• Class Number 6339
  • Term Code 3160
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Prof Leonie Quinn
    • Dr Amee George
    • Prof Barry Thompson
    • Prof Elizabeth Gardiner
    • Dr Gaetan Burgio
    • Prof Graham Mann
    • Dr Jane Dahlstrom
    • Dr Kate Hannan
    • Prof Leonie Quinn
    • Olga Zaytseva
    • Prof Ross Hannan
    • Prof Si Ming Man
    • Dr Tatiana Soboleva
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 26/07/2021
  • Class End Date 29/10/2021
  • Census Date 14/09/2021
  • Last Date to Enrol 02/08/2021
SELT Survey Results

What is cancer, and why is it a major cause of death in Australia? This course covers the Hallmarks of Cancer as described by Hanahan and Weinberg in their seminal papers of 2000 and 2011. The Hallmarks of Cancer course provides the journey of discovery required to appreciate how normal cell biology and molecular genetics are derailed to drive cancer. Principles of cancer initiation, progression and treatment will be illustrated through cutting edge research and clinically-led teaching. The course will explore the genetic, epigenetic, molecular, cell biology, cell signalling and immunological basis of cancer biology that have led to improved patient outcomes. The practicals and tutorials will cover research technologies currently used for diagnosing and treating cancer patients.

Note: Graduate students attend joint classes with undergraduates but are assessed separately

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Explain the molecular and cellular basis of cancer initiation and progression.
  2. Illustrate how molecular and cellular discoveries have improved cancer treatment using specific examples.
  3. Apply knowledge to critically assess experimental and clinical approaches.
  4. Critically analyse experimental data towards diagnosis and treatment of cancer.
  5. Critically appraise published cancer research literature.

Research-Led Teaching

BIOL6108 encourages students to develop a critical attitude towards science and to understand its evidence-based nature. Students will have opportunities to discuss case studies, problems and questions online. Contemporary and historical controversies in cancer will also be introduced providing the perspective necessary to understand how science and medicine have evolved.

BIOL6108 will be delivered by a team of lecturers who are currently actively engaged in cancer research in the area taught. Thus, they will not only present long-established facts about cancer, but also the latest research from their labs.

The practical component consists of experiments typically done in a cancer research laboratory. Providing the opportunity to become familiar with fundamental techniques and experimental strategies used to understand tumour initiation and progression and how this knowledge can be used to improve treatments for cancer patients.

Note: although hands on practical components will be modified in 2021 in accordance with COVID-19 restrictions, experience will still be gained in collating and interpreting both quantitative and qualitative cancer research data to generate laboratory reports.

The highly recommended textbook for BIOL6108 is:

The Biology of Cancer, (2nd Edition, 2013). Robert Weinberg. This will be available through the 2 hr reserve of the ANU library.

In addition, the previous edition will be available for 2 day loan from the library. Hard copies will be available for purchase from Harry Hartogs. The eBook can be purchased from Amazon for approximately $75.

Lecturers will refer to this text but will refer to additional resources made available in Wattle.

Recommended student system requirements 

ANU courses commonly use a number of online resources and activities including:

  • video material, similar to YouTube, for lectures and other instruction
  • two-way video conferencing for interactive learning
  • email and other messaging tools for communication
  • interactive web apps for formative and collaborative activities
  • print and photo/scan for handwritten work
  • home-based assessment.

To fully participate in ANU learning, students need:

  • A computer or laptop. Mobile devices may work well but in some situations a computer/laptop may be more appropriate.
  • Webcam
  • Speakers and a microphone (e.g. headset)
  • Reliable, stable internet connection. Broadband recommended. If using a mobile network or wi-fi then check performance is adequate.
  • Suitable location with minimal interruptions and adequate privacy for classes and assessments.
  • Printing, and photo/scanning equipment

For more information please see https://www.anu.edu.au/students/systems/recommended-student-system-requirements

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.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 3 Lectures e-Tutorial (Histology and Pathology of Cancer)
2 3 Lectures, 1 Tutorial e-Tutorial (Tumour Viruses and Oncogenes)
3 3 Lectures, 1 Practical Practical 1: e-Prac cBioPortal
4 3 Lectures, 1 Practical Practical 2A: e-Prac
5 3 Lectures, 1 Practical Practical 2B: e-Prac
6 3 Lectures, 1 Tutorial e-Tutorial (Transformation and Immortality)
7 3 Lectures, 1 Tutorial, Annotated Bibliography Released e-Tutorial (Angiogenesis + Lymphatics)
8 3 Lectures, 1 Tutorial e-Tutorial (Invasion and Metastasis)
9 2 Lectures, 1 Tutorial e-Tutorial (Tumour Immunology)
10 3 Lectures, 1 Tutorial e-Tutorial (Drug Discovery)
11 2 Lectures, 1 Tutorial e-Tutorial (Personalised Therapy)
12 3 Lectures e-Tutorial (Exam Discussion)

Tutorial Registration

Sign up via Wattle

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Computer Based Learning Practical 20 % 30/08/2021 * 1,2,3,4
Laboratory Report Practical 25 % 27/09/2021 * 1,2,3,4
Annotated Bibliography 15 % 18/10/2021 * 1,2,3,4,5
Final Exam 40 % 04/11/2021 02/12/2021 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.


Formal registration of attendance is not taken however students are expected to attend lectures and workshops as well as contribute to discussions in-person and in the online forums throughout the semester.


Please note, that where a date range is used in the Assessment Summary in relation to exams, the due date and return date indicate the approximate timeframe in which the exam will be held and results returned to the student (official end of Semester results 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: 30/08/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Computer Based Learning Practical

Value: 20%

Assessment Task 2

Value: 25 %
Due Date: 27/09/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Laboratory Report Practical

Value: 25%

Assessment Task 3

Value: 15 %
Due Date: 18/10/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

Annotated Bibliography

Value: 15%

Assessment Task 4

Value: 40 %
Due Date: 04/11/2021
Return of Assessment: 02/12/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Final Exam

Value: 40%

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

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

Practical reports will be marked online and available through Wattle. Test marks and answers will be available on 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.

Resubmission of Assignments

No resubmission of assignments is permitted

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 Leonie Quinn
6125 6166

Research Interests

Developmental Cancer Models, Cancer Genetics and Genomics, Transcriptional Networks, Cellular Signalling

Prof Leonie Quinn

Dr Amee George
6125 3086

Research Interests

Dr Amee George

Prof Barry Thompson
6125 1068

Research Interests

Prof Barry Thompson

Prof Elizabeth Gardiner
6125 8523

Research Interests

Prof Elizabeth Gardiner

Dr Gaetan Burgio

Research Interests

Dr Gaetan Burgio

Prof Graham Mann

Research Interests

Prof Graham Mann

Dr Jane Dahlstrom
5124 2658

Research Interests

Dr Jane Dahlstrom

Dr Kate Hannan
6125 9418

Research Interests

Dr Kate Hannan

Prof Leonie Quinn
6125 6166

Research Interests

Prof Leonie Quinn

Olga Zaytseva

Research Interests

Olga Zaytseva

Prof Ross Hannan

Research Interests

Prof Ross Hannan

Prof Si Ming Man
6125 6793

Research Interests

Prof Si Ming Man

Dr Tatiana Soboleva
6125 3491

Research Interests

Dr Tatiana Soboleva

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