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Monash University

Monash University Handbook 2011 Undergraduate - Unit

6 points, SCA Band 0 (NATIONAL PRIORITY), 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Science
OfferedClayton Second semester 2011 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Professor Steve Bottomley


The course will give students an advanced understanding of protein structure-function in the context of human disease. Major themes relate the various levels of protein structure to their wide ranging functions, introduce modern techniques used in the analysis of structure and function, and explore the rapidly developing area of protein-related biotechnologies and drug design. Topics to be covered include examples of aberrations in protein structure that lead to alteration in function in a variety of biological contexts, emphasizing disease. Additionally the use of bioinformatics in aiding our understanding of protein sequence, structure and function will be highlighted.


On completion of this subject students will comprehend the hierarchical levels of protein structure, function and biological activity; 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, bioinformatics, biotechnology and medicine; understand the principles of practical applications of database searching, genome analysis, sequence alignments and phylogeny; 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 communication of scientific information associated with protein structure and function by verbal and written means.


Examination (2 hours): 60%
Practicals and assignments: 40%

Chief examiner(s)

Professor Steve Bottomley

Contact hours

3 hours of lectures and 4 hours of laboratory or tutorial sessions per week


One of BCH2011, BCH2022, MOL2011, MOL2022 or BMS2021 or BMS2062