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Masters Degrees (Biochemist)

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What is the Master of Bioinformatics all about?.  Bioinformaticians are distinguished by their ability to formulate biologically relevant questions, design and implement the appropriate solution by managing and analysing high-throughput molecular biological and sequence data, and interpret the obtained results. Read more

What is the Master of Bioinformatics all about?

 Bioinformaticians are distinguished by their ability to formulate biologically relevant questions, design and implement the appropriate solution by managing and analysing high-throughput molecular biological and sequence data, and interpret the obtained results.

Structure

This interdisciplinary two-year programme focuses on acquiring

  • basic background knowledge in diverse disciplines belonging to the field of bioinformatics, including statistics, molecular biology and computer science
  • expert knowledge in the field of bioinformatics
  • programming skills
  • engineering skills

The 120-credit programme consists of a reorientation package (one semester), a common package (two semesters) and a thesis.

The Master of Bioinformatics is embedded in a strong bioinformatics research community in KU Leuven, who monthly meet at the Bioinformatics Interest Group. Bioinformatics research groups are spread over the Arenberg and Gasthuisberg campus and are located in the research departments of Microbial and Molecular Systems (M2S), Electrical Engineering (ESAT), Human Genetics, Microbiology and Immunology (REGA), Cellular and Molecular Medicine, Chemistry and Biology. Several of these bioinformatics research groups are also associated with the Flemish Institute for Biotechnology (VIB).

Is this the right programme for me? 

Are you a biochemist or molecular biologist with a keen interest in mathematics and programming? Are you a mathematician or statistician and want to apply your knowledge to complex biological questions? Do you want to develop new methods that can be used by doctors, biologists and biotechnology engineers? Then this is the right program for you!

Objectives

The student:

  • Possesses a broad knowledge of the principles of genetics, biochemistry and molecular and cellular biology that underlie the model systems, the experimental techniques, and the generation of data that are analysed and modelled in bioinformatics.
  • Possesses a broad knowledge of the basic mathematical disciplines (linear algebra, calculus, dynamical systems) that underlie mathematical and statistical modelling in bioinformatics.
  • Masters the concepts and techniques from information technology (database management, structured and object-oriented programming, semantic web technology) for the management and analysis of large amounts of complex and distributed biological and biomedical data.
  • Masters the concepts and techniques from machine learning and frequentist and Bayesian statistics that are used to analyse and model complex omics data.
  • Has acquired knowledge of the core methods of computational biology (such as sequence analysis, phylogenetic analysis, quantitative genetics, protein modelling, array analysis).
  • Has advanced interdisciplinary skills to communicate with experts in life sciences, applied mathematics, statistics, and computer science to formalise complex biological problems into appropriate data management and data analysis strategies.
  • Can - in collaboration with these experts - design complex omics experiments and analyse them independently.
  • Can independently collect and manage data from specialised literature and public databases and critically analyse and interpret this data to solve complex research questions, as well as develop tools to support these processes.
  • Investigates and understands interaction with other relevant science domains and integrate them within the context of more advanced ideas and practical applications and problem solving.
  • Demonstrates critical consideration of and reflection on known and new theories, models or interpretation within the specialty; and can efficiently adapt to the rapid evolution the life sciences, and especially in omics techniques, by quickly learning or developing new analysis strategies and incorporating them into the learned competences.
  • Presents personal research, thoughts, ideas, and opinions of proposals within professional activities in a suitable way, both written and orally, to peers and to a general public.
  • Develop and execute original scientific research and/or apply innovative ideas within research units.
  • Understands ethical, social and scientific integrity issues and responsibilities and is able to analyse the local and global impact of bioinformatics and genomics on individuals, organisations and society.

Career paths

Bioinformaticians find careers in the life sciences domain in the broadest sense: industry, the academic world, health care, etc. The expanding need for bioinformatics in biological and medical research ensures a large variety of job opportunities in fundamental and applied research. 60% of our graduates start a PhD after graduation.

 



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Obesity is a leading preventable cause of death worldwide and is highly prevalent in most modern industrialised nations. It is a global epidemic and a leading cause of several major non-communicable diseases including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some cancers. Read more
Obesity is a leading preventable cause of death worldwide and is highly prevalent in most modern industrialised nations. It is a global epidemic and a leading cause of several major non-communicable diseases including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some cancers. Prevention and management is critical in reducing the considerable health costs of obesity. This online course will focus on enabling health care professionals to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to treat patients effectively.

