Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

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Monash University Handbook 2011 Postgraduate - Unit

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

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

FacultyFaculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
OfferedAlfred Hospital Second semester 2011 (Off-campus)
Coordinator(s)Professor Graham Wood


The unit begins with a brief review of elementary molecular biology: DNA, RNA, the central dogma, meiosis, mitosis and genes. Some fundamental mathematical tools for statistical analysis are also reviewed. The course then covers sequence alignment, database searching, Mendelian genetics and techniques for discovering connections between genes and disease: association, linkage and variance components studies.


At the completion of this unit the student should be able to:

  1. Explain the core dogma of molecular biology and the central ideas of population genetics.
  2. Given a problem which requires genome or proteome data for its solution, access appropriate web based sources for data, and download the data in suitable format.
  3. Understand and apply core bioinformatics techniques for the analysis of DNA and protein sequence data, such as global sequence alignment, CLAST, Hidden Markov Models, evolutionary models and phylogenetic tree fitting.
  4. Process large quantities of data (such as the expression profiles of thousands of genes resulting form microarray experiments) using R, and communicate results in language suitable for presentation to both a bioinformatics journal and a lay audience.


The assessment for this subject will involve four written assignments, each
worth 15% plus a comprehensive final assignment worth 40%. The assignments will
each involve the application of theory to problems specific to the various analytical tasks in bioinformatics.

Chief examiner(s)

Professor Andrew Forbes


MPH1040, EPM5002, EPM5003, EPM 5004, EPM5014


This unit is only available to students enrolled in the Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma or Masters of Biostatistics.

Additional information on this unit is available from the faculty at: