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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Recombinant DNA Technology
Module Code BE527
School School of Biotechnology
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Jiafu Wang
Semester 2: Jiafu Wang
Autumn: Jiafu Wang
Module TeachersPaul Cahill
Anne Parle-McDermott
Dermot Walls
Jiafu Wang
Denise Harold
Michael Freeley
Janosch Heller
NFQ level 9 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None
Coursework Only

Module aims: This module will give the student an understanding of how recombinant DNA technologies are used to manipulate both cloned genes and host producer cells so that biopharmaceuticals and diagnostic reagents can be safely and stably produced using appropriate cell-based systems.

Learning Outcomes

1. Select from complex issues in protein engineering and demonstrate a systematic understanding of how these may be addressed whereby recombinant genes are manipulated leading to the generation of recombinant proteins with modified properties.
2. Demonstrate a range of standard and specialised recombinant DNA expression systems and tools that are designed to ensure high-level production of soluble, stable, purifiable and authentic recombinant proteins.
3. Acquire a systematic understanding of addressing complex issues in protein engineering, including protein folding, post-translational modifications, and product stability.
4. Develop a critical awareness of genome engineering, gene knockdown technologies, and other relevant approaches, gaining insights into their applications in producer cell engineering, gene therapy.
5. Explore the applications of recombinant technology in the production of biotherapeutics, including recombinant proteins, monoclonal antibodies, vaccines, and gene therapies.
6. Display initiative and an aptitude for independent research by utilizing contemporary techniques of inquiry to critically evaluate relevant examples of products and methods in the Biopharma and Diagnostic fields, fostering a deep understanding of their strengths and limitations.
7. Explore emerging trends and advancements in recombinant technology and biotherapeutics, such as personalized medicine, gene editing technologies (e.g., CRISPR), and novel delivery systems.
8. Exhibit insightful thinking by critically appraising and analyzing cutting-edge products and methods in the forefront of the biopharmaceutical and diagnostic fields, identifying potential limitations and opportunities for innovation, proposing novel approaches or improvements based on a deep understanding of recombinant DNA technology.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture84 sessions (approx 2 h). View recorded material and complete the relevant formative quiz.
Tutorial8Tutorials/workshop: 4 sessions (2 h each).
Assignment Completion45Complete assignment as directed
Independent Study64No Description
Lecture8No Description
Tutorial8No Description
Assignment Completion45No Description
Independent Study64No Description
Total Workload: 250

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Indicative Content
Overview of the structure and roles of DNA, RNA and protein molecules; Genomes, genome sequencing and molecular biology methods including PCR; Cloning and manipulating DNA sequences; Vectors and hosts for expressing recombinant proteins; Transfection and selection of recombinant cells; Protein engineering strategies -case studies; Antibody engineering strategies -case studies; RNA interference/gene knockdown; Bioanalysis of biologics for nucleic acid content

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
In Class TestThis will consist of an online closed-book exam; sample questions will be provided to students in advance of the exam50%Week 4
AssignmentCompletion of an individual assignment relating to the application of rDNA technology to diagnostics and/or therapeutics.50%Week 7
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 1
Indicative Reading List

  • T. A. Brown: 0, Gene Cloning and DNA Analysis: An Introduction,
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes
CHPMMaster of Science
GCBEGraduate Cert in Bioprocess Engineering
GCBPTGraduate Certificate in Biotherapeutics
GDBEGraduate Dip in Bioprocess Engineering
GDBPTGraduate Diploma in Biotherapeutics
GTSHGraduate Training Visitor Program (S&H)
MBPEDCU/UCD MEngSc in Biopharmaceutical Eng.
MBPTMSc in Biotherapeutics
MDPMMSc in Diagnostics & Precision Medicine
MSBEMSc in Bioprocess Engineering
PYPMMaster of Science

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