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BCH3011 - Proteins: structural biology and disease

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Science


Not offered in 2007


This unit provides an advanced understanding of protein structure-function in the context of biology and medicine. Major themes are i) protein structure and dynamics in relation to biological activity and disease processes and ii) the use of proteins in biotechnology. The various levels of protein structure are related to wide ranging functions including enzyme activity, tissue function, and to organisms that survive in extreme environments, and the rapidly developing area of protein-related biotechnologies as applied to the development of proteins optimized for specific functions, as well as the design and production of novel proteins with new functions.


On completion of this unit students will understand the hierarchical levels of protein structure, function and biological activity; comprehend macromolecular structure and function relationships in terms of extracellular matrix macromolecular composition and physiological function; understand the principles of conformational dynamics of protein structure and interactions; appreciate the areas of biotechnology including the use of proteomics, combinatorial libraries and protein design; have developed a broad view of the importance of protein structure and function to current advances in biology, biotechnology and medicine; have developed skills, both technical and time/task-management, in the use of routine and advanced biochemistry laboratory equipment and performing a series of experimental procedures; be able to manipulate and interpret experimental data; be able to source information in the scientific literature and on the web concerning particular topics related to protein structure and function; have developed skills in the communication of scientific information associated with protein structure and function by verbal and written means and by poster displays involving teamwork co-operation in preparation and presentation.


Examination (2-hours) 65%
Evaluation of practicals (15%) and syndicate sessions/ data assessment/ oral presentations (20%) will take place weekly during the semester in the practical/ tutorial/ self-directed learning sessions

Contact hours

Two 1-hour lectures and one 4-hour practical/ tutorial/ self-directed learning exercise per week


BCH2011 and BCH2022 + Recommended: MOL2011 and MOL2022


BTH3746 and CHM3636