Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2013 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

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FacultyFaculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
Organisational UnitSchool of Biomedical Sciences
OfferedClayton First semester 2013 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Melanie Pritchard (Biochemistry and Molecular Biology)


This unit will provide an introduction into the molecular mechanisms that mediate human diseases and the specific biotechnologies used to facilitate diagnosis and treatment. The disease mechanisms mediated by genetic disorders resulting in abnormalities in protein folding, protein trafficking and gain or loss of protein function will be presented. State of the art developments in molecular medicine including transgenic models of human disease, gene therapy, and recent developments in transplantation will be highlighted. Specific biotechnologies to be discussed include structure-based drug design, production of recombinant proteins, vaccine technology and research commercialization.


  1. Describe the mechanisms by which molecular defects cause human disease, including the mechanisms by which gene abnormalities may lead to various abnormalities in protein structure and function.
  2. Give examples of the role of molecular techniques in contributing to the diagnosis of specific human diseases.
  3. Discuss the use of current and emerging molecular biotechnology techniques to determine the molecular pathology of diseases and to design targeted therapies or specific treatments.
  4. Appreciate molecular and biotechnology research methodology and understand the skills required to undertake a research project in a research laboratory.
  5. Appreciate the research process as a collaborative endeavour locally and internationally, as well as understand the roles of grants, publications and ethics in biomedical scientific research.
  6. Synthesise, integrate and summarise information from fundamental principles and techniques in biomedical sciences, then apply it to broader contexts.
  7. Work effectively and communicate constructively within small groups in the planning, development and implementation of teamwork tasks. This will involve individual and group responsibilities and adherence to project timelines.
  8. Use their acquired skills to present data and scientific ideas, both verbally and in writing, using scientific language or plain English as appropriate.


Mid semester examination (50 minutes): 10%
Final Examination (3 hours): 54%
Small group activity modules: 36%

Chief examiner(s)

Contact hours

3 lectures per week and 3 hours small group activities per week



Must be enrolled in course code 2230, 3356, 3527, 3528, 3879, 3975, 3976, 4417