BIOL351-23S2 (C) Semester Two 2023

Cell Biology 2

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 17 July 2023
End Date: Sunday, 12 November 2023
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 30 July 2023
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Sunday, 1 October 2023


Advanced study of cellular organisation and interactions with emphasis on the relationships between molecular structure and organelle and cell function.

This course aims to provide an understanding of the relationships between molecular structure and organelle and cell function. Since cellular activity underlies the functioning of all biological organisms, the course will be of interest not only to students with leanings towards physiology, biochemistry, genetics or medicine, but to all biologists. The emphasis is on structure and function rather than biochemistry per se although the basic biochemistry covered in BIOL111 and cell biology in BIOL253/BCHM253 are assumed.

This course naturally complements the biochemistry taught in BCHM222, 253, 305 and 306, the molecular biology and genetics taught in BIOL213, 231 and 331, and the physiology taught in BIOL250, 251, 254, 352, 354 and 355. For those students planning to go on to Honours or Masters level, BIOL351 will be a desirable (and in some cases essential) background for advanced courses in cell biology, biochemistry, genetics and physiology.

Learning Outcomes

  • At the end of the course, students are expected to be able to:
  • Gain a greater appreciation and understanding of the internal workings of the cell (assessment tasks: in-term test and final exam). GP1
  • Achieve familiarity with some modern laboratory methods used in cell biology, and an understanding of the diversity of experimental approaches that can be taken to investigate cells (assessment tasks: laboratory reports and immunocytochemistry assignment). GP1 and GP2
  • Comprehend the unity of eukaryotic life - understand that the cell biology of organisms as diverse as plants, fungi and lower animals will help investigations of human biology and disease (assessment task: laboratory reports and final exam). GP1 and GP3 (K3 and K5)
  • Understand that to build multicellular organisms requires interactions between cells, and the differentiation and specialisation of cells (assessment tasks: in-term test and final exam). GP1
  • Apply existing knowledge of statistics to analyse and interpret experimental data (assessment task: laboratory reports). GP1 and GP2.
  • Synthesise scientific literature to provide necessary background and context for understanding and interpreting experimental data (assessment task: laboratory reports). GP1 and GP2

    Transferable skills The following skills are developed in this course:

  • Synthesise information. In everyday life and in many job situations you will be required to read information from different sources, generate your own understanding and develop your own viewpoint. Your understanding of the topics covered in the course will be achieved by reading information obtained from lectures, labs and assigned readings from textbooks and papers. In lectures we will discuss recent research papers and this will develop your abilities to identify the essential elements of research outputs - you will use these skills in report writing. GP1 and GP2
  • Collect experimental data. Important for research and in governmental and nongovernmental organizations. We will conduct research activities in the lab to provide both the real-world context for lectures and to develop hands-on skills in data collection. GP1 and GP3
  • Analyse data. Important for research, as well as in a number of private-sector organizations. This skill will be further developed when we assist you to analyse the data we generate in the lab. GP1 and GP3
  • Write a report on findings. Clear written communication is essential for most professional careers. We will provide you with guidelines on the elements of successful reports. GP1 and GP3


Timetable 2023

Students must attend one activity from each section.

Lecture A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Monday 14:00 - 15:00 James Logie 104
17 Jul - 27 Aug
11 Sep - 22 Oct
Lecture B
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Friday 15:00 - 16:00 Elsie Locke 104A
17 Jul - 27 Aug
11 Sep - 22 Oct
Lab A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Friday 11:00 - 15:00 West 436
11 Sep - 22 Oct

Timetable Note


There are 2 lectures per week for this course in terms 3 and 4. You should check My Timetable closer to the start of Term 3 for times and locations. The schedule of lecture material is as follows:

Lectures 1-9 Ashley Garrill – Cell contacts and the Extracellular Matrix. Motor proteins. The use of cell lines in research, considerations of taonga and being biculturally competent.
Lectures 10 - 12 Christoph Goebl - Hematopoeisis.
Lectures 13 - 18 Claudia Meisrimler – Membrane contact sites and calcium signalling
Lectures 19 - 24 Vanessa Morris - Cell death and post translational modifications.

Lab classes

There is a single laboratory class per week in term 4 in the West Building. Times and exact locations will be posted onto Learn closer to Term 4. The following schedule of classes will be followed.
Week 1: Pulsatile growth – a critical evaluation of microscopy data and identifying artefacts
Week 2: Regeneration of the axoneme in Tetrahymena cells
Week 3: Regulation of ciliary beating in Tetrahymena cells
Week 4: Confocal Microscopy
Week 5: Muscle cells and contraction
Week 6: Tutorial based class exercise

Assessment for labs

Each lab will be assessed using an open book quiz. These will be placed onto Learn on the Monday evening after the lab and will be due by the start of the next lab class (i.e. 2 pm the following Monday). These should be submitted through Turnitin on Learn. A link for this will be in the Lab folder. To answer the questions use your notes from the labs/lectures/course text book/online resources. It is compulsory to wear a lab coat and safety glasses in the laboratory.

To purchase approved safety glasses and lab coats go to
The collection point for purchases is inside the southern entry to the Ernest Rutherford Building, Monday to Friday time to be advised.


2019 Course Evaluation
(Scoring used - 5 = strongly agree, 4 = agree, 3 = neutral, 2 = disagree, 1 = strongly disagree)

Question 1 - The materials provided helped me to understand what was required to succeed in this course: 4.73
Question 2 - The organisation of this course helped me learn: 4.63
Question 3 - I found the workload was appropriate to the level of the course: 4.69
Question 4 - I found the assessments thoughout the semester appropriate for the course: 4.6
Question 5 - When I sought feedback on my assessments, I found it helpful: 4.52

Selected Comments:  
• Well organised course with plenty of announcements to keep the class informed
• Clear organisation. Easy to follow and understand.
• The labs reflected the lecture material superbly and reinforced information across the entire semester rather than assessing it once and leaving it behind. Moreover, the material taught in class was expanded upon in the lab allowing for further development of key principals.
• Approachable and non-judgemental. Genuinely cares for students' wellbeing. He knew I'm new to UC and am still familiarising with the materials and systems, so he checked in with me to see how am I coping and whether I needed extra help or guidance with the materials in lecture.

Course Coordinator / Lecturer

Ashley Garrill


Christoph Goebl , Claudia Meisrimler and Vanessa Morris

Lab Coordinators

Linda Morris and Reijel Gardiner

Textbooks / Resources

Required Texts

Alberts, Bruce et al; Molecular biology of the cell ; Sixth edition; Garland Science, Taylor and Francis Group, 2015.

This is an excellent textbook on cell biology – it is clearly written, comprehensive and authoritative. It also has very good figures which will be used extensively to illustrate the PowerPoint lectures in the course. It covers all aspects of the course, and includes many topics that there will not be time to mention at all. It is also used in the third year course in cell biology, BIOL351. It is available in soft-back from the University Bookshop at about $170.
We strongly recommend that you purchase your own copy, new or second-hand, but some copies of the text are available on 3 hour Restricted Loan. Copies of the 5th edition might also be available second-hand.

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $951.00

International fee $4,750.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see School of Biological Sciences .

All BIOL351 Occurrences

  • BIOL351-23S2 (C) Semester Two 2023