Biochemistry BSc/MSci

Cell Signalling and Disease 4D option BIOL4027

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Molecular Biosciences
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course will examine the three fundamental components of drug action: the molecular trigger (receptors), intracellular signalling, and physiological responses. The course will consider how these processes might be targeted in the treatment of a variety of human diseases.


This option is assigned to block S2-D. There is normally 3-hours of teaching on Fridays.

Excluded Courses



The course will be assessed by a 2-hour examination (75%) and in-course assessment consisting of a critical analysis of scientific data (25%).

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

This course aims to apply fundamental aspects of receptor biology and signal transduction to the targeting of key physiological pathways for the treatment of human diseases.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course, students will be able to: 

■ Discuss G-protein coupled receptor pharmacology;

■ Relate signal transduction pathways to normal physiology and disease;

■ Discuss how to validate a molecular target in disease treatment;

■ Relate novel technologies and animal disease models with different drug targeting approaches;

■ Discuss novel ways of targeting G-protein coupled receptors, phosphodiesterases, protein kinases and enzymes of the ubiquitylation system.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.