REPORT ON TEACHING AND RESEARCH

Lynne J Cottee


This is a report on the work done by a half-time Lecturer who was on leave for three months during semester 1 of 1995. As a result no teaching was done in the first semester and administration was restricted to the Jan-Feb period. In the second half of the year, teaching, administrative duties related to teaching, and research all returned to normal. Research was carried out in collaboration with Max Bennett of the Neurobiology Research Laboratory.

TEACHING REPORT

Dentistry 2

Practical classes: 4, each of 3 h, on endocrinology, cardiovascular physiology, sensory perception and central nervous system, each presented 3 times (= 36 h).

Tutorials: 6, each of 1 h (= 6 h).

Examination: Short-answer questions.

Medicine 2

Practical classes: 3, each of 3 h, on cardiovascular physiology (presented 3 times), respiration (twice) and endocrinology (twice) (= 21 h).

Examination: Short-answer questions.

Science 2

Practical classes: 2, each of 1 h, on cardiovascular physiology and central nervous system, each presented 3 times (= 6 h).

Tutorials: 6, each of 1 h (= 6 h).

Essays: Marked in semester 2.

Examination: Short-answer questions.

Pharmacy 1

Lectures: 11, 10 were on sensory perception and central nervous system, as well as an introduction to the course, one lecture was on cardiovascular physiology (= 11 h).

Examination: Multiple-choice questions (of the 5 alternatives, 1 correct, variety).

Science 3

Lectures: 1 on ultrastructure in the autonomic nervous system (= 1 h).

Practical classes: 2, of 3 h (= 6 h).


STUDENT CONSULTATIONS

Available for assistance to students in all of these courses. This was particularly sought by the Dentistry, Science and Pharmacy students.

TEACHING HOURS in 1995

Dent2 Med2 Sc2 Pharm1 Med3 Sc3 Total

Lectures ­ ­ ­ 11 ­ 1 12

Practical classes (no) 36(12) 21(7) 6(6) ­ ­ 6(2) 69

Tutorials 6 ­ 6 ­ ­ ­ 12

Total formal contact teaching time = 93 h

Additional time was spent in preparation of lectures, setting and marking of examinations and the marking of major semester essays. Also there was the evaluation of a BMedSc(Hons) thesis, attendance at honours students' seminars and related examiners' meetings.

ADMINISTRATION REPORT

(see also OTHER RESEARCH ACTIVITIES in 1995)

Course Supervisor for Physiology 1 for Pharmacy

Liaised with all the lecturers in this course, also with staff in the School of Biological Sciences and with the distributors of textbooks, was responsible for the examination papers and their marking, for the distribution of sample examination questions and their answers, for one evaluation questionnaire on the course. Participated in examiners' meetings and the review of results, prepared the course guide, made decisions on exemptions sought by students.

Departmental adviser

Acted as an adviser to 1st and 2nd year students in the Faculty of Science, informing them of courses and requirements.

Teaching development

Attended the teaching presentations given by staff members judged to be excellent teachers in 1995.

PROJECT in 1995

Mechanisms of transmitter release at sympathetic varicosities

LJ Cottee, MR Bennett

(collaborators: NA Lavidis, Narcotics Research Laboratory)

The ultrastructural features of neuromuscular synapses in the autonomic nervous system, specifically in the rat vas deferens, were examined in order to extend our understanding of the mechanisms of transmitter release onto these smooth muscle cells. As there is much debate about the closeness of nerve contacts onto smooth muscle, serial sections were used to accumulate detailed information on the width of the synaptic cleft, the apposition of the basal laminae, the distribution of vesicles within the varicosities of the nerve endings and the relationship of glial processes to the synapse. Two hundred serial sections were cut and have been analyzed using computer reconstructions. The results show that varicosities along single axons come into closer apposition with the longitudinal muscle fibres at the surface of the vas deferens than do varicosities in axon bundles. This has implications for the interpretation of electrophysiological data regarding the post-synaptic effectiveness of the neuro-transmitters. This project has been carried out using the facilities of the University's Electron Microscope Unit for transmission electron microscopy.

RESEARCH PLANNED for 1996

It is proposed to use immunohistochemical techniques at the light microscope level to identify (i)varicosities in the vas deferens (ii)active varicosities that are releasing transmitters and (iii)post-synaptic receptor sites on the smooth muscle cells of the vas deferens. Fluorescence and confocal microscopy will be used to visualise these structures in the muscle. This work will be done in collaboration as stated above using facilities in the Department of Physiology.

COLLABORATIONS

Mechanism of transmitter release at sympathetic varicosities: Prof Max Bennett, Dept of Physiology)


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