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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 John Bertram


This unit begins with an introduction to stem cell biology and regenerative medicine. Characteristics, basic biology and methods for studying stem cells are then described. Then characteristics of stem cells in specific tissues are described, including haematopoiesis, the kidney, gut and nervous system. Finally, aspects of tissue engineering and use of stem cells in animal biotechnology are covered. Students also conduct a research project in a stem cell laboratory. Two moderated classroom discussion on commercialisation and ethical issues of stem cell research are also included.


On completion of this unit students will be able to: describe the basic biology of stem cells; discuss key techniques in stem cell research; discuss the status of research into the identification and characterisation of stem cells; explain how stem cells are currently being used, and will likely be used, to regenerate diseased organs; describe how stem cells can be combined with factors and materials to engineer replacement tissues; be aware of some of the controversies surrounding stem cell research; have practical experience in stem cell research; and demonstrate critical and independent thinking, synthesis of the literature and scientific presentation.


Mini-poster presentation on the laboratory placement research project: 20%
On-line practical class assessment: 10%
Written report on one of the issues covered by the moderated discussions: 10%
Final examination: 60%

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Helen Abud

Contact hours

Two lectures per week. 15 hours research placement in a stem cell research laboratory (over 7 weeks): Two 3-hour moderated class discussions, one 3-hour wet practical class and two 3-hour IT-based practical class exercises.


DEV2011 and DEV2022, or BMS1062, BMS2011, BMS2021 and BMS2031.
Recommended: MOL2011.