Cell Signalling and Neurochemistry

Subject BCMB30004 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 25-Jul-2016 to 23-Oct-2016
Assessment Period End 18-Nov-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 05-Aug-2016
Census Date 31-Aug-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 23-Sep-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: three x 1 hour lecture, and one x 1 hour tutorial per week.
Total Time Commitment:

48 contact hours with an estimated total time commitment of 170 hours.


BSc students

Before 2009:

Biochemistry & Molecular Biology Part A (521-211)

Biochemistry & Molecular Biology Part B (521-212)

2009 and subsequently:

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 1, Semester 2

Note that the pre-2009 subject “Biochemistry & Molecular Biology Part A” and the 2009 subject “Biochemistry & Molecular Biology” are not identical despite having the same subject code. Only the subject “Biochemistry & Molecular Biology” offered in 2009 and subsequently acts as a stand-alone prerequisite.

BBiomedicine students

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:

Other combinations that provide similar background will be considered by the coordinator.



Recommended Background Knowledge:


Non Allowed Subjects:

Students cannot enrol in and gain credit for this subject if previously obtained credit for pre-2009 subject (521-304) Hormone and Neurotransmitter Biochemistry.

Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/disability


Assoc Prof Heung-Chin Cheng


Subject Coordinator

Assoc Prof Heung-Chin Cheng


Adminstrative Coordinator

Mrs Irene Koumanelis


Subject Overview:

Aberrations in the structure and expression of hormones, growth factors, neurotransmitters and their receptors can give rise to diseases such as cancer and neurodegenerative diseases. To understand the molecular basis of these diseases, it is essential to know how hormones, growth factors and neurotransmitters are synthesised, and how their signals are recognised, amplified and transmitted by intracellular signalling pathways in the target cells.

Topics covered include structures of hormone and neurotransmitter receptors, mechanisms of intracellular signal transduction, second messengers and protein phosphorylation-dephosphorylation; regulation of gene expression; mechanism of neuronal apoptosis and necrosis, molecular basis of neurodegenerative disease, molecular basis of cancer formation and progression and the use and design of protein kinase inhibitors as therapeutics for treatment of cancer and neurodegenerative diseases.

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of the subject:

  • students should understand the molecular basis of hormone and neurotransmitter actions.
  • the techniques used to investigate the mechanism of hormone action and neurotransmitter functions.
  • how abnormalities in synthesis and intracellular signalling pathways contribute to disease such as cancer and Parkinson's disease.

  • 3 hour written exam held in examination period (70%);
  • two 1 hour written examinations held during semester (7.5% x 2 = 15%);
  • An essay assessment due mid-semester (15%).
Prescribed Texts: None
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

On completion of this subject, students should have developed the following generic skills:

  • the ability to interpret scientific literature and interpret data from electronic databases.
  • the capacity to integrate knowledge across disciplines.
  • the ability to comprehend a question, evaluate the relevant information and communicate an answer.

Students enrolled in the BSc (pre-2008 BSc), BASc or a combined BSc course will receive science credit for the completion of this subject.

Students undertaking this subject will be expected to regularly access an Internet-enabled computer.

Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Animal Cell Biology (specialisation of Cell and Developmental Biology major)
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Cell Biology (pre-2008 Bachelor of Science)
Reproduction and Development (specialisation of Cell and Developmental Biology major)
Science-credited subjects - new generation B-SCI and B-ENG.
Selective subjects for B-BMED

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