The course aims to create professionals who can independently access information and use the information to critically assess, evaluate and disseminate the evidence base related to Obesity and Weight Management. It will develop problem solving and clinical skills together with preparing students to take a leadership role.

On completion of the course, students will have:
1. An applied understanding of how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in an appropriate clinical setting.
2. An in-depth knowledge and understanding of the discipline informed by current scholarship and research.

See the website http://courses.southwales.ac.uk/courses/1799-msc-obesity-and-weight-management-online-delivery

What you will study

The course consists of two modules. Module one is compulsory and module two is a choice between Professional Practice or the Independent Prescribing module.

Module 1 – Research Methodologies and Critical Appraisal (compulsory module):
This module will address the terminology and methodologies used in epidemiology and research studies, and you will learn how to interpret graphical and other statistical data such as Kaplan-Meier Curves, Forrest Plots and Meta-analyses. You will develop an understanding of the importance of evidence based practice and how to apply it within a clinical setting.

Module 2: Professional Project or Independent Prescribing Module:
- Professional Project
This modules aims to develop an ability to critically evaluate areas of professional practice of your choice and develop skills in independent research and study. You will produce a report of 12000 words which will include a project proposal of 1,500 words and the remaining 10,500 words will consist of a literature review and an evidence appraisal, clinical or organisational practice audit. It will also involve the implementation of evidence-based practice and undertaking qualitative or quantitative research. As part of the module you will be in regular contact with your tutor who will offer guidance and supervision either via email, telephone or SKYPE.

- Or Independent Prescribing Module
This module aims to prepare students, both academically and practically, for the role of independent prescribing. The module also meets the registration criteria for the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) and the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC).

Synopsis of module content:
- Consultation, decision-making and therapy, including referral.
- Influences on, and psychology of, prescribing.
- Prescribing in a team context.
- Clinical pharmacology, including the effects of co-morbidity.
- Evidence-based practice and clinical governance in relation to nurse prescribing.
- Legal, policy and ethical aspects.
- Professional accountability and responsibility.

Learning and teaching methods

Each of the modules is taught online and includes self-directed learning, tutor stimulated discussion on case scenarios, examinations, group projects and independent projects. Reflective practice is also studied which involves considering how you can apply the knowledge gained into everyday work and practice.

Work Experience and Employment Prospects

The Obesity & Weight Management courses have been developed for health professionals who are interested in a leadership role within weight and obesity management including GP’s, doctors, nurses, physicians, surgeons, physiotherapists, dieticians, psychologists, and counsellors running clinics. Following successful completion of this specialised course, you will have the knowledge to further improve patient care and it could enhance your future career progression.

Assessment methods

Assessment methods will vary for each module and include case-based examinations, discussions and scenarios, reflective portfolio, forum discussions and group activities.

Facilities

As part of your online studies you will have access to the Learning Resources Centre materials at the University of South Wales. FINDit is the University’s portal which allows you to search for over 13,000 full-text journal articles, news articles, conference proceedings and approximately 160 databases via one search box- the majority of these materials are accessible online. Interactive study skills modules are available to study via Blackboard to enable you to utilise the library services fully.

Teaching

The course is delivered by a board who have an established international reputation in Obesity & Weight Management and delivering online education:
- Dr. Steve Davies – Consultant Endocrinologist and Director of Diploma MSc
- Dr Simon Williams – Principal Lecturer, Obesity and Physical Activity Epidemiologist
- Professor Nadim Haboubi – Consultant Gastroenterologist
- Dr Dev Datta – Consultant Clinical Biochemist

Work and Study Placements

Students will usually be employed as health care professionals before commencing this course. Consequently work or study placements are not available.

Read less
Obesity is a leading preventable cause of death worldwide and is highly prevalent in most modern industrialised nations. It is a global epidemic and a leading cause of several major non-communicable diseases including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some cancers. Read more
Obesity is a leading preventable cause of death worldwide and is highly prevalent in most modern industrialised nations. It is a global epidemic and a leading cause of several major non-communicable diseases including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some cancers. Prevention and management is critical in reducing the considerable health costs of obesity. This online course will focus on enabling health care professionals to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to treat patients effectively.

