BRM5014 - Therapeutic approaches and biotechnology - 2019

6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

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


Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Chief examiner(s)

Professor Graham Lieschke


Dr Chau Khuong

Unit guides



  • First semester 2019 (On-campus)


Master of Biotechnology students only (M6030)


This unit covers the fundamentals and principles of modern biotechnology-based therapeutic approaches for treating and managing diseases.

Students will learn about the cellular and molecular basis of drug actions that underpin new drug development.

The general principles of the pathway for developing a new drug or biotechnological device for therapeutic clinical use will be outlined.

Students will be introduced to specific novel regenerative medicine approaches based on biotechnological developments, including therapeutic stem cells, immunotherapy, tissue engineering, organ transplantation, and artificial organs.

In addition, students will gain research methodology and skills through a range of practical activities, including designing experiments to test for pharmacological properties and using statistical approaches to assess therapeutic efficacy of drugs.


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

  1. Apply basic principles of pharmacology to the development of new pharmacotherapeutics
  2. Examine the pharmacological properties of drugs and select appropriate statistical approaches to assess therapeutic efficacy
  3. Explain the rationale of current regenerative medicine approaches, including cell and gene therapy, immunotherapy, and bone marrow transplantation.
  4. Critically appraise the application and effectiveness of current regenerative medicine approaches in the treatment of specific human diseases
  5. Integrate knowledge of the drug and device development and approval process, to plan a proposal for a new therapeutic product


  • Pre-practical and practical work (20%)
  • Written assignments (30%)
  • In-semester tests (30%) (hurdle)
  • Group presentation (20%)

Workload requirements

6 hours of directed learning including 4 contact hours per week, 2 hours of lectures and 2 hours of workshop/ tutorial/ practical per week and 6 hours of self-directed learning including private study per week.

See also Unit timetable information

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