Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Skip to content | Change text size

print version

Monash University

Monash University Handbook 2011 Postgraduate - Unit

6 points, SCA Band 3, 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
OfferedClayton Second semester (extended) 2011 (Day)
Clayton Second semester (extended) 2011 (Off-campus)
Coordinator(s)Dr Sally Catt and Dr David Cram


This unit will provide a detailed understanding of the molecular biology and genetic techniques essential in a clinical human IVF programs. Students will be taught the theoretical basis of current techniques in genetic diagnosis, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), fluorescent in situ hybridisation (FISH) and micro-array analysis. This knowledge is enhanced with practical training in embryo biopsy and analysis of resultant blastomeres by FISH and PCR techniques. On completion, students will possess a sound theoretical knowledge and understanding of the molecular and genetic techniques used in a clinical human genetics laboratory, and also become familiar with the different practical applications of these techniques.


On completion of this unit students will:

  1. Possess a sound theoretical knowledge and understanding of the techniques essential to chromosomal and molecular genetic analysis in a clinical human IVF program
  2. Understand the technical aspects and applications of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and fluorescent in situ hybridisation (FISH)
  3. Understand the applications of micro array technology and karyotyping
  4. Have the ability to perform biopsies on mouse and sheep embryos and prepare isolated blastomeres for FISH analysis
  5. Demonstrate the extraction of DNA from cells and the skills required for carrying out PCR and genetic analysis
  6. Have the skills to critically and constructively analyse research papers in molecular biology and reproduction
  7. Be able to communicate this knowledge


Written examination (20%)
Presentation of journal review (20%)
Essay (27%)
Practical assessment: hands on skills (on-campus only) and quizzes (33%)

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Sally Catt

Contact hours

16h contact per week (lectures, tutorials, forums, self-directed study, practical skills
training (on-campus)