The course aims to create professionals who can independently access information and use the information to critically assess, evaluate and disseminate the evidence base related to Obesity and Weight Management. It will develop problem solving and clinical skills together with preparing students to take a leadership role.

On completion of the course students will have:
1. A systematic understanding of the care of patients in obesity and weight management.
2. A critical awareness of current issues affecting the care of patients undertaking weight and obesity management treatments.
3. An advanced knowledge of obesity and weight management that will facilitate decision-making in unpredictable and/or complex situations.
4. An ability to use knowledge to adapt professional practice to meet the changing demands of health care systems.

See the website http://courses.southwales.ac.uk/courses/1800-postgraduate-diploma-in-obesity-and-weight-management-online-delivery

What you will study

The course consists of 6 modules over one year, each of 6 weeks duration:

Module 1 – The adipocyte, regulation of appetite and nutrition
The module aims to develop a critical understanding of the physiology and regulation of the adipocyte, adipose tissue, human nutrition and appetite.

Module 2 – Obesity: defining obesity, epidemiology and health risks
The module aims to develop a critical understanding of the epidemiology of obesity, including the importance of the distribution of adiposity, its epidemiology, the global problems of obesity and its relationship in different populations.

Module 3 – Causation of obesity and weight gain in relation to disease and genetics
The module aims to develop an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the medical and genetic conditions that can cause obesity and weight gain.

Module 4 – Weight Management – Diet, exercise and changing behavior
The module aims to enhance the clinical skills and knowledge required to effectively evaluate and treat obesity with emphasis on lifestyle and behavioural modifications.

Module 5 – Weight Management – Medical treatments and emerging therapies
The module aims to develop an understanding of the role of medications and emerging therapies used in weight management including pharmacovigilance and post-marketing surveillance.

Module 6 – Surgical approaches to weight management
The module aims to enhance the clinical skills and knowledge required to understand surgical weight management strategies.

Learning and teaching methods

Each of the 6 modules is taught online and includes self-directed learning, tutor stimulated discussion on case scenarios, examinations, group projects and independent projects. Reflective practice is also studied which involves considering how you can apply the knowledge gained into everyday work and practice.

Work Experience and Employment Prospects

The Obesity & Weight Management courses have been developed for health professionals who are interested in a leadership role within weight and obesity management including GP’s, doctors, nurses, physicians, surgeons, physiotherapists, dieticians, psychologists, and counsellors running clinics. Following successful completion of this specialised course, you will have the knowledge to further improve patient care and it could enhance your future career progression.

Assessment methods

Assessment methods will vary for each module and include case-based examinations, discussions and scenarios, reflective portfolio, forum discussions and group activities.

Facilities

As part of your online studies you will have access to the Learning Resources Centre materials at the University of South Wales. FINDit is the University’s portal which allows you to search for over 13,000 full-text journal articles, news articles, conference proceedings and approximately 160 databases via one search box- the majority of these materials are accessible online. Interactive study skills modules are available to study via Blackboard to enable you to utilise the library services fully.

Teaching

The course is delivered by a board who have an established international reputation in Obesity & Weight Management and delivering online education:
- Dr. Steve Davies – Consultant Endocrinologist and Director of Diploma MSc
- Dr Simon Williams – Principal Lecturer, Obesity and Physical Activity Epidemiologist
- Professor Nadim Haboubi – Consultant Gastroenterologist
- Dr Dev Datta – Consultant Clinical Biochemist

Work and Study Placements

Students will usually be employed as health care professionals before commencing this course. Consequently work or study placements are not available.

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Tralee is currently seeking to recruit a high calibre and suitably qualified science graduate to undertake this Master of Research programme in the Department of Biological and Pharmaceutical Sciences at IT Tralee. Read more

Tralee is currently seeking to recruit a high calibre and suitably qualified science graduate to undertake this Master of Research programme in the Department of Biological and Pharmaceutical Sciences at IT Tralee. Graduates holding a relevant Level 8 Honours Degree (second class honours or higher) are invited to submit an application. The successful applicants will be awarded a stipend of €700 per month for a maximum period of 18 months and the Institute will waive full fees for this funding period. Postgraduate students are expected to complete their studies full-time at the Institute.

