• Class Number 3667
  • Term Code 3030
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Prof Elizabeth Gardiner
    • Prof Peter Solomon
    • Dr Ben Long
    • John Rathjen
    • AsPr Leonie Quinn
    • AsPr Marco Casarotto
    • Prof Peter Solomon
    • Dr Robert Sharwood
    • Ryan McQuinn
    • AsPr Tamas Fischer
    • Dr Vicki Athanasopoulos
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 24/02/2020
  • Class End Date 05/06/2020
  • Census Date 08/05/2020
  • Last Date to Enrol 02/03/2020
SELT Survey Results

Rapid advances in plant and animal biochemistry over recent years have fundamentally changed fields of science ranging from medicine to agriculture and food security. This course will present these recent advances exploring both the specifics and commonalities that exist in biochemistry when comparing mammalian and plant systems. The medical biochemistry stream will cover topics such as cancer metabolism, personalised immunology, molecular mechanisms related to drug development, ion channel function and aspects of translational medicine.  In the plant stream, topics to be covered include plant disease, CO2 fixation, photosynthesis and climate change. Lectures will be presented from experts from both the John Curtin School of Medical Research and the Research School of Biology. This course offers an excellent opportunity for students to understand how biochemistry impacts everyday life, and expand their knowledge of biochemistry across a platform of diverse and important disciplines.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Compare and contrast recent advances in plant and mammalian biochemistry.
  2. Understand the biochemical evolution of photosynthesis and the specific signalling and biochemical processes involved in plant-pathogen interactions.
  3. Understand the role that molecules play in a numbers of disease states and analyse the therapies used to combat these disorders.
  4. Research and read the literature critically to assimilate views on new findings.

Research-Led Teaching

Each of the lecturers in this course is an active researcher with expertise in areas of research closely related to their lecture modules. As appropriate, their lectures will draw on that expertise and include examples of their own research to illustrate advances in our understanding and questions that still need to be answered about the animal and plant biochemistry.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • written comments
  • verbal comments
  • feedback to whole class, groups, individuals, focus group etc

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Other Information

Adjustments to delivery in 2020

Course delivery and assessment in 2020 was adjusted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Any information below that replaces what was published in the Class Summary for Semester 1, 2020 was approved by the Associate Dean Education (as is required after 10% commencement of a course). Where an activity or assessment is not referenced below, it remains unchanged.

Teaching Activities

  • Lectures  were recorded and available through Wattle.
  • Tutorials were recorded and available through Wattle or via Zoom.


Adjustments were made to assignment due dates; for details see the course Wattle site.

  • Mid-semester exam was a timed Wattle assessment quiz.
  •  Final exam was a timed take-home exam.  

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Haemostasis and thrombosis Prof Elizabeth Gardiner
2 Epigenetic and genomic stability Assoc. Prof. Tamas Fischer
3 Personalised immunology Dr. Vicky Athanasopoulos
4 Rational drug design Assoc. Prof. Marco Casarotto
5 Pathways in cancer Assoc. Prof Leonie Quinn
7 Plant-pathogen metabolism Prof. Peter Solomon
8 Structure and function of protein kinases in plant immunity Prof. John Rathjen
9 Carbon dioxide concentration mechanisms Dr. Ben Long
10 Photosynthesis Dr. Rob Sharwood
11 Carotenoid biosynthesis and metabolism Dr. Ryan McQuinn

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Medical biochemistry assignment 20 % 23/03/2020 20/04/2020 1,2,4
Mid-Semester exam 25 % 30/03/2020 24/04/2020 1,2,3
Plant Essay 20 % 28/04/2020 22/05/2020 1,2,4
Final exam 25 % 04/06/2020 02/07/2020 1,2,3
Weekly Quiz 10 % * * 1,2,3,4

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the Academic Integrity . In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.


There is no course requirement to pass the exams to pass the course.

