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MSci Medical Physiology / Course details
Year of entry: 2022
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Course unit details:
Ion Transport in Health & Disease (E)
|Unit level||Level 3|
|Teaching period(s)||Semester 2|
|Offered by||School of Biological Sciences|
|Available as a free choice unit?||No|
Ion channels and transporters have essential roles in the control of cellular activity. Building directly on the knowledge developed in Biol31591 Advanced Ion Transport, this unit explores in depth the roles of ion channels and transporters in disease (e.g. cardiac arrhythmias, cancer and diabetes). You will also learn how these proteins can be targeted selectively with drugs, including biologics, to treat clinical conditions caused by the malfunction of ion channel and transporter proteins.
|Unit title||Unit code||Requirement type||Description|
|Excitable Cells: the Foundations of Neuroscience||BIOL10832||Pre-Requisite||Recommended|
|Advanced Ion Transport (E)||BIOL31591||Co-Requisite||Compulsory|
Ion channels and transporters have essential roles in the control of cellular activity. This unit aims to acquaint students with the roles of ion channels and transporters in clinical conditions (e.g. cardiac arrhythmias, cancer, diabetes) and the means to exploit these proteins as therapeutic targets.
Students should recognise the pivotal role of ion channels and transporters in cellular activity and understand the consequences of disturbance to normal activity (resulting from genetic aberration, disease or drug action). Students will also have developed skills in information gathering and evaluation of published material.
- Pharmacology: Site of action and effects of drugs which modify the activity (ie. stimulating opening or inhibiting) of specific potassium, calcium and sodium channels; therapeutic use/potential of such drugs.
- Cardiac ion channels: Physiological role of the different ion channels involved in each phase of atrial and ventricular action potentials. Benefits and hazards of changes in channel activity (genetic or drug-induced).
- Channels involved in signalling: Role of intracellular calcium channels (inositol trisphosphate and ryanodine receptors) in the release of calcium from intracellular stores and the mechanisms for store refilling. The concept of channels as sensors for pH, temperature, taste or mechanical stress will be introduced.
- Anion channels and transporters: physiological role and regulation of channels and transporters involved in the movement of chloride ions across plasma membranes. Therapeutic use/potential of drugs which modify chloride channel activity.
- Channelopathies: throughout the module, diseases caused by gene mutations which modify ion channel or transporter activity will be described.
- Analytical skills
- On-line questions will require analysis.
- Oral communication
- Students are encouraged to answer questions during lectures.
- Problem solving
- On-line questions will require problem-solving.
- This is a final year unit and the lecture content is provided by research-active academics with emphasis on current research. Students are encouraged to read around the subject and, in addition to their own literature-based research, are directed to additional scientific papers to enhance their knowledge.
- Written communication
- On-line questions.
- After each lecture students are encouraged to undertake additional reading and both self-discipline and time management are important skills which good students will develop in doing this.
2 hour examination (95%);
Other - online assessments (5%)
Verbal feedback during lectures; Discussion Board; online assessments.
References specific to individual lectures will also be recommended by the lecturers.
- Alberts B, Johnson A, Lewis J, Morgan D, Raff M, Roberts K & Walter P, Molecular Biology of the Cell (6th edition), Garland Science, 2014, Recommended
- Ashcroft, FM, Ion Channels and Disease, Academic Press, 2003, Reference
- Boron, WF & Boulpaep, EL, Medical Physiology: A Cellular and Molecular Approach (2nd edition), Saunders, 2008, Recommended
- Rang HP, Dale MM, Ritter JM, Flower R & Henderson, G, Rang & Dale's Pharmacology (7th edition), Churchill Livingstone, 2012, Background
|Scheduled activity hours|
|Assessment written exam||2|
|Independent study hours|