Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Monash University

Postgraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2015 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.

FacultyFaculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
Organisational UnitDepartment of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
OfferedClayton Second semester (extended) 2015 (Day)
Clayton Second semester (extended) 2015 (Online)
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.


Upon successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. demonstrate a sound theoretical knowledge and understanding of the techniques essential to chromosomal and molecular genetic analysis in a clinical human IVF program
  2. describe and explain the technical aspects and applications of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and fluorescent in situ hybridisation (FISH)
  3. explain the applications of micro array technology and karyotyping
  4. 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. critically and constructively analyse research papers in molecular biology and reproduction
  7. communicate this knowledge clearly and effectively.


Journal review (25%)
Peerwise (5%)
Written examination (70%)

Workload requirements

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

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

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