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BCHM 411 / BMED 811 - Advanced Molecular Biology

 Winter 2020
 Year 4
 3 units

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, contact Course Coordinator:

Dr. Christopher R. Mueller

Course Description: 

This course focuses on advanced molecular biology as it applies to the human genome and human diseases. The course will build from concepts learned in BCHM 218 and BCHM 313 and will extend to current literature and review articles. Topics that will be covered include:Genome variation (SNPs, copy number), evolution, Genome wide association studies (GWAS), Haplotypes, Next Generation Sequencing, Precision Medicine, Direct to consumer genetic testing, microRNAs, Genome editing (CRISPR/Cas9), epigenetics, Chromatin regulation, stem cells, cancer stem cells.  Also, a series of skills based assignments related to various topics will be interspersed throughout the term. 

Course Objectives: 

Learning objectives for BCHM 411/811 include gaining the ability to:

Understand the physical and functional properties of the human genome 

Use Bioinformatic tools to identify human variation and assess their significance

Understand how genome variation is assessed and contributes to human disease and therapies

Interprete the significance of SNPs and cancer mutations

Understand how microRNA’s control gene expression

Understand the applications of genome editing tools to research and therapy

Understand how epigenetics can control gene expression

Know the role of stem cells in development and disease

Anaylse and interprete contriversial scientific literature and present findings from advanced molecular biology-related research articles to your peers

Evaluation Scheme

Assignments (x4) .... 10, 10, 10, 10% Total 40%

Mid-term exam…………………………...20%

Final exam……………………………….  40%

Although we will not ask students to purchase a textbook for this course, some introductory materials will be found in "Molecular Biology of the Gene" 7th Edition by Watson, Baker, Bell, Gann, Levine and Losick.  Also, review articles on each topic will posted in the course learning events sections where appropriate. 

Queen’s Official Grade Conversion Scale

Grade  Numerical Course Average (Range)

A+            90-100

A              85-89

A-             80-84

B+            77-79

B              73-76

B-             70-72

C+            67-69

C              63-66

C-             60-62

D+            57-59

D              53-56

D-             50-52

F              49 and below