Auckland Cancer Society Research Centre

Studying cancer biology with the ACSRC

Cancer biology courses are taught by staff at the Auckland Cancer Society Research Centre, located in the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences.

Students who study cancer biology at undergraduate level are able to do research projects within the ACSRC as part of their honours, masters or PhD study.

Undergraduate courses

MEDSCI 302 - Introductions to cancer biology

Students enrolled in this course study the scientific basis of cancer, including: 

  • Mechanisms underlying the development of cancer
  • Carcinogenesis - the changes that occur in tissues or cells during the origin of cancer
  • DNA damage and repair
  • Properties of cancers cells (e.g., abnormalities of cell growth and division)
  • The growth of tumours
  • Tumour classification
  • Tumour histopathology
  • Tumour spread (metastasis)
  • An introduction into cancer treatment strategies
  • A laboratory component, where students conduct experiments used in cancer research, is also included in this course

Postgraduate courses

MEDSCI 713 - Principles of cancer therapy

This course examines:

  • The molecular and cellular processes underlying cancer treatment
  • The development of tumour-selective therapy
  • The principles of radiotherapy and chemotherapy
  • DNA and the basis of its interactions with anti-cancer drugs
  • Recognition of DNA by proteins and how this is exploited by anticancer drugs, oncogenes and other regulatory gene products
  • Signal transduction mechanisms and therapeutic strategies for changing cell cycle control
  • The role of the patient’s immune system in cancer therapy
  • New approaches to cancer therapy (e.g., gene therapy)

MEDSCI 714 - Advanced cancer biology

This course involves advanced study of concepts related to the biology of cancer, including:

  • Molecular mechanisms of cancer development
  • Signal transduction pathways
  • Genomic instability
  • Telomeres and telomerase
  • Programmed cell death
  • DNA damage-sensing mechanisms
  • Hypoxia and tumour progression
  • Protein degradation

Postgraduate research opportunities

You can find potential projects of interest by browsing our research section.

Please contact the appropriate person directly with your enquiries, or for further information contact one of our graduate advisers.

Graduate advisers

For honours or masters enquiries:

For PhD enquiries: