LSC-30065 - Medical Glycobiology (Level 6)
Coordinator: Mark A Skidmore Room: Hux168 Tel: +44 1782 7 33945
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 6
Credits: 15
Study Hours: 150
School Office: 01782 734414

Programme/Approved Electives for 2022/23


Available as a Free Standing Elective






Barred Combinations


Description for 2022/23

Carbohydrates are a major class of biologically relevant molecules that are rapidly increasing in clinical significance. This module will investigate the structure, biosynthesis, and biochemistry that underpins medically important carbohydrates, prior to a case by case discussion of their relevance to a wide range of clinical areas. The possibility of novel carbohydrate based therapeutics will be examined for a wide range of pathological conditions, examples may include cancer, Alzheimer's disease, prion based disease, malaria, HIV and influenza. The emerging field of glycomics will be explored, including current and impending techniques for glycan analysis, with particular relevance to future roles in diagnostics.

The principal aim of this module is to provide students with a working knowledge of the core concepts of Glycobiology. The module will consist of two parts, the first covering the basic science underpinning carbohydrates and their application to biochemistry and medical sciences, the second covering physiological and pathological states, of clinical relevance, that present in relation to changes in their structure and function.

Intended Learning Outcomes

describe the biosynthesis for the major glycan classes: 1,2
explain how glycosylation may alter the physicochemical properties and function(s) of proteins: 1,2
discuss the key role that carbohydrates play in biological recognition: 1,2
examine the role of carbohydrates in both physiologic and pathologic states: 1,2
appraise carbohydrate-based molecules as potential glycotherapeutics with reference to appropriate scientific literature: 1,2
interpret and evaluate complex scientific data: 1,2
design, construct and edit an online encyclopaedia (wiki) web-page in a relevant area of glycobiology: 1
recognise and discuss the structure and/or properties of biologically relevant carbohydrates: 2
recall and explain carbohydrate nomenclature and terminology: 2

Study hours

14 hours problem-based learning
17 hours seminars and tutorials
2 hour exam
117 hours independent study, asynchronous lecture material, preparation for PBL sessions and preparation for assessment

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Computer Task weighted 30%
Creation and editing of a Glycosciences Wiki.
Students will individually create a wikipedia style page from a list of predetermined subject areas within the Glycoscience field (up to 2000 words)

2: Open Book Examination weighted 70%
Open book, online examination
The paper will be released on KLE as a Word document at 9am on the morning of the exam. The paper will contain two sections, each carrying equal weighting. Section A will consist of 4, short answer questions, each designed to be answered in 15 minutes. Section B will offer students a choice of 1 from 3 essay-based questions designed to be answered in 1 hour. Students should answer each question using Word, clearly labelling each question as they provide their answers. Work will be submitted to Turnitin no later than 5pm on the day of release. International students will be asked to notify the School if they need an extension due to different time zones. Although students have been given significant time to complete this exam script, we expect most students to spend no more than 2 hrs. Answers should be as accurate and concise as possible. For essay-based questions, typical answers would be in the range of 500-750 words per question. Short answer questions would typically be in the range of 200-250 words. We recommend that students do not exceed these limits as we will be assessing the quality of your answer, not the quantity.