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AGRC1041 - Cell and Tissue Biology for Agriculture and Veterinary Science (...

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Animal Studies Building 8150, Room 153

Gatton Campus, QLD 4343

Australia

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Dr Deanne Whitworth completed a Bachelor of Science degree, and a PhD in sex differentiation in the tammar wallaby, at the University of Melbourne. She continued her work on aberrations in mammalian sex differentiation at the University of California, Berkeley, working with spotted hyaenas and the European mole. She then spent several years as a post-doctoral fellow at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, using knock-out and transgenic mice to better define the roles of various genes involved in sex differentiation. A change of focus saw Dee return to Australia to undertake the Bachelor of Veterinary Science degree, followed by several years of small animal and equine practice, before taking up a lectureship in biomedical sciences at the University of Queensland, School of Veterinary Science. Dee’s research uses induced pluripotent stem cells from domestic and native species to address clinical problems and to explore questions in developmental and evolutionary biology.

AGRC1041 Cell and Tissue Biology for Agriculture and Veterinary Science is a biomedical science course that integrates the structure of cells and tissues with their function. Content in the course includes the structure of eukaryotic cells, the histology of the main tissue types (epithelia, glandular tissues, connective tissue, muscle, bone, cartilage, nervous tissue and blood), the physiology of muscle, nerves and blood, the structure and function of the integument, and the mechanisms of membrane transport, homeostasis and cell signalling. Enrolment is open to students in the BSc, BAgSc and BEqSc degrees, and is compulsory for students in the first year of the BVSc. Contact hours consist of 3 lectures per week and a 2-hour practical class where students examine the histology of the main tissue types and the integument.

Students comment on the clarity of Dee’s PowerPoint slides and the clear and concise way in which she explains concepts. She uses videos where possible to help illustrate key concepts, and uses examples from research and clinical settings to add a context, and sense of relevance, to the course material. She also shows funny videos to help engage (and entertain) her students.

The practical classes are based on the study of histological material which is delivered digitally (i.e. Virtual Microscopy), enabling students to view, and annotate, the same slide on their computers as displayed on the screens around the lab. Dee methodically works through the key cells/tissues/structures of each slide, which she has identified and highlighted prior to the class, describing their structure and/or function and relating this back to the lecture material.

Students remark that Dr Whitworth’s dissection of the histological material is very clear and easy to understand, making a daunting prospect seem much more user-friendly, and they find her passion for the beauty of tissues, if not infectious, at least amusing(!).


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Animal Studies Building 8150, Room 153

Gatton Campus, QLD 4343

Australia

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