This module will consider key areas of biotechnology and bioengineering including an introduction to drug discovery and design, systems biology and synthetic biology, gene expression and the engineering of cells to modulate cellular processes, the mechanics of cells from an engineering perspective, industrial biotechnology (specifically biofuels and small molecule systems biology), protein and vaccine based drugs, regenerative medicine and bionanomaterials. This will be delivered through workshops and seminars by specialists within the CMP and involve a number of course work assignments that will consider the most current research and thinking in these areas. This will be complemented by two three day practical's, one on mammalian cell engineering and the other on synthetic biology.
The module will comprise a number of practical workshops and seminars to introduce key concepts and practical techniques in each of the disciplines to be covered (drug discovery and design, systems biology and synthetic biology, gene expression and the engineering of cells to modulate cellular processes, the mechanics of cells from an engineering perspective, industrial biotechnology (specifically biofuels and small molecule systems biology), protein and vaccine based drugs, regenerative medicine and bionanomaterials). These workshops will be aligned with two laboratory practicals, including one engineering mammalian cells and a synthetic biology approach in bacteria to generate microcompartments. These will be complemented by a series of 2 h classroom-based discussions/workshops/lectures that will address in further each of the areas mentioned above. Students will also be expected to present in Journal club style a recent (last 12 months) review paper on the area of their choosing. Following this they will be required to write a minireview of the area in the style of Nature Biotechnology itself taking a particular angle or position on the field. The students will also be set a group work task whereby they will be required to use their knowledge and expertise obtained during the module to design a theoretical novel approach/system that addresses an area of research in industrial biotechnology and present this in a poster and seminar format.
Seminars, and workshops including preparation time (40 h)
Laboratory practicals and write up (40 h)
Preparation of minireview (30 h)
Preparation for journal club (15 h)
Preparation and delivery of group work (25 h)
Self study (150 h)
Method of assessment
Practicals and writeup (10% each = total 20%)
Presentation for journal club (20%)
Minireview (7,500 words) (40%)
Group work (20%)
The reading list will largely be the latest review and primary research articles in this area, which will be used to drive a case-study based approach to learning. Students will be provided with their own copies of this reading material, but in some cases they will be set tasks for receiving appropriate journal articles to which we already have access. Two key Journals will be Nature Biotechnology and Biotechnology and Bioengineering. Many basic biochemistry text books within the Library also cover much of the material which will be delivered.
See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)
The intended subject specific learning outcomes:
a. An overview of knowledge and understanding of key drivers and principles in drug design, systems biology, synthetic biology, bioenergy, cell engineering, bionanomaterials and protein/vaccine based drugs and their application to industrial biotechnology and bioengineering
b. Practical experience of modern cell engineering and synthetic biology approaches
c. Experimental design within a biotechnological and bioengineering research context
The intended generic learning outcomes:
a. Communication: ability to organise information clearly, present information in oral and written form, adapt presentation for different audiences including academic and industrial
b. Analytical skills: interpretation of data, marshalling of information from published sources, critical evaluation of own research and that of others
c. Team work: the ability to work both independently and as part of a research group using peer support, diplomacy and collective responsibility
d. Self-motivation and independence: time and workload management in order to meet personal targets and imposed deadlines
e. Information technology: use of appropriate technology to retrieve, analyse and present scientific information
f. Scientific writing: ability to interpret and critique the findings of others and collectively develop an opinion in an area, communicating this via the presentation of theories and ideas in a review format
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Credit level 7. Undergraduate or postgraduate masters level module.
- ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
- The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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