Application period/deadline: November 1, 2017 - January 24, 2018
• In-depth training in understanding structure-function relationships of proteins and their characterisation
• Strong focus on practical skills and use of most modern equipment in protein expression and analysis
• Highly flexible degree aimed at students with an interest in a research career, taught by an international staff
The International Master’s Degree Programme in Protein Science and Biotechnology is a two-year programme planned around the early integration of M.Sc. students into research groups and the hands-on use of modern biochemical and molecular biology equipment by individual students. Early exposure to research work provides insights into cutting edge approaches in structural and enzymology characterisation as well as cell and molecular biology methods. A completion of a minimum of 120 study units equivalent to ECTS credits is required to complete the master’s degree studies. The flexible programme includes courses in:
• Protein production and analysis (compulsory)
• Biochemical methodologies (compulsory)
• 3-6 week orientation to research work periods in research groups (compulsory)
• Basic aspects of crystallographic methods
• Structural enzymology
• Biochemistry of protein folding
• Systems biology
• Bioinformatics and biocomputing
• Structure-based drug discovery
Additional optional studies include (but are not limited to):
• Advanced biotechnology/bioprocess engineering
• Animal use in research
• Yeast genetics and genomics
• Information skills for foreign degree students
• Bioreactor technology
• Molecular bases of disease
In addition, up to 15 credits can be taken from other suitable courses taught at the Oulu University or any other university, as long as they are of the appropriate level and connected to biochemistry or logically support some aspect of the Protein Science and Biotechnology programme.
Due to the range of courses available in the programme, a wide variety of expertise that can be obtained during M.Sc. level studies at FBMM. The official diploma title received after successful completion of our international M.Sc. programme will be M.Sc. in Protein Science and Biotechnology. Depending on the course choices, the training received may also provide you with excellent proficiency in molecular and cellular biology.
The duration of the M.Sc. thesis research work is flexible depending on the interest of the students and may be three months (more courses/lectures taken) or eight months (longer M.Sc. thesis research period).
Significant number of students spend orientation to research work periods outside the Faculty of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine or carry out the research work for their MSc thesis abroad
The Faculty of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine offers a highly international environment of cutting edge research in Protein Structure analysis, Enzymology, Proteomics, Bioimaging, Developmental Biology, Matrix Biology and Metabolism research. About fifty percent of our staff are native to other countries than Finland, and research groups are well connected globally to other specialists and research groups in their fields of study. Many students holding an M.Sc. from our faculty have gone on to Ph.D. programmes of other prestigious institutions all over the world, and many have stayed at FBMM Oulu to continue in our Ph.D. programme.
The skills gained in the programme offer you the academic training and expertise required to succeed in a research environment, but will also open opportunities in biomedical and related industries.
Successful applicants should hold a B.Sc. or higher degree in Biochemistry, Chemistry or a related field in the natural or life sciences and have a good command of technical English language in biochemistry and molecular biology.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
The modern pharmaceutical industry encompasses the development of ‘biologics’ (for example antibodies or protein hormones), as much as it does traditional small-molecule drug discovery.
You will study the design and potential uses of different families of proteins and will examine the experiences of successful entrepreneurs in the field who have been involved in the commercialisation of biopharmaceuticals.
Your research project will focus on the early phases of an industrial biologics design programme.
Our award-winning online learning technology enables you to interact with our highly qualified teaching staff from the comfort of your home or workplace. You will have the same access to our staff as you would if you were on campus. Our online students not only have access to Edinburgh’s excellent resources but they get the opportunity to become part of a supportive online community.
You will learn through a variety of teaching methods, including online tuition, peer-to-peer discussion and individual study.
For the MSc, you will take 12 courses followed by a research project leading to a dissertation in your final year.
Individual courses can be taken for Continuing Professional Development purposes or you can study for a Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma or MSc.
We offer a fast-track option to complete the MSc in two years, or you can spread your programme over a maximum of six years, through intermittent study, allowing you to accommodate work and other commitments.
You can expect to spend seven to 13 hours a week on your studies, depending on your chosen schedule.
You will enhance your career prospects with marketable analytical and presentation skills.
