University of Malta

Study-Unit Description
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TITLE Molecular Pathology

LEVEL 05 - Postgraduate Modular Diploma or Degree Course



DESCRIPTION The teaching programme is intended to address the molecular aspect of disease. It includes an in depth review of fundamental issues on the genes involved in disease and the cellular mechanisms and signal transduction that can be targeted and/or used as informative markers of disease. In addition this study unit is intended to expand on the following issues:
1. The discovery phase; development phase and implementation of Molecular Diagnostic Services
2. The identification of biomarkers utilizing profiling of molecular signatures
3. The use of prognostic and predictive markers
4. Pharmacogenetics
5. Risk-adaptive therapy
6. The requirement for the Molecular Pathology Laboratory

The Molecular mechanisms of disease in oncology, haematological malignancies and Neurodegenerative disorders are used to illustrate the importance of molecular pathology.

Each topic will be studied at advanced level emphasizing experimental research methodology, with reference to clinical significance. Contemporary issues in molecular pathology research are given prominence.

Learning Objectives

By the end of the study-unit the student should have a critical understanding of the use of molecular technology for informed treatment decisions; an understanding of the use of molecular markers that are informative for patient classification and personalized treatment; and the phases required to set up a Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory.

Reading List

1. Robbins and Cotran Pathologic Basis of Disease
Vinay Kumar, Nelso Fausto, Abul Abbas
Publisher: Philadelphia, Pa. ; Elsevier Saunders, c2005.
ISBN: 0721601871

2. Educational online books:

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture and Tutorial

Assessment Component/s Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment No 40%
Examination (3 Hours) Yes 60%


The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the study-unit description above applies to the academic year 2017/8, if study-unit is available during this academic year, and may be subject to change in subsequent years.

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