CHEM40050 Metals in Biology

Academic Year 2021/2022

The module "Metals in Biology" is designed to give the student an introductory overview about the relationships between metals and biological systems at the molecular level. The first part of the course provides "state-of-the-art" information about the latest developments in metal-based drugs as well as discussing relevant historical aspects of metal-based therapies. Finally, the student will learn steps behind how a drug is developed from the bench and taken to the bedside. Emphasis will be made on Pt- and Ti-based anticancer drugs, As- and Fe-based antibiotics and continues on special topics regarding Ru, Au, Ag, Cu and Tc pharmaceuticals. The second half of the course examines specially the role and function of metals in biological systems. In particular, transportation mechanisms and metallo-based proteins such as myoglobin and haemoglobin, and the catalytic function of metalloenzymes (e.g. carboxypeptidases, carbonic anhydrase, urease, cytochromes) will be discussed. Some discussion will be made on the increasingly important role of NO within biological systems, and finally the efforts put forth by chemists to build coordination complexes that model and mimic the structure and activity of biologically based metal systems.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

Students will have a good overview about the interface of inorganic chemistry, biochemistry and medicine and will be able to judge, whether they are interested in starting postgraduate studies in this field.

Indicative Module Content:

Metals in Biology

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Autonomous Student Learning








Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Metals in Biology 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations
Learning Recommendations:

This module is intended for students in the final year of an Honours Chemistry degree program or post graduate students in a Chemical discipline. Other students wishing to take this module must have a comparable background in chemistry and must consult the School.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
CHEM40830 - Metals in Biology, taught MSc

Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Continuous Assessment: Various Varies over the Trimester n/a Graded No


Examination: End of semester examination 2 hour End of Trimester Exam No Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Spring No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Not yet recorded.

Name Role
Dr Andrew Phillips Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - Autumn: All Weeks Mon 09:00 - 09:50
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - Autumn: All Weeks Thurs 11:00 - 11:50
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - Autumn: All Weeks Tues 09:00 - 09:50