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Unit of study_

Biochemistry of Human Disease (Advanced) - BCMB3903

Year - 2020

Diseases are ultimately the result of an imbalance of cellular function. Causes for such dysfunction are diverse and include mutations of our DNA, altered gene expression and external stimuli such as infection. This unit will investigate how defects in key cell functions including gene expression, signalling, biomolecular interactions and metabolic processes lead to diseases. The molecular causes and biochemical processes that underlie cancer, aging and neurodegeneration will be used to illustrate the relationships between these processes and how our understanding of these commonalities is allowing us to solve complex health problems. Associations to other diseases will be integrated into the course to give a broader understanding of how key biochemical processes are linked to a wide range of disorders. In the practicals you will use experimental approaches to study cell proliferation and death, protein misfolding, the hallmarks of cancer and some neurodegenerative diseases. By the end of this unit you will have gained foundational skills and knowledge that will support further studies and careers in the life and medical sciences. The lecture component of this advanced unit will be the same as for the mainstream unit BCMB3003. In the practicals you will investigate similar concepts, however, the experiments are designed to cover a wider range of techniques, and you will analyse the results in more depth. You will present scientific findings in a poster session to academics from the School of Life and Environmental Sciences (SOLES). In addition, to relate the course content to current research and application, you will attend a series of four research seminars relating to the lecture content that will be given by experts in their field.

lectures 2 hrs/week, practical 3 hours per fortnight (up to 7 practicals in total per student) , four one-hour seminars, one poster session to present poster

2 x 200-wd lab book report (3% each), poster design and presentation (7%), 400-wd written report (6%), 400-wd short essay (6%), in class quiz (20%), final exam (55%)

Assumed knowledge
Students should understand basic concepts in human, mammalian, plant and/or prokaryotic biology. Students should have a basic understanding of the 'genome' and of the central dogma of molecular biology (gene transcription and protein translation). Additional knowledge of basic chemistry and protein biochemistry will be helpful.


An average mark of 75 or above in [12 credit points from (BCHM2X71 or BCHM2X72 or BCMB2X01 or BCMB2X02 or MEDS2003 or MBLG2X01) or [6 credit points from (BCHM2X71 or BCHM2X72 or BCMB2X01 or BCMB2X02 or MEDS2003 or MBLG2X01) and 6 credit points from (AMED3001 or BCHM3XXX or BCMB3XXX or BIOL2X29 or BMED2401 and BMED2405 or GEGE2X01 or MEDS2002 or PCOL2X21 or QBIO2001)] or 12 credit points from (BMED2401 and BMED2405)]


BCMB3003 or (BCHM3X72 and BCHM3X82)


Faculty: Science

Semester 2

24 Aug 2020

Department/School: Life and Environmental Sciences Academic Operations
Study Mode: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Census Date: 28 Sep 2020
Unit of study level: Senior
Credit points: 6.0
EFTSL: 0.125
Available for study abroad and exchange: Yes
Faculty/department permission required? No
More details
Unit of Study coordinator: Dr Markus Hofer
HECS Band: 2
Courses that offer this unit

Non-award/non-degree study If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student. Cross-institutional study If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to undertake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.

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