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Unit information: Frontiers in Infectious Diseases in 2021/22

Unit name Frontiers in Infectious Diseases
Unit code PANM30001
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Professor. Matthews
Open unit status Not open



3 level 6/H units and Research Skills unit

School/department School of Cellular and Molecular Medicine
Faculty Faculty of Life Sciences

Description including Unit Aims

The unit aims to impart an understanding of key steps in pathogen life cycles (host tissue/cell invasion, intracellular trafficking, replication and survival, persistence and dissemination) and how these are dealt with in molecular terms by the host cell defence mechanisms. This will extend to using this information to devise novel intervention strategies at the level of both prophylactic vaccination and therapeutic antimicrobial drug development. The emphasis will be on comparison: for example, the molecular mechanisms used to read “host cues” at each step of the pathogen life cycle, and the exploitation/manipulation of host structures and containment mechanisms. A significant element will be the understanding of current research methods used to study the interaction of viral and bacterial pathogens with mammalian hosts using high-throughput, systems based holistic approaches. This will include the principles of proteomics, transcriptomics and bioinformatics. The unit will also focus on how to read primary research papers in the area critically, as stand-alone pieces and a part of a wider review of related literature. The students will also have the opportunity to acquire an extra depth of understanding by having explored the online revision/learning aids and done extensive reading of their own using references pointed to in lectures as starting points.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and understanding of: pathogen life cycles pathogen host interactions proteomic, transcriptomic and bioinformatics analysis of pathogen-host interactions the translation of basic research into the development of novel intervention strategies

Teaching Information

Lectures, data interpretation and data handling sessions Independent study; students are expected to study the recommended literature

Assessment Information

Exam to include 2 essays, one essay to be chosen from each section containing three questions.


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How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.