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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Masterclasses in Precision Medicine
Module Code BE572
School School of Biotechnology
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Michael Freeley
Semester 2: Michael Freeley
Autumn: Michael Freeley
Module TeachersMichael Freeley
NFQ level 9 Credit Rating 30
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

Students who select the Masterclasses in Precision Medicine will get the opportunity to develop key analytical and computational skills pertaining to precision medicine in highly focused laboratory sessions under the guidance of several Principal Investigators (Cell Culture and Cell Proliferation, RT-qPCR, SDS-PAGE/Western blotting, ELISA and Bioinformatics). The masterclasses will focus on the latest advances in the treatment of melanoma through a precision medicine approach where the presence of activating mutations in the gene encoding BRAF are used to select patients who are more likely to benefit from treatment with the clinically-approved small molecule drug Vemurafenib. Two melanoma cell lines that are positive or negative for this activating mutation will be treated with Vemurafenib and the differential responses of these cell lines to this drug will be analysed by the techniques mentioned above. Students will prepare a comprehensive literature review on a topic that is relevant for the diagnosis and treatment of melanoma, and will disseminate their masterclass results as a research manuscript that adheres to the publishing guidelines of a leading peer-reviewed international journal. They will also prepare a comprehensive grant proposal that addresses resistance to Vemurafenib therapy and disease relapse, as this is common for the vast majority of melanoma patients who are treated with this therapy. Hence students will appreciate the need for research scientists to disseminate their research through manuscript writing and to fund their future research programs through grant applications and through these activities will develop their communication skills and project planning skills. Finally, the masterclass results and grant proposal will be disseminated via an oral presentation.

Learning Outcomes

1. Develop advanced knowledge and hands-on experience in key techniques and technologies pertaining to Precision Medicine.
2. Demonstrate advanced knowledge in the design and planning of experiments, generation of raw data, presentation of data and critical analysis of this data through the generation of a comprehensive report.
3. Critically appraise the source information and literature necessary for your masterclasses, grant proposal and literature review.
4. Prepare a research manuscript that provides a summary and critical analysis of the scientific research that was carried out in this project.
5. Prepare a state-of-the-art grant proposal that outlines a comprehensive body of work to be carried out over a 4 year period.
6. Deliver an oral presentation of your masterclass results and grant proposal.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Directed learning150Generation of a comprehensive literature review on a topic pertaining to the diagnosis, treatment or prognosis of melanoma.
Laboratory20Pre-laboratory work and experimental design planning.
Laboratory80Masterclasses in Precision Medicine.
Assignment Completion260Preparation of the research manuscript with independent study.
Assignment Completion210Preparation of the grant proposal with independent study.
Class Presentation30Preparation and delivery of the oral presentation.
Total Workload: 750

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

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
AssignmentLiterature review on a given topic pertaining to the diagnosis, treatment or prognosis of melanoma.35%n/a
Research PaperStudents will disseminate their masterclass results as a research manuscript that adheres to the publishing guidelines of a leading peer-reviewed international journal.30%n/a
AssignmentStudents will prepare a grant proposal that addresses resistance to vemurafenib therapy in melanoma.20%n/a
PresentationOral presentation on masterclass results and grant proposal.15%n/a
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 2
Indicative Reading List

    Other Resources

    Programme or List of Programmes
    MDPMMSc in Diagnostics & Precision Medicine

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