In recent years the study of plant sciences has been revolutionised by the development of new tools and technologies which have allowed unprecedented progress in the study of plant biology – knowledge which is being applied to develop sustainable solutions to some of the major challenges of the 21st century.
This course will give you specialist training in the modern molecular aspects of plant science. A large part of your teaching will be delivered by academics from the University’s Centre for Plant Sciences (CPS) linked to the latest research in their areas of expertise.
You’ll explore the wide ranges of approaches used in biomolecular sciences as applied to plant science. This will cover theory and practice of recombinant DNA and protein production, bioimaging using our confocal microscope suite, practical bioinformatics and theories behind ‘omic technologies.
You’ll also learn how to design a programme of research and write a research proposal, read and critically analyse scientific papers in plant science and biotechnology and present the findings. A highlight of the course is your individual 80 credit practical research project.
The course is 100% coursework assessed (although some modules have small in course tests). Our teaching and assessment methods are designed to develop your independent thinking, problem solving, communication skills and practical ability, making you attractive to employers or providing an excellent foundation for further study (eg PhD).
You’ll study in a faculty ranked 6th in the UK for its research impact in the recent Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014).
You’ll study in a stimulating environment which houses extensive facilities developed to support and enhance our faculty’s pioneering research. As well as Faculty operated facilities, the CPS laboratories are well equipped for general plant research. There is also a plant growth unit, including tissue culture suites with culture rooms, growth rooms and flow cabinets alongside transgenic glass-houses to meet a range of growth requirements.
On this course you’ll gain an overview of a range of modern techniques and methodologies that underpin contemporary biomolecular plant sciences.
You’ll also apply your knowledge to an extended practical investigation in the form of a laboratory-based mini project, involving practical training in a range of modern molecular biology and protein engineering techniques such as gene cloning, PCR, mutagenesis, protein expression, protein purification and analysis.
A module on plant biotechnology will address current topics such as the engineering of plants, development of stress-tolerant crop varieties and techniques for gene expression and gene silencing through reading discussion and critical analysis of recent research papers.
You’ll learn from the research of international experts in DNA recombination and repair mechanisms and their importance for transgene integration and biotechnological applications; plant nutrition and intracellular communication; and the biosynthesis, structure and function of plant cell walls.
You’ll also explore the wide range of approaches used in bio-imaging and their relative advantages and disadvantages for analysing protein and cellular function. Bioinformatics and high throughput omic technologies are crucial to plant science research and you will take modules introducing you to these disciplines.
In the final part of the course you'll work on an independent laboratory-based research project related to your course options. You’ll receive extensive training in experimental design, the practical use of advanced techniques and technologies, data analysis and interpretation, and will be assigned a research project supervisor who will support and guide you through your project.
You’ll have access to the very best learning resources and academic support during your studies. We’ve been awarded a Gold rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF, 2017), demonstrating our commitment to delivering consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for our students.
Your learning will be heavily influenced by the University’s world-class research as well as our strong links with highly qualified professionals from industry, non-governmental organisations and charities.
You’ll experience a wide range of teaching methods including formal lectures, interactive workshops, problem-solving, practical classes and demonstrations.
Through your research project and specialist plant science modules, you’ll receive substantial subject-specific training. Our teaching and assessment methods are designed to develop you into a scientist who is able to think independently, solve problems, communicate effectively and demonstrate a high level of practical ability.
We use a variety of assessment methods: multiple-choice testing, practical work, data handling and problem solving exercises, group work, discussion groups (face-to-face and online), computer-based simulation, essays, posters and oral presentations.
The strong research element of the Plant Science and Biotechmology MSc, along with the specialist and generic skills you develop, mean you’ll graduate equipped for a wide range of careers.
Our graduates work in a diverse range of areas, ranging from bioscience-related research through to scientific publication, teacher training, health and safety and pharmaceutical market research.
Links with industry
We have a proactive Industrial Advisory Board who advise us on what they look for in graduates and on employability-related skills within our courses.
We collaborate with a wide range of organisations in the public and commercial sectors. Many of these are represented on our Industrial Advisory Board. They include:
Industrial research placements
Some of our partners offer MSc research projects in their organisations, allowing students to develop their commercial awareness and build their network of contacts.