Postgraduate Course: Practical Skills in Biochemistry B (PGBI11099)
|School||School of Biological Sciences
||College||College of Science and Engineering
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
||Availability||Not available to visiting students
|Summary||The programme provides thorough training in enhanced practical skills required for employment as a biochemical scientist. If necessary, this can be delivered entirely via online classes and video demonstration, but ideally students will be able to attend the lab in person for hands-on experience. The course will cover a range of techniques from recombinant protein overexpression and purification, followed by activity assays and biophysical characterisation.
Students will be taught the experience of working in a real-world laboratory environment, with a known practical target to achieve over the course of 10 weeks, but with no step-by-step protocols provided. Students have to read research papers to extract methods and write their own protocols based on the equipment and materials available, and that are achievable within the timetabled hours.
The students are provided with the intermediate goals that they are required to achieve, some preliminary information and technical tips, but have to work together in small groups to plan how to achieve the goals with the equipment and reagents provided, write the protocols, and learn how to generate and analyse their results.
This will involve:
-a range of chromatographic techniques to purify and assess a known enzyme
-a straightforward enzyme assay to monitor activity
-several complementary biochemical techniques to characterise the purified enzyme
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2022/23, Not available to visiting students (SS1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 30,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||Three in-course assessments:
Practical skills and laboratory books are assessed weekly (20 %)
Design of an experimental strategy for biophysical and activity characterisation of purified protein (30 %)
A report, in the form, of a paper, of all experiments performed (50 %)
||Students will receive individual verbal feedback weekly on their skills and lab books during the weekly laboratory sessions. Individual written feedback will be provided on each of the two written assessments within 15 working days of the submission deadline.
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Apply, or understand how to apply, a range of chromatographic techniques to purify a protein and then characterise it.
- Design and analyse a straightforward enzyme assay
- Identify the techniques required and design an appropriate strategy for the biophysical characterisation of a biomolecule; and apply or be able to explain the advantages and limitations of the methods identified.
- Describe how and why differences in experimental conditions, or available equipment, will influence the experimental strategy and outcome
- Understand the requirements for writing a publication-quality research paper
|Read an occasional, relevant chapter, not necessarily for purchase.|
Principles and Techniques of Biochemistry and "Molecular Biology" by A. Hoffman and S. Clokie, Cambridge University Press.
"Protein Purification Techniques: A Practical Approach" by S. Roe, Oxford University Press.
"Biophysical Techniques" by I.D. Campbell, Oxford University Press.
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
||Confidence in laboratory environment
Appreciation of health and safety responsibilities
|Course organiser||Dr Janice Bramham
Tel: (0131 6)50 4786
|Course secretary||Ms Andrea Nichol
Tel: (0131 6)50 8643