Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience

Module code: BS3055

The human brain is the most complex structure known, and understanding it is considered the ‘final frontier’ of biology. Neurones and their supporting glial cells form the cellular building blocks of the brain. Individually these cells express a large array of proteins that sense and transmit information, collectively they integrate and process this information allowing us to make sense of our environment and modify our behaviour. In this module, we will examine in detail some key molecules expressed by neurones and glia that underlie these abilities. 

The latest techniques and tools used by neuroscientists to study the brain will be presented and a research-oriented discussion of the structure and function of synaptic proteins, ion channels and receptors given. Armed with knowledge of molecular and cellular mechanisms in neurons, we will examine how the brain allow us to form memories, respond to sound and modulate pain, and shed some light on how genetic mutations result in neural dysfunction.

Learning

  • 23 hours of lectures
  • 2 hours of tutorials
  • 125 hours of guided independent study

Assessment

  • Exam, 2.5 hours (70%)
  • Essay, 1,500 words (30%)