Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Theoretical Backgrounds to Biomedical Research

LEVEL 03 - Years 2, 3, 4 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT Centre for Molecular Medicine and Biobanking

DESCRIPTION This study-unit is sub-divided into two sections with different aims and structure. The first half consists of a set of lectures aimed at providing students with a simple overview of the medical research areas and the relevant research questions.

The lectures of the second half will give students a theoretical grounding in those laboratory techniques identified in the aforementioned lectures, in order to enable them to understand relevant research papers and documentation.

The first half of the lectures will be given by prospective tutors in the relevant field. This will allow students to familiarise themselves with both the topics and their medical context.

The latter half of the lectures will be given by a lab-oriented academic. This will provide students with first-hand information of the technical aspects of each experimental approach.

Study-unit Aims:

- To provide students with the medical background of current research highlights;
- To teach students how to extrapolate research questions from current knowledge;
- To introduce students to laboratory techniques and equipment;
- To encourage students to have insight in the relevance, to clinical medicine, of the research questions in the available topics, such that they are able to choose a research project.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- give an overview of the available research topics;
- discuss the research questions arising in a specific medical topic;
- explain mainstream laboratory techniques applied in current biomedical research;
- describe experiment design.

2. Skills:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- link medical knowledge to a research proposal;
- formulate research questions;
- understand the operation of basic laboratory equipment;
- participate in experiment design.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Main Text

Students will be provided will all relevant lab technique-related literature.

- Weissman, S. (1999). CDNA preparation and characterization (Methods in enzymology 303). Academic Press.
- Pardee, A., & McClelland, M. (1999). Expression genetics : Differential display (BioTechniques update series). BioTechniques Books.
- Burgess, R., & Deutscher, M. (2009). Guide to protein purification(2nd ed., Methods in enzymology 463). Academic Press.
- Corthell, J. (2014). Basic molecular protocols in neuroscience: Tips, tricks, and pitfalls.


- Walters, N., Estridge, B., & Reynolds, A. (1990). Basic medical laboratory techniques (2nd ed.). Delmar.
- Schena, M. (2003). Microarray analysis. Wiley-Liss.

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture and Independent Study

Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment SEM1 Yes 50%
Assignment SEM1 Yes 50%

LECTURER/S Byron Baron (Co-ord.)
Joseph Borg
Rosienne Farrugia
Robert Joseph Formosa
Godfrey Grech
Richard Muscat
Nikolai Pace
David Saliba
Joanna Vella

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 2018/9, if study-unit is available during this academic year, and may be subject to change in subsequent years.