Please note, that where a date range is used in the Assessment Summary in relation to exams, the due date and return date for mid-semester exams indicate the approximate timeframe in which the exam will be held; the due and return date for end of semester exams indicate the approximate timeframe in which the exam will be held and the date official end of Semester results are released on ISIS. Students should consult the course wattle site and the ANU final examination timetable to confirm the date, time and venue of the exam.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 23/03/2020
Return of Assessment: 20/04/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,4

Medical biochemistry assignment

The student is asked to answer one of five questions which is related to each of the lecture topics. Word limit is 1500 words.

Assessment Rubric:

  • Demonstration of fluent writing style, with good structure, syntax and few spelling errors. Have you paraphrased and cited appropriately?(2 marks)
  • A clear grasp of fundamental knowledge and the ability to apply that knowledge to the problem under consideration. (3 marks)
  • Critical analysis of researched material. (2 marks)
  • Effective use of resource material (with appropriate referencing EMBO style). Are your references: recent, relevant, referenced, peer-reviewed.(2 marks)
  • Overall mastery of the topic. (1 mark)

Assessment Task 2

Value: 25 %
Due Date: 30/03/2020
Return of Assessment: 24/04/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Mid-Semester exam

Mid-Semester exam worth 25% will assess the content from the first term of semester.

Please check the course Wattle site and the ANU Examination Timetable to confirm the date, time and location of the mid semester exam.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 28/04/2020
Return of Assessment: 22/05/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,4

Plant Essay

The essay reviews recent advances made in an area of research related to one of the lecture modules. The review is approximately 2,000 words (plus or minus 10%) in length. The essay will be based on one of five ‘seed papers’ proposed by lecturers in the course. Copies of the five ‘seed’ papers will be available on Wattle. Students should look at the papers and chose one for their essay. Written instructions on how to do the essay are available on Wattle.

Assessment Rubric

16 marks (out of 20) will be awarded on content including the suitability and interpretation of citing papers selected and also how these papers have built upon the research within the original citing paper. A further 4 (out 20 marks) will be awarded on presentation including the correct formatting of references as per the Guidelines on Wattle.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 25 %
Due Date: 04/06/2020
Return of Assessment: 02/07/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Final exam

25% final exam held in the end of semester examination period assessing only the content from term 2.

Please check the course Wattle site and the ANU Examination Timetable to confirm the date, time and location of the end of semester exam.

Assessment Task 5

Value: 10 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Weekly Quiz

A quiz will be held in the lecture immediately after each module and will be worth 1% per quiz. There are 10 modules so these quizzes will total 10% of your final mark. These quizzes will be typically be multiple choice, open book and will run for no longer than 30 mins.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically, committing to honest and responsible scholarly practice and upholding these values with respect and fairness.

The ANU commits to assisting all members of our community to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle and Academic Misconduct Rule, uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with.

The Academic Misconduct Rule is in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Very minor breaches of the academic integrity principle may result in a reduction of marks of up to 10% of the total marks available for the assessment. The ANU offers a number of online and in person services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. Visit the Academic Skills website for more information about academic integrity, your responsibilities and for assistance with your assignments, writing skills and study.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Individual assessment tasks may or may not allow for late submission. Policy regarding late submission is detailed below:

  • Late submission permitted. Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Returning Assignments

Marks for assignments will be returned via Wattle.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. Extensions may be granted for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

Prof Elizabeth Gardiner

Research Interests

Prof Elizabeth Gardiner

Prof Peter Solomon

Research Interests

Disease, immunity

Prof Peter Solomon

Dr Ben Long

Research Interests

Dr Ben Long

John Rathjen

Research Interests

John Rathjen

AsPr Leonie Quinn

Research Interests

AsPr Leonie Quinn

AsPr Marco Casarotto

Research Interests

AsPr Marco Casarotto

Prof Peter Solomon

Research Interests

Prof Peter Solomon

Dr Robert Sharwood

Research Interests

Dr Robert Sharwood

Ryan McQuinn

Research Interests

Ryan McQuinn

AsPr Tamas Fischer

Research Interests

AsPr Tamas Fischer

Dr Vicki Athanasopoulos

Research Interests

Dr Vicki Athanasopoulos

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions