Structures of Destruction: the structural biology of pathogenicity

Bacterial and viral pathogens explored from the perspective of their molecular structures, protein misfolding and amyloid diseases.


  • BSc Biochemistry, BSc Medical Biochemistry, BSc Biological Sciences


Final Year

20 Credits

This module constitutes a further development of the module previously known as Protein Structure Function and Dynamics (BCM311) to underscore the significance of structure in protein function. The students will study the structure and function of macromolecules that confer viral or bacterial pathogenicity.

Major topics include

  • Virus-encoded structural and non-structural proteins,
  • Toxins,
  • Bacterial host-cell attachment and entry, and
  • Protein folding in amyloid structures.

The majority of the course material is delivered through lectures, supported by student-centred activities, such as problem-based learning, essay writing, seminar preparation and presentation. Preparation for the student seminars will be aided by two drop-in sessions led by academic staff. Independent study will be stimulated through selected original research articles and reviews, student seminars and assessed essay. Feedback on student progress will be provided through the assessed components.


Lectures, Practical Classes and workshops, Guided independent study


Exam (70%), Coursework (30%)