Exeter College, Oxford
As a College Lecturer in Pathology I have undertaken tutorial teaching of BM (I) Biochemistry and BM (II) Pathology and Medical Genetics for undergraduate medical students at Oxford University. I also give tutorials in some aspects of Medical Ethics, especially related to genetics.
I give three lectures on Cardiovascular Pathology in the BM (II) Pathology and Medical Genetics course and organise practical classes in Atherosclerosis and Thrombosis.
If you are interested in applying to Oxford University to study Medicine you can find out more information and details on how to apply at the Pre-clinical studies website.
BM (I) Biochemistry Tutorials (top, next section, home)
The full syllabus for the BM (I) Biochemistry course can be found at the University of Oxford Pre-Clinical Medicine website (www.psb.ox.ac.uk/ ). This site also includes past papers and examiners' reports.
Michaelmas Term - Metabolism and Nutrition (top, next term, home)
In my tutorials I hope to illustrate the major metabolic pathways responsible for anabolism and catabolism in the cell and show how these pathways are integrated. Work in tutorials will emphasise the mechanisms used to regulate metabolic pathways such as allostery, enzyme phosphorylation and dephosphorylation and feedback inhibition. I try to illustrate the importance of metabolic regulation by consideration of metabolic diseases such as diabetes and glycogen storage disorders.
We will briefly consider nutrition looking at the components of a healthy balanced diet and we will consider the role of vitamins and minerals as essential cofactors for enzymes. The importance of vitamins and minerals is illustrated by consideration of vitamin deficiencies.
How can the activity of enzymes be varied in the cell? Give examples of each mechanism you describe.
What role do vitamins and minerals play in enzyme function? Briefly describe three examples of the physiologic consequences of specific vitamin or mineral deficiencies.
How does the structure of haemoglobin allow it to perform its physiological roles?
How is blood glucose concentration regulated and how is this process disrupted in diabetes?
Hilary Term - Protein Structure, Membranes, Receptors and Signalling (top, next term, home)
Proteins play key roles in all aspects of cell structure and cell biology. This term we will study examples of structural proteins, enzymes, transport proteins, regulatory proteins and proteins that mediate cell-cell adhesion and signalling. We will look at the basic principles of protein struture and protein architecture - the way proteins organise themselves in three dimensional space to perform their unique functions.
We will consider the organisation of the eukaryotic cell, paying particular attention to the composition of biological membranes. We will look at the different lipid components of membranes in some detail and look at a number of different membrane proteins to see how their structure is related to their function. One particular class of membrane proteins that we will consider is receptors and how they transmit signals to the interior of the cell.
How is the secondary and tertiary structure of a protein dictated by the primary sequence of amino acids? Illustrate your answer with two named examples.
How is cholesterol synthesised and transported in mammals? Discuss the mechanism of action of drugs that affect cholesterol synthesis and transport and their use in clinical medicine.
Explain, giving examples, how the structural features of membrane proteins are related to their functions.
Trinity term - DNA , RNA and Translation. Introduction to Immunology (top, next, home)
In my final set of tutorials for this year we will study how genetic information is encoded and replicated as DNA, how this information is decoded into RNA and translated into nascent proteins which are folded and subsequently sorted to different parts of the cell. We will study the regulation of transcription in prokaryotes with reference to the lac operon and the trp operon and study the regulation of the human beta globin genes as a paradigm of mammalian gene regulation. We will also study the cell cycle and the regulation of cell division.
In a separate set of tutorials for first year Physiological Sciences students I will introduce key aspects of the mammalian immune system such as innate and adaptive immune responses, antigen presentation and B and T cell receptors for antigen.
Outline the key features of the eukaryotic cell cycle. Explain the role played by the following proteins in the regulation of mammalian cell division, growth factors, p53, and cyclins.
Describe how the expression of genes may be regulated in EITHER bacterial, OR mammalian cells.
Two of the major tools of recombinant DNA technology are restriction enzymes and the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). What are they and how can they be used?
Compare and contrast the cells and molecules that mediate innate and adaptive immune responses.
BM (II) Pathology and Medical Genetics Tutorials (top, next section, home)
Michaelmas Term - Inflammation, Immunology and Immunopathology (top, next term, home)
Pathology can be considered as the body's response to injury. There are four defence systems that work together in the body's response to injury;
In my tutorials I want to illustrate how our knowledge of the mammalian immune response has been developed by reviewing key experiments in immunology. We will discuss primary research papers in a class setting and look at recent advances in understanding how the immune system is reulated. We will consider in some detail inflammation, cell-cell interactions in the immune system, and look at the important problem of immune regulation in the context of autoimmunity and transplantation tolerance.
How are leukocytes recruited to sites of injury and inflammation?
To what extent do cytokines account for the role of macrophages in inflammation, immunity and repair?
Give an account of the molecules that mediate cellular interactions between antigen presenting cells and T lymphocytes.
Hilary Term (top, next, home)
In this term's tutorials we will look in more detail at bacterial and viral pathogens and strategies for overcoming them, antibiotics and vaccination. We will also look at the pathological processes underlying coronary heart disease and strokes, namely atherosclerosis and thrombosis. Tutorials covering aspects of medical genetics will be used to illustrate the material covered in lectures and practical classes. Finally we will look at the molecular changes underlying neoplasia and metastasis.
What strategies do viruses use to evade the host immune system?
Discuss the pathogenesis and the consequences of coronary artery atherosclerosis.
How do dominant oncogenes and tumour suppressor genes contribute to the development of neoplasia?
Medical Ethics Tutorials (top, home)
Recent medical and scientific advances such as the human genome project, the cloning of Dolly the sheep and the possibility of using stem cells derived from human embryos to generate new tissues and organs have raised important ethical issues. I feel very strongly that we need to have an informed public discussion of the issues raised by these new genetic technologies.
I believe that we can not teach our students how to sequence the human genome without discussing with them the implications this will have for society in 10-20 years time. Likewise we should not teach our students about embryonic stem cells without addressing the ethical issues raised by experiments using human embryonic stem cells.
The emphasis in my tutorials will be on explaining emerging genetic technologies and encouraging students to explore the ethical issues raised by these technologies. There are no right or wrong answers for the essay titles set, students are encouraged to form their own opinions and to have respect for the opinions of others.
Briefly describe the technologies that have been used to map and sequence the human genome. What benefits do you think will come from knowing the complete human genome sequence?
Genotyping human embryos can never be justified. Discuss.
The determination of the complete human genome sequence will lead to the creation of a genetic underclass. Discuss.
What are embryonic stem (ES) cells and how can they be used in biomedical research? Do you think human ES cells should be used in medical research?
http://users.path.ox.ac.uk/~greaves/ Last updated 10 October 2002
Copyright David R. Greaves 2002