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Unit information: Frontiers in Infectious Diseases in 2019/20

Please note: Due to alternative arrangements for teaching and assessment in place from 18 March 2020 to mitigate against the restrictions in place due to COVID-19, information shown for 2019/20 may not always be accurate.

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

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


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 details

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

Assessment Details

Summative 2 hour written exam, to include 2 essays, one essay to be chosen from each section containing three questions.

Reading and References

Reviews and primary articles from the current literature