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Michele M. Cox
Assistant Professor
Department of Biology
University of the Virgin Islands
Death Becomes Us: Apoptosis and Carcinogenesis

This interrupted case study reviews the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in apoptosis, or programed cell death, and how it may be used in the treatment of cancer. The case narrative follows "Derek," a college student who travels to Philadelphia for a summer internship at a biotech company. During his internship, Derek learns about apoptosis, the types of cellular pathways involved, and the various components in those pathways. Students are asked to think critically and apply information learned in the case study to answer questions and create hypotheses. The questions are suitable for upper-level undergraduate students in cellular or molecular biology. Before attempting the case, students should have a basic understanding of cell/molecular biology and the cell division/cell cycle. A PowerPoint presentation containing the crucial figures from the case study handout is included so that instructors can project these visuals in the classroom as needed to guide student understanding and discussion.