The molecular basis of human disease...
Molecular Genetics is the study of the structure and function of genomes, genes and their products at a molecular level.
Molecular Genetics is a core discipline that is used by several cognate areas in modern biology including; cell biology, developmental biology, immunology, microbiology, neurobiology and physiology. It also underpins large areas of biotechnology.
BIOC3003 provides advanced instruction on the impact of mutations and their role in the etiology of various human genetic disorders.
 
What do I do in this course?
All hospital admissions apart from infections and accidental trauma injuries are the result of genetic disease.  The diagnosis and treatment of these diseases requires a thorough understanding of molecular genetics, biochemistry and molecular biology.  
A central thesis of this course is that an understanding of the impact of genetic mutations is only possible with knowledge of the biochemical processes involved. 
This course consists of six related modules that cover the most significant areas of modern molecular genetics.
  • Advanced Concepts in Human Molecular Genetics explores modern genomic approaches to identifying disease genes and the analysis of genes and genetic variation.  Introduction to the use of model organisms (eg yeast, Drosophila, C.elegans, mouse).
  • Single Gene Disorders:  One gene - one protein, one disease.  Recessive and Dominant Disorders.  Examples: Connective Tissue Disorders, Cytoskeletal disorders, Cystic Fibrosis and Ion Channel disorders, and the Muscular Dystrophies.
  • Multifactorial Gene Disorders explores complex genetic interactions using neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s, depression, alcoholism and drug addiction as examples.
  • Human Genetic Variation explores the role of genetic variation in disease and predisposition to disease 
  • Cancer Genetics explores the role of DNA mutations to both inherited and sporadic cancers.
  • Epigenetics explores the role of epigenetic mechanisms in human disease (eg. Imprinting).
 
Career relevance of this course:
Molecular Genetics is central to understanding the etiology of human disease and its diagnosis, prognosis and treatment.
 
Molecular Genetics is a central discipline in the biomolecular sciences. Importantly, the new and exciting disciplines of proteomics, genomics, bioinformatics, genetic engineering and drug design all rely on the knowledge of and competency in molecular genetics.
 
Molecular genetics techniques are used to characterize diseases such as cancer, ageing, metabolic diseases (including diabetes), heart disease, infectious disease and nutrition. An understanding of the molecular basis of a disease is fundamental to the development of new treatment regimes for both genetic disease and for traumatic injuries.
 
Students trained in molecular genetics have the knowledge-base for careers in agriculture, environmental and marine sciences, pharmaceutical, medical and clinical sciences and biotechnology.
 
Program planning advice:
In conjunction with BIOC3000, BIOC3005 and BIOL3004, BIOC3003 is a commonly recommended course for students planning a research career in molecular genetics. It is also recommended for students planning to enrol in the MBBS degree.  BIOC3003 is recommended by the course coordinator for inclusion in both the Genetics major and Biochemistry & Molecular Biology major. It is also recommended by the course coordinator for inclusion in the Human Genetics streams of the Biomedical Sciences single and extended majors.

For an official description of this course, including prerequisites and contact hours, and for the official rules of programs, including majors requirements, see the UQ Programs & Courses website.