Third year module
Dr Luke Alderwick, Lecturer and Director of the Birmingham Drug Discovery Facility in the School of Biosciences at the University of Birmingham, describes the optional third year module Molecular basis of bacterial infection.
We run a fascinating final year module called the Molecular basis of bacterial infection. This really gives you a massive insight into what’s occurring at a molecular level on bacterial cell surfaces and how they interact with the host, such as ourselves.
This is a final year optional module which progresses from a second year module which is called Microbes and Man. This is available to students who specifically have got an interest in specialising in microbiology. It actually integrates extremely well with other final year modules such as, Applied and Environmental Microbiology, as well as Molecular and Cellular Immunology.
You will be provided with a number of lectures, case studies, computer workshops and wet-lab based practicals. In terms of assessment we split the module into two main routes. We have a continuous assessment aspect which is worth 40%. The remaining 60% of the module assessment is based on a summer exam.
Many in this field of research have suggested that we are entering into an era of antibiotic apocalypse. Whereby the number of therapeutic agents that antibiotics we actually use as patients are becoming less and less useful. As this is a really serious problem and we’re going to explore some of the reasons behind that in this particular module. Also we’re going to be taught by a number of lecturers and scientists that employ state-of-the-art techniques, such as high throughput screening, which are involved in trying to identify those new drug targets and new drug molecules which can hopefully be progressed into the clinic sometime in the future.
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