Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2012 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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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, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
OfferedClayton Second semester 2012 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Heather Verkade (Biological Sciences)


This unit introduces the basic genetic principles underlying modern human genetics. Topics include the identification, characterisation and mapping of human genes; the value of model organisms; the significance of the Human Genome Project; how genes function and how genetic malfunction can lead to genetic disease; how an understanding of such diseases at the molecular level may assist in diagnosis, prevention and therapy; the roles of gene regulation and mutation in cancer; genetic counselling and ways of calculating risk of recurrence of a genetic disease; ethical issues relevant to human genetics. Practicals include an introduction to molecular and cytogenetic techniques.


This unit will provide students with an understanding of human genetics as it relates to both biomedical research and clinical practice. On completion students will;

  1. be aware of the value of model organisms in human genetic studies;

  1. know how human genes and their functions are identified;

  1. be able to perform gene mapping analyses and understand the interaction of clinical genetics practice with molecular biological techniques;

  1. understand the relationship between cancer, gene and cell regulation, mutation and development;

  1. understand the significance of the Human Genome Project and the techniques and strategies involved;

  1. appreciate the ethical issues raised be modern human genetics practice; and

  1. develop skills in the analysis and presentation of data and scientific ideas as well as skills in problem solving and self-directed learning.

Students will have the background to undertake more advanced studies in genetics at third year level.


Examination: 50%
Continuous assessment: mini-quizzes, laboratory reports and oral presentation: 35%
Essay: 15%

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Heather Verkade

Contact hours

3 lectures and 3 hours practical (or equivalent) per week




Must be enrolled in course code 2230, 3356, 3528, 3879, 3975, 3976, 4417


GEN2041 and GEN2052