Bioengineering Approaches to Cancer (UG)

Module aims

  • To equip students with an understanding of the fundamentals fo cancer development and progression.
  • To develop a broad understanding of how engineering principles can be applied to the understanding and management of cancer.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

  • Describe and explain the fundamental biological and biophysical processes involved in cancer initiation, maintenance, and progression

Intellectual Skills

  • Describe cancer processes using engineering, mathematics, and physical science methods
  • Discuss the current methods of cancer treatment and diagnosis
  • Understand current and future areas of bioengineering for understanding and managing cancer

Practical Skills

  • Communicate effectively with cancer biologists, oncologists and bioengineers working on cancer.

Transferable Skills

  • Ability to teach complex topics to peers in other disciplines in an approachable manner

Module syllabus

Introduction & Review of Cell Biology

Nature of Cancer


Signal Dysregulation I – RTKs and Ras

Signal Dysregulation II – Dual Address Pathways

Tumour suppressor genes

Cell cycle clock and pRb

Apoptosis and p53


Multi-step Tumourigenesis

Genomic Integrity & Cancer Progression

Cellular/Nuclear Biomechanics & Cancer



Transport Phenomena in Cancer

Screening & Imaging

3 Classical Pillars of Cancer Management

Biomarkers, Off-target Toxicity & Targeted therapies

Immunology & Immunotherapy

Latest Advances in Bioengineering for Cancer Research and Management


Introductory cell biology for example: BE1-HMCP Molecules Cells and Processes or equivalent. Speak to module leader about suitability if you do not have this completed.

Teaching methods

Students will be taught over one term using a combination of lectures and study groups. Lecture sessions will be made available on Panopto for review and supplemented with technologies as appropriate to promote active engagement during the lecture such as 'learning catalytics'. Study groups will be based on taught content from lectures to reinforce these topics and allow students to test their understanding.

Lectures: 18 hours
Study groups: 4 hours
Journal club: 5 hours