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 2020/21


Available as a Free Standing Elective






Barred Combinations


Description for 2020/21

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: 1,2,3
demonstrate how glycosylation may alter the physicochemical properties and function(s) of proteins: 1,3
recognise the key role that carbohydrates play in biological recognition: 1,2,3
examine the role of carbohydrates in both physiologic and pathologic states: 1,2,3
appraise carbohydrate-based molecules as potential glycotherapeutics with reference to appropriate scientific literature: 1,3
interpret and evaluate complex scientific data: 1,3
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: 1,2,3
recall and explain carbohydrate nomenclature and terminology: 1,2,3

Study hours

Study hours/Lectures - 14 hours
Data Handling - 6 hours
Problem Based Workshops - 12 hours
Class Test 1 hour
Tutorials 10 hours
Exam 8 hours
99 hours private study

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. Upon completion, the pages will be assessed (60% of component mark) before being collated into a Glycoscience wiki. Students will then have the opportunity (through time-tabled workshops/tutorials and independent study) to modify or add relevant content to any area of the wiki, with relevant contribution being assessed (40% of component mark).

2: Online Tasks weighted 30%
Online Tests
This paper will be released as a timed test in Blackboard. Students will find a link to this test on KLE on the day of the assessment. Once started, students will be given 2 hrs to complete. This is 1 hour more than we expect most students will actually need. International students will be asked to notify the School if they need an extension due to different time zones. This test will comprise a number of multiple choice questions. All questions are compulsory. Students should pay careful attention to the number of points that each question is worth. In general, we would expect only one or two sentences for each point.

3: Exam weighted 40%
Online unseen exam - released electronically at 9AM - Submission by 5PM.
The paper will be released on KLE as a Word document at 9am on the morning of the exam. The paper will ask students to answer 1 essay based question from a choice of 3. 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. We recommend that students do not exceed 750 words per essay-based question as we will be assessing the quality of your answer, not the quantity.