The 3rd edition of “Signal Transduction”; a book for students and teachers
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Education catching up with science; preparing students for 3D literacy in cell biology

Signal Transduction Education  
Active Learning Projects - Herceptin Project - Description    
Groupe 1   Groupe 2   Groupe 3   Groupe 4   Groupe 5   Instructions du Projet
1. Pathologie du cancer du sein
2. La génétique moléculaire du cancer du sein
3. Les recepteurs ERBB et leurs voies de signalisation
4. Les inhibiteurs d’EGFR (ERBB1) et d’ERBB2
5. Traitement du cancer du sein
Instructions du Projet

active learning, any time, any place and anywhere

Objective: learn biology through Web-based tools and annotated databases
Project instructions PCB608 Signalisation Cellulaire

reddot You are about to start a group-based student project which constitutes the active learning part of the teaching module BCP608 "Signalisation Cellulaire" of Dr IJsbrand Kramer (with contributions of Dr Sophie North and Dr Sophie Laye). It is about the development of a website, in french, that deals with compounds that block the action of the EGF receptor family ERBB. In particular we will focus on Herceptin (Trastuzumab) and Iressa (Gefitinib). Herceptin is now widely used in the treatment of breast cancer and the website will focus on this disease. You should treat different aspects of the disease and its treatment and it should present the subject at different levels of complexity. Its main content must be intelligible for anyone with five years of secondary education but, depending on the subject concerned, it should also contain information that is instructive to health care professionals and scientists. For an example see the work of 2006 at: Gleevec.

reddot The projet has two aims:

  1. to learn to translate the knowledge and skills you have acquired during the cellular signal transduction course, into a richly illustrated and highly informative website that covers a broad spectrum of subjects dealing with cancer and its treatment
  2. to make available to society, by means of novel information and communication technology, the fruits of your acquired skills and knowledge.
Groups and their subjects
  1. Pathology of breast cancer
  2. Molecular genetics of breast cancer
  3. General principles of growth factor receptor action
  4. Development of Herceptin (Trastuzumab) and Iressa (Gefitinib) and their mode of action
  5. Treatment of breast cancer
Working method
  1. All members search for websites dealing with Herceptin and Iressa (search also their “generic” names, Trastuzumab and Gefitinib) and “breast cancer” or “cancer du sein”, in order to get a general impression of the disease and its treatment and how the subject has been presented (text and images). After you have visitied these websites, ask yourself the following questions: why was the site informative or not informative? How was the navigation within the site; intuitive or not at all? Were lots of explanations missing? What did the figures look like? How could you do better?

    7. (consult EGFR section)

  2. Then focus on your specific group subjet, but this time search for scientific articles in PubMed. Those working on pathology, etiology and cytogenetics might find a lot of information in the OMIM, those working on molecular mechanism should consult articles, find protein structures in PDB, they should check Expasy/Swiss Prot and download Pymol in order to make professional presentation of these structures. They should also read "an introduction to protein structure by Brandon & Tooze (Garland press). Explore the many excellent annotated databases on the web. For those working on the general principles of signal transduction, check "Signal Transduction" (Gomperts, Kramer, Tatham) in the library. For the pathology, a general textbook on pathology or Wikipedia may be good sources to find and understand the clinical terminology. Do include an explanation of the symptoms of the disease. An important feature of breast cancer is early diagnosis through national screening programmes. Have these programmes really improved survival rates or have they merely augmented the number of diagnosed tumours without offering much of relieve (ie many cancers detected through screening programmes would normally not be lethal)?

  3. As soon as you have ideas or important information, start writing your text and collecting images (always write down their origin/source). Later in the process you modify the presentation. It is important not to wait until the last minute. Start writing; get your thoughts on paper as soon as you have made your first investigations. Write keywords down. Start the work in Word and indicate where images are to be inserted. Save images in a special file. The webmaster will turn this into a .html or php format at a later stage.

  4. Figures: it is very important to make good figures supporting your text. For instance structural images of the EGFR and its inhibitors, X-ray pictures of neoplastic tissue in the breast, structure of the milk gland, normal and transformed cells, signal transduction pathways etc.

  5. Figure format: Make figures on any platform (examples Photoshop, Coreldraw, PowerPoint) but save them in the end in a JPEG format ("export" function of "save for the Web" function), with a resolution of ~100 pixels/inch (pouce) and not bigger then 175 Kb (Ko). We will organize one afternoon for the making/preparation of pictures (concept and techniques).

  6. Respect copyright: make original figures but if you want to incorporate existing pictures, search for the authors and check their copyrights. Ask for permission if necessary. In all cases, even for adaptations of tables and figures, mention the original source: author plus website (URL), article or book from where you took the information. Acknowledge Protein Database (PDB), Pymol (or other programme) or a clinician that you consulted.

  7. You can cross reference to existing websites but make sure that the subject is relevant and that the reader knows what to expect. Always make clear that you link to other resources: no silent links.

  8. Write important (historical) references (make a selection) at the bottom of the page.
  9. Keep a backup of all your work (create a folder (dossier) on your harddisk, external disk, distribute to members or put it on a memostick (clé USB). "I lost all information" is not a valid argument for not having submitted the webpage!!!
Project deadline

reddot The content for the webpages should reach me by Thursday 03 may 2007.

Note individuelle

reddot Chaque membre de l'équipe attribuera à lui même et à chacun de ses co-équipiers une mention de "satisfaction" concernant la participation au travail commun (mauvais (coefficient 0.3), moyen (coefficient 0.6) ou satisfaisant (coefficient 1.0). L'editeur de l'équipe envoi le tableau de coefficients avant 03 mai 2007 à

reddot La note individuelle du projet est calculée comme suite : note de l'équipe x moyenne du coefficient de participation.


reddot Ceux/celles qui contesteraient leur coefficient de participation devront prendre contact avec Un entretien de 15 sera fixé. Au cours de cet entretien vous exposerez oralement, à l'aide de schémas dessinés (préalable) par vous même, le sujet traité par l'équipe. Si l'exposé est jugé satisfaisant, le coefficient sera parté à 1.0.


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Last Updated September 11, 2007 9:27 PM | admin news