MEDSCI 732 : Molecular Aspects of Endocrinology and Metabolism

Medical and Health Sciences

2021 Semester Two (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Explores how hormones are able to control such a wide range of physiological processes. Covers molecular aspects of hormone action with particular reference to the neuroendocrine and peripheral endocrine systems that control appetite and metabolism. Other topics covered include how defects in hormone action lead to diseases such as cancer, obesity, Type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Course Overview

Members of the class are required to complete three assignments (4 pages) and present one 15 minute seminar. There is a choice out of 4 assignment articles that will be provided by lecturers.  Seminar presentations will be chosen from lecturer-nominated articles provided, and these are related to specific topics for each session. The seminars presented, and assignments, will be critical evaluations and overviews of articles provided, with an assessment and discussion in terms of the strengths, weaknesses, and the advances to knowledge each article makes. Preparation of seminars and written assignments will require original research of the literature and critical thinking.

Course Requirements

No pre-requisites or restrictions

Course Contacts

Associate Professor Kathy Mountjoy (kmountjoy@auckland.ac.nz)
Professor Peter Shepherd (peter.shepherd@auckland.ac.nz)

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. Describe understanding of how hormones control a wide range of physiological processes by describing in written and oral presentations, core concepts of endocrinology, neuroendocrinology, and metabolism. (Capability 1, 2, 3 and 5)
  2. Critically appraise the theories proposed to explain the obesity and diabetes epidemics by participation in class discussions, seminar presentation, and written assignments. (Capability 1, 2, 3 and 5)
  3. Critically appraise molecular mechanisms and genes giving rise to changes in energy homeostasis by participation in class discussions, seminar presentation, and written assignments. (Capability 1, 2, 3 and 5)
  4. Critically appraise molecular mechanisms and genes giving rise to changes in glucose homeostasis by participation in class discussions, seminar presentation, and written assignments. (Capability 1, 2, 3 and 5)
  5. Critically appraise molecular mechanisms leading to inflammation associated with metabolic diseases by participation in class discussions, seminar presentation, and written assignments. (Capability 1, 2, 3 and 5)
  6. Critically appraise molecular mechanisms targeted by anti-obesity and anti-diabetes mellitus therapeutics by participation in class discussions, seminar presentation, and written assignments. (Capability 1, 2, 3 and 5)
  7. Develop and demonstrate excellent scientific evaluation, critical thinking and writing skills by completing three written assignments, and written peer reviews of student seminar presentations. (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5)
  8. Develop and deliver scientific knowledge learned as part of the course, to effectively communicate by an oral presentation. (Capability 1, 4, 5 and 6)

Assessments

Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Written critical evaluation Assignment #1 15% Individual Coursework
Written critical evaluation Assignment #2 15% Individual Coursework
Written critical evaluation Assignment #3 15% Individual Coursework
Seminar Presentation 10% Individual Coursework
Final Exam 45% Individual Examination
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Written critical evaluation Assignment #1
Written critical evaluation Assignment #2
Written critical evaluation Assignment #3
Seminar Presentation
Final Exam

Workload Expectations


This course is a standard 700 level 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 20.5 hours of lectures and approximately 80 hours of reading and thinking about the content and 40-50 hours of work on assignments and/or test preparation.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience or Online

This course is offered in two delivery modes:

Campus Experience

Attendance is required at scheduled activities including seminars to complete components of the course.
Lectures will be available as recordings. Other learning activities including seminars will be available as recordings.
The course will include live online events including group discussions.
Attendance on campus is not required for the exam.
The activities for the course are scheduled as a standard weekly timetable.

Online

Attendance is required at scheduled online activities including seminars to complete components of the course.
The course will include live online events including group discussions and these will be recorded.
Attendance on campus is not required for the exam.
Where possible, study material will be available at course commencement throughout the course.
This course runs to the University semester timetable and all the associated completion dates and deadlines will apply.

Learning Resources

Refer to Canvas for reading material associated with each session that students are required to read prior to and following each session.

Student Feedback

At the end of every semester 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 and respond with summaries and actions.

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

Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the department and faculty staff-student consultative committees.

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.

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 http://disability.auckland.ac.nz

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 https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/students/academic-information/exams-and-final-results/during-exams/aegrotat-and-compassionate-consideration.html.

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

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and your assessment is fair, and not compromised. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the University Website for information about how to proceed.

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 https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/students/forms-policies-and-guidelines/student-policies-and-guidelines/student-charter.html.

Disclaimer

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.