of cell biology in understanding the disease process

How knowledge of cellular function can be used for diagnosis and treatment of disease.

Cell biology in a clinical setting. 

 

Career relevance of this course:
Molecular Cell Biology is central to understanding normal cell function and the molecular basis of disease.
 
Molecular Cell Biology is a central discipline in the biological sciences and is essential for careers in biomolecular research, medicine and pharmacology. An understanding of the molecular basis of a disease is fundamental to the development of new treatment regimes for cellular diseases such as cancer. Cell biologists are employed by academic research institutions, clinical services laboratories, biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies.
 
Program planning advice:
In conjunction with BIOC3000, BIOC3005 and BIOL3004, BIOL3006 is a recommended course for students planning a research career in molecular biology, molecular genetics, cell biology or cancer biology.  BIOL3006 is recommended by the course coordinator for inclusion in the Biochemistry & Molecular Biology major, the Developmental Biology and Human Genetics streams of the single and extended Biomedical Science major, the Biophysics major, the Chemistry & Chemical Biology stream of the Chemical Sciences major and the Molecular Genetics stream of the Genetics major.

For an official description of this course, including prerequisites and contact hours, and for the official rules of programs, including majors requirements, see the UQ Programs & Courses website.