Molecular and Cellular Pathology

This module provides knowledge of the cellular and molecular basis of a range of common altered health states. Current methods and techniques for investigative pathology will also be explored in a critical manner. In particular we will examine in detail the molecular and cellular pathogenesis and diagnostic histo/cytological aspects relating to prostate cancer, breast cancer and neurodegeneration.

Module learning outcomes

  1. Discuss the pathogenesis of a range of altered health states.
  2. Critically review the utility and application of laboratory methods used in molecular and histo/cyto pathology laboratories.
  3. Reflect on the link between diagnostic data, the underlying pathology and in the management of selected disease states.

Course organisation

The module will consist of a series of sessions that will outline and explore the major topics covered. You should supplement this knowledge with additional and extensive reading to enable you to synthesise appropriate knowledge from the primary and professional literature. Particular attention should be paid to recent developments within the field, contested concepts and questions that still need answering. First class students present answers that go well beyond what is presented in the sessions and critically analyse and use appropriate scientific data and knowledge to develop and support their arguments.

Your presentation will provide scientific detail relating to one of the topics covered in the lecture series. You are free to choose the nature of the topic, but it must relate to this module. If you are uncertain if the topic you have chosen is appropriate then please contact the module leader.

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As a minimum the presentation should contain the following

Title, your name and affiliation, introduction, “results”, conclusions and references. Appropriate figures and tables should be used to add clarity and depth in the “results section”. What is presented must have a good level of evidence-based scientific content, derived from the primary or professional literature. There is no word limit on the slides but clarity and ease of reading should be a consideration, fonts should be of sufficient size to be read easily on a 13” screen.

Your presentation should be eye-catching as well as informative – the balance needs careful thought. First impressions are important to attract and hold the attention of the reader. Careful use of graphics, colour, space and fonts and a layout that is easy to ‘navigate’ is important. However, remember that this is a scientific presentation, and it should be suitably informative. It should be written in a style suitable for a scientific audience familiar with the specialist field .

You should cite suitable references and you should use the Harvard system. The presentation should be produced electronically using PowerPoint so it can be displayed on a computer screen

Lack of preparation and background reading beyond what is presented as a starting point in the lectures

Question picking. This is a high-risk strategy, what happens if the areas don’t appear in the exam?

Not answering the correct number of questions (probably due to question picking going wrong.)

Not using scientific evidence such as data from studies to support statements

Not using figures to explain complex molecular events

Not focusing your answer on what the question specifically asks for (probably because of question spotting or a lack of understanding of how to use your knowledge to address the question)

Not writing a plan before starting the answer and then going off topic.

Wasting too many words writing background material rather than getting to the major point of the answer


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