BMS3021 - Molecular medicine and biotechnology

6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

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


Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Organisational Unit

School of Biomedical Sciences


Professor Michael Ryan

Not offered in 2017


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 production of recombinant proteins, antibody engineering and gene editing approaches.


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

  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. Outline molecular and biotechnology research methodologies and identify the skills required to undertake a research project in a research laboratory.
  5. Identify and articulate 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 the skills acquired to communicate research data and scientific ideas, verbally and in writing using scientific and lay language as appropriate.


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

A pass in the final examination must be obtained to pass the unit.

Workload requirements

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

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


BMS2042 and one of BCH2022 or BMS2021.

(Note for Biotechnology students: Students only need to pass BCH2022)


Must be enrolled in one of the following:

  • Bachelor of Biomedical Science (including double degree programs)
  • Bachelor of Biomedical Science (Scholar Program)
  • Bachelor of Biomedical Science Advanced with Honours
  • Bachelor of Biotechnology