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University of Cambridge: Biological Sciences (Cell Science) by advanced study

Institution University of Cambridge
Department Biology
Web https://www.cam.ac.uk
Study type Taught

Summary

The MPhil in Biological Sciences provides students with an opportunity to undertake a period of study and research in Cell Science, one of the Faculty’s key research pathways.

Cells are the fundamental functional units of life, from single celled organisms, such as bacteria, protozoa and fungi, to multi-cellular eukaryotes. Yet we still cannot claim that we understand cells well enough. Each cell has its own structural and functional features, engaged in complex communication with its immediate milieu and capable of plasticity. It is the behaviour, function and fate of cells that ultimately govern organismal state, both in physiological and pathological settings. Knowing how cells work informs our understanding of how the growing number of human disease genes can cause pathology. In this exciting time of technological innovation, the field is evolving rapidly, allowing us to extract a plethora of fine-grained information and to look into the cellular world with a holistic, interdisciplinary perspective.

This MPhil aims to convey a detailed understanding of a diverse range of biological processes, examined at the level of an intact cell as well as cell manipulations for biomedical applications. The topics covered include cellular organisation with in-depth insight into the structures and functions of key organelles, communication within and between cells, cell stress, cell fate (division, differentiation, regeneration and death) and cell therapy/regenerative therapeutics. As such the concepts and experimental approaches covered in this course are central to the full range of present-day life sciences. Although we will not focus on specific diseases, the workshops and discussions will often include relevant pathophysiological contexts to aid our understanding of disease mechanisms.

The course will draw upon the breadth and international strengths in cell science within the University of Cambridge and associated research institutes; notably the Departments of Biochemistry, Genetics, Pathology, Pharmacology, Physiology Development and Neuroscience, Plant Sciences, Zoology, the Gurdon Institute, the MRC Toxicology Unit, the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, the Sainsbury Laboratory and the Wellcome-MRC Stem Cell Institute.

The MPhil is offered by the Faculty of Biology as a full-time period of study and research and introduces students to research skills and specialist knowledge in Cell Science.

The MPhil course adopts interactive and discussion-based teaching, much of which is seminar-style where student participation and discussion are strongly encouraged. This is complemented with extensive lab-based training during a research project (up to 32 weeks + 6 weeks writing up time) with students integrated into one of the many participating research groups (selected after starting the MPhil, having been introduced to projects and groups).

Master of Philosophy - MPhil

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