Curriculum & Course Descriptions


BS3004 Cancer biology

Course Coordinator: Prof Mark FEATHERSTONE (email:

Academic Unit: 3 AU

Availability: Semester 1

Pre-requisite: BS2004

Course Type: BS-Major-PE, BMS-Major-PE

Language of instruction: English

Teaching hours: Lectures: 26 hours; Tutorials: 13 hours; Practicals: 6 hours

Learning Objective: You will become familiar with the genes and gene products involved in the conversion of a normal cell to a cancer cell. You will learn to hypotheses which genetic changes would explain a cell’s response to reagents that affect the cancerous phenotype. You will learn how to design experiments to test these hypotheses. This will result in the retention and integration of knowledge in cell and molecular biology acquired over your university studies to date.

Content: The course will survey the genes and gene products which control cellular proliferation, and the genetic changes that lead to the various stages of cancer. You will apply this information by studying real or imagined experiments and proposing hypotheses to explain the results. You will think broadly about the molecular mechanisms regulating cell function and how these are assessed experimentally. Learning will be accomplished through a combination of traditional lectures and group activities.

Learning Outcome: You will have developed skills in integrating a broad swath of knowledge in the theoretical and experimental aspects of cell biology and in applying this knowledge to the assessment of experimental observations.


  • Weinberg, R.A. The Biology of Cancer (Garland Science)

*Prerequisites for Incoming Exchange Students: Equivalent of Year 2 or Higher Biology or Biotechnology major