BIOSCI 759 : Molecular Cell Biology and Biomedicine


2020 Semester Two (1205) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Explores recent advances in cell biology that have led to a greater understanding of a variety of cellular processes at the molecular level. Emphasis will be placed on biochemical and genetic approaches to understand disease mechanisms at the cellular level. A sound understanding of either BIOSCI 349 or 353 or MEDSCI 314 or equivalent is assumed.

Course Overview

This course will provide you with insight into distinct areas of current Biomedical Research with particular focus on immunology and molecular biology. We will examine some of the molecular and cellular events that regulate disease mechanisms and explore how we can exploit them for the treatment of disease. You will learn how this research has been conducted, and discover some of the challenges and wider societal issues which need to be considered when conducting modern Biomedical Research. During this course you will learn how to interpret and critically evaluate the Biomedical Research literature, and develop your science communication and debating skills.

This course is designed for students with an interest in Biomedical Science who are pursuing postgraduate studies in Biomedical Science, Biotechnology or wider biological or medical fields. A sound understanding of either BIOSCI 349 or 353 or MEDSCI 314 or equivalent is assumed.

Course Requirements

No pre-requisites or restrictions

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity
Capability 6: Social and Environmental Responsibilities

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the areas of current Biomedical Research covered in this course. (Capability 1)
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of the key processes in modern Biomedical Research within the context of wider societal issues, such as human and animal ethics, Māori and Pacifica health advancement, and the public health relevance and economic benefits surrounding research. (Capability 1, 2, 5 and 6)
  3. Identify and critically evaluate the rapidly evolving and diverse body of reputable Biomedical Research literature. (Capability 1, 2 and 5)
  4. Apply discipline specific knowledge to interpret data and create new ideas. (Capability 1, 2, 3 and 5)
  5. Communicate Biomedical Science effectively and appropriately. (Capability 1, 4 and 5)
  6. Debate contemporary issues in Biomedical Research. (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Seminar 15% Individual Coursework
Essay 15% Individual Coursework
Research paper synopses 10% Individual Coursework
Class participation 5% Individual Coursework
Final Exam 55% Individual Examination
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5 6
Research paper synopses
Class participation
Final Exam

Key Topics

  • HIV evasion of the intrinsic cellular defence to retroviral infection
  • Monoclonal Antibody Immunotherapeutics; Mechanisms of action, targets and clinical applications.
  • Exploiting antigen presenting cells for vaccine delivery

Learning Resources

The research and review articles that you require for this course will be detailed in Canvas and Talis.

Special Requirements

Class attendance is compulsory. Students who are approved to take this course remotely will have alternative arrangements made.

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15 point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in.

For this course, you can expect 8 hours of lectures, 12 hours of seminars, 30 hours of reading and thinking about the content and 60 hours of work on assignments and/or test preparation.

Digital Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.


The content and delivery of content in this course are protected by copyright. Material belonging to others may have been used in this course and copied by and solely for the educational purposes of the University under license.

You may copy the course content for the purposes of private study or research, but you may not upload onto any third party site, make a further copy or sell, alter or further reproduce or distribute any part of the course content to another person.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website at

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page:

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Student Feedback

During the course Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the staff responsible for the course and staff-student consultative committees.

At the end of the course students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback.

Your feedback helps to improve the course and its delivery for all students.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter (


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course you may be asked to submit your coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. The final decision on the completion mode for a test or examination, and remote invigilation arrangements where applicable, will be advised to students at least 10 days prior to the scheduled date of the assessment, or in the case of an examination when the examination timetable is published.

Published on 03/07/2020 10:55 a.m.