Biography of Principle Supervisor

Dr Oscar Goñi received his Degree in Chemistry from the University of Navarra (Spain), an MSc in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Complutense University of Madrid (Spain) and completed his PhD in Plant Protein Biochemistry at ICTAN-CSIC (Spain) and Complutense University of Madrid (Spain). Dr Goñi has previously worked as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Max Planck Institute of Plant Breeding Research (Cologne). He is a protein biochemist with experience in the purification and characterization of functional proteins, enzymology and development of protein biomarkers. Dr. Goñi currently holds the position of Postdoctoral Researcher with Shannon ABC / Brandon Bioscience and specialises in the development of enzyme activities for the production of macro-algae derived oligosaccharides and chitin/chitosan derived oligosaccharides for crop protection and yield enhancement. 

Research Project Abstract

The United Nations’ and Agriculture Organization predicts that by 2050 the world will need to produce 70 percent more food than it does currently. Along with improving food storage and transport, increasing crop yields is seen as a primary solution. Salinity is one the major environmental stresses affecting crop production, particularly in arid and semi-arid areas. Most of the vegetable crops are salt sensitive, growing poorly in salinized soils due to the accumulation of toxic ions from prolonged irrigation regimes. A meaningful approach to increase crop yield and counteract salt stress would be the use of protein hydrolysate-based biostimulants, which are gaining interest worldwide. Nowadays, more than 90% of the protein hydrolysates market in agriculture is based on products obtained through chemical hydrolysis of proteins from animal origin. The production and use of new vegetable derived-protein hydrolysates with high plant biostimulant activity has become the focus of much research interest due to their lack of plant phytotoxicity, absence of degraded or biologically inactive amino acids or compatibility in the production of food for vegetarians. The commercial partner, Deltagen UK, aims to commercialise protein hydrolysate biostimulants with superior salinity inducing tolerance. The aim of this research is the development of an innovative system to produce protein hydrolysates from the defatted by product meals of flax, lentil and sesame seeds with the ability to biostimulate plant tolerance to salt stress. Novel protein hydrolysates will be produced using a cocktail of suitable proteases, they will be applied to tomato plants (cv. Micro-Tom) in a controlled growth room under salt stress conditions. Treatments will be assessed by comparing classic phenotypical parameters. Plant tissue will also be saved in order to assess other biochemical and molecular parameters such as stress related proteins and osmoprotectant metabolites.

Research Context (Technical Merit & Impact)

The beginning of 21st century is marked by global scarcity of water resources, environmental pollution and increased salinization of soil and water. An increasing human population and reduction in land available for cultivation are two threats for agricultural sustainability. It has been estimated that worldwide 20% of total cultivated and 33% of irrigated agricultural lands are afflicted by high salinity. It has been projected that more than 50% of the arable land would be salinized by the year 2050. Use of optimized farm management practices such as shifting crop rotation or better irrigation systems can ameliorate yield reduction under salinity stress. However, its implementation is often limited because of cost and availability of good water quality. Several salt-tolerant varieties have been released, the overall progress of traditional breeding has been slow and has not been successful, as only few major determinant genetic traits of salt tolerance have been identified. The utilisation of agro-food processing wastes to generate value added products is an extremely convincing argument as it makes commercial and environmental sense. In addition, it is an excellent, demonstrable example of the European circular economy in action, a key objective of the H2020 research programme, turning waste into value and ultimately food for a growing population.

Research Methodology

Three process variables will be studied in order to obtain the maximum degradation of seed proteins: incubation time, temperature and the initial concentration of meal protein. The Response Surface Methodology (RSM) will be used to reduce the cost and duration of experiments and allow for the observation of any interacting factors in the final process response. Amino acid and monosaccharide composition will be determined by sensitive high performance anion exchange chromatography with pulsed amperometric detection (HPAEC-PAD) according previous bibliography. Molecular weight distribution of protein hydrolysates will be characterized by protein electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) and high performance size exclusion chromatography (HPSEC). The plant trials will involve 2 separate sets of experiments under unstressed and salt-stressed conditions respectively. Experiments will be carried out in a growth room with different concentration rates of different protein hydrolysates and the tomato variety Micro-Tom will be used. This extensive factorial experiment will be assessed by fruit yield, fruit quality, chlorophyll (SPAD measurement), MDH content (cell membrane integrity) and levels of protective compounds (proline and soluble carbohydrates). The presence of stress proteins such as HSPs will be determined using immunoblotting techniques (Western blot). RT-qPCR is another advanced laboratory technique that will be emp



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