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BMS3021 - Molecular medicine and biotechnology

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Leader: Professor Phillip Nagley (Biochemistry and Molecular Biology)


Not offered in 2007


This unit will provide an introduction into the molecular mechanisms that mediate human diseases and the specific biotechnologies used to facilitate diagnosis and treatment. The disease mechanisms mediated by genetic disorders resulting in abnormalities in protein folding, protein trafficking and gain or loss of protein function will be presented. State of the art developments in molecular medicine including transgenic models of human disease, gene therapy, and recent developments in transplantation will be highlighted. Specific biotechnologies to be discussed include structure-based drug design, production of recombinant proteins, vaccine technology and research commercialization.


On successful completion of this unit students will understand the mechanisms by which molecular defects cause human disease, including the mechanisms by which gene abnormalities may lead to various abnormalities in protein structure and function. Students will understand the role of molecular techniques in contributing to the diagnosis of specific human diseases and will be able to discuss the use of current and emerging molecular biotechnology techniques to determine the molecular pathology of disease and to design targeted therapies for specific treatments. An understanding of the molecular and biotechnology research methodology and the skills required to undertake a focussed research project in a research laboratory will be achieved. Students will acquire both written and oral communication skills in the presentation of research data and scientific methodology.


Examination: Mid semester (1 hour): 10% and final (3 hours): 50%
Small group activities: 8%
Literature review: 10%
Student's research performance: 22%

Contact hours

3 lectures per week and 3 hours practical or equivalent


BMS2021 and BMS2042