Cell Communication and Disease

Cell communication - signalling networkOne of the most fascinating areas of modern cell biology is trying to understand how cells work and why they go wrong in diseases such as diabetes and cancer. In this module we will look at both the key signaling pathways that both regulate the majority of normal processes within a cell and allow coordination between cells in tissues. We will illustrate the importance of these pathways with examples of where they go wrong in particular diseases. We will also consider cell signaling using a systems biology approach, looking at how signaling pathways working together lead to the complex emergent properties we see in living organisms. The lectures will be complemented by a series of problem sessions and class discussions of key papers from the literature.

Autumn Term


Dr Michael Fry is the Director of Teaching and Learning for the School of Biological Sciences. His research interests are focussed on cell signalling and communication and invetigating how cell communication goes wrong in diseases such as cancer. He is particularly interested in applying mathematical modelling approaches to better understand how complex systems such as cells work.


DashPhil_largeDr Philip Dash is a cell biologist interested in understanding cell movement. Excessive cell movement is a major problem in cancer as this can lead to the spread of the cancer cells throughout the body, a process called metastasis that is responsible for most cancer deaths. Phil has a BSc Hons degree in Zoology from the University of Reading, an MSc in Toxicology from the University of Birmingham and a PhD in Cancer Studies also from the university of Birmingham. He previously worked at the medical school at St George's, University of London and at the School of Cancer Studies at the University of Birmingham.

Module convenor and lecturer: Dr Michael Fry

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