• Class Number 2788
  • Term Code 3430
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Kai Xun Chan
    • AsPr Tamas Fischer
    • Dr Ehsan Kheradpezhouh
    • Prof Elizabeth Gardiner
    • John Rathjen
    • Dr Kai Xun Chan
    • Dr Kavya Yalamanchili
    • Prof Peter Solomon
    • Dr Rippei Hayashi
    • Samantha McGaughey
    • AsPr Tamas Fischer
    • Dr Vicki Athanasopoulos
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 19/02/2024
  • Class End Date 24/05/2024
  • Census Date 05/04/2024
  • Last Date to Enrol 26/02/2024
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.

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. appreciate the background science related to plant and animal biochemistry that will drive future biotechnological developments.
  2. comprehend the processes involved in plant-pathogen interactions (i.e. biochemical evolution of photosynthesis, the specific signaling and metabolic processes) that will shape future advances
  3. have an understanding of the role that molecules play in a numbers of disease states and the therapies used to combat these disorders. This will enable students to have an informed view of current issues driving medical therapies.
  4. critically review and research scientific literature and be able to canvas ideas and opinions on a particular research topic.

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.

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). Feedback can also be provided to Course Conveners and teachers via the Student Experience of Learning & Teaching (SELT) feedback program. SELT surveys are confidential and also provide the Colleges and ANU Executive with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Course Introduction
  • Assoc Prof. Tamas Fischer

First lecture moduleHaemostasis and Thrombosis
  • Prof. Elizabeth Gardiner
2 Epigenetic and genomic stability
  • Assoc. Prof. Tamas Fischer
3 Personalised immunology
  • Dr. Vicky Athanasopoulos
4 Phase-separation and its relevance in medical biology
  • Dr. Rippei Hayashi
5 The role of calcium in mammalian brain
  • Dr. Ehsan Kheradpezhouh 
6 Plant redox homeostasis and signalling
  • Dr. Kai Chan
7 Plant ion-solute transport
  • Dr. Samantha McGaughey

8 Structure and function of protein kinases in plant immunity
  • Prof. John Rathjen
9 Plant-pathogen metabolism
  • Prof. Peter Solomon
10 Carbon metabolism
  • Dr. Kavya Yalamanchili

Tutorial Registration

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Medical biochemistry assignment 20 % 18/03/2024 26/04/2024 1,2,4
Mid-Semester assessment 25 % * 30/04/2024 1,2,3
Plant Essay 12 % 13/05/2024 13/06/2024 1,2,4
Presentation based on plant essay 8 % * * 1,2,4
Final exam 25 % * * 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 Integrity 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 Skills website. 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: 18/03/2024
Return of Assessment: 26/04/2024
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?(4 marks)
  • A clear grasp of fundamental knowledge and the ability to apply that knowledge to the problem under consideration. (6 marks)
  • Critical analysis of researched material. (4 marks)
  • Effective use of resource material (with appropriate uniform referencing format; EMBO J style is suggested). Are your references: recent, relevant, referenced, peer-reviewed.(4 marks)
  • Overall mastery of the topic. (2 marks)

Assessment Task 2

Value: 25 %
Return of Assessment: 30/04/2024
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Mid-Semester assessment

Mid-Semester assessment (examination) 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 assessment.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 12 %
Due Date: 13/05/2024
Return of Assessment: 13/06/2024
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, how these papers have built upon the research within the original citing paper, and a self-made figure which summarises the main findings of the citing papers. 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: 8 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,4

Presentation based on plant essay

The student presents a 12-15 minute seminar based on their chosen 'seed' paper, as well as selected citing papers which have built upon the research within the chosen 'seed' paper.

Assessment Rubric

  • Ability to effectively summarise the research topic and research question -5 marks
  • Summary of research in 'seed' paper and the advances in citing papers - 15 marks
  • Critical assessment of remaining and new research questions, next advances - 5 marks
  • Presentation style, clarity and formatting - 15 marks

Total - 40 marks, converted to 8% of final marks for the course

Assessment Task 5

Value: 25 %
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 6

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

Weekly Quiz

A Wattle quiz will be held 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, and be available for 48 h after the completion of a module.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. The University’s students are an integral part of that community. The academic integrity principle commits all students to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support, academic integrity, and to uphold this commitment by behaving honestly, responsibly and ethically, and with respect and fairness, in scholarly practice.

The University expects all staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle, the Academic Integrity Rule 2021, the Policy: Student Academic Integrity and Procedure: Student Academic Integrity, and to uphold high standards of academic integrity to ensure the quality and value of our qualifications.

The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 is a legal document that the University uses to promote academic integrity, and manage breaches of the academic integrity principle. The Policy and Procedure support the Rule by outlining overarching principles, responsibilities and processes. The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 commences on 1 December 2021 and applies to courses commencing on or after that date, as well as to research conduct occurring on or after that date. Prior to this, the Academic Misconduct Rule 2015 applies.


The University commits to assisting all students to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. All coursework students must complete the online Academic Integrity Module (Epigeum), and Higher Degree Research (HDR) students are required to complete research integrity training. The Academic Integrity website provides information about services available to assist students with their assignments, examinations and other learning activities, as well as understanding and upholding academic integrity.

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

The Academic Skills website has information to assist you with your writing and assessments. The website includes information about Academic Integrity including referencing requirements for different disciplines. There is also information on Plagiarism and different ways to use source material.

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.

Resubmission of Assignments


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).

Dr Kai Xun Chan

Research Interests

Dr Kai Xun Chan

By Appointment
AsPr Tamas Fischer

Research Interests

AsPr Tamas Fischer

Dr Ehsan Kheradpezhouh

Research Interests

Dr Ehsan Kheradpezhouh

Prof Elizabeth Gardiner

Research Interests

Prof Elizabeth Gardiner

John Rathjen

Research Interests

John Rathjen

Dr Kai Xun Chan

Research Interests

Dr Kai Xun Chan

By Appointment
Dr Kavya Yalamanchili

Research Interests

Dr Kavya Yalamanchili

Prof Peter Solomon

Research Interests

Prof Peter Solomon

Dr Rippei Hayashi

Research Interests

Dr Rippei Hayashi

Samantha McGaughey

Research Interests

Samantha McGaughey

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