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Pathology is concerned with the scientific study of disease, and is one of the foundations of medical science and practice. It encompasses all aspects of disease, including knowledge of the causes and effects of disease, and the organisms response to disease. The cause of a disease is often an injurious agent, though sometimes disease results from certain defects or deficiencies. A knowledge of how an organism responds to disease is important as sometimes disease arises as a result of an innate response of the organism to injury or infection.

The overall aim of the Part IB Pathology course is to explore the underlying general principles of Pathology and to illustrate them using specific examples. This endeavour encompasses a broad range of biological disciplines, including molecular biology, genetics, and cell biology. The lectures are closely integrated with practical sessions that take place twice each week.

The MVST Part IB course Biology of Disease is a major component of Part IB Pathology, and is a compulsory core curriculum course for Medical and Veterinary Science students. In addition, each year more than one hundred Natural Science Tripos students also elect to read Part IB Pathology. Having already read one or more biological subjects in Part IA is an advantage, although not absolutely necessary.

Pathology is one of the largest of the Biology Departments in Cambridge and many divergent interests are represented within it. In addition, it draws upon teaching expertise from the Medical and Veterinary Clinical Schools.

Biology of Disease will be taught to MVST and NST students during the Michaelmas and Lent terms.  In the Easter term, NST students will follow a separate course on the 'Future of Disease: New Threats, New Insights'.