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Masters Degrees (Protein)

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Application period/deadline. November 1, 2017 - January 24, 2018. In-depth training in understanding structure-function relationships of proteins and their characterisation. Read more

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

• Immunology

• 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.

For all enquiries, please refer to our enquiry form: http://www.oulu.fi/university/admissions-contact



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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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The twenty-first century has been described as 'the century of biology', with advances in molecular biology already making an important contribution to enormous gains in health and quality of life over much of the world. Read more
The twenty-first century has been described as 'the century of biology', with advances in molecular biology already making an important contribution to enormous gains in health and quality of life over much of the world. Proteins are fundamental to all biology. Structural biology is the science of how the shapes of molecules such as proteins affect their function, and our understanding of it has contributed to the design of drugs against devastating diseases including cancer and HIV/AIDS. This postgraduate certificate in the principles of protein structure explores the structures of proteins at different levels, before applying this knowledge to an understanding of their function in health and disease.

On successful completion of this course, you will possess a detailed knowledge of protein structure and its importance in molecular biology. You will develop your understanding of basic bioinformatics and learn to use some fairly simple bioinformatics tools. You will recognise and understand how complex protein structures are made up from simpler components.

Why study this course at Birkbeck?

An innovative course taught entirely using the internet. You study part-time in your own time, wherever you are in the world. Most of our students have full-time jobs and other personal commitments.
You will interact with your tutors and fellow students through email lists, submit written assignments by email, and attend online tutorials in real time using a chatroom-based interface.
Taught within the Department of Biological Sciences which, with University College London, is part of the leading research-based Institute of Structural and Molecular Biology. Several of the department’s world-class researchers contribute to the course.
May be taken as a stand-alone certificate course or as part of our acclaimed internet-based MSc Structural Molecular Biology.

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This postgraduate course is an excellent introduction to protein crystallography. It is designed for those who are interested in pursuing a career in this exciting and rapidly expanding field, especially in the pharmaceutical industry, or for those who would like to expand and update their existing scientific knowledge. Read more
This postgraduate course is an excellent introduction to protein crystallography. It is designed for those who are interested in pursuing a career in this exciting and rapidly expanding field, especially in the pharmaceutical industry, or for those who would like to expand and update their existing scientific knowledge.

Up-to-date descriptions of the background, methods and techniques of protein crystallography are explained, and the programme gives the biologically orientated scientist a mainly non-mathematical insight into how protein crystal structures are determined and how results should be judged.

Why study this course at Birkbeck?

Study by distance learning, wherever you are in the world, with our internet-based teaching.
You will interact with your tutors and fellow students through email lists, submit written assignments by email, and attend online tutorials in real time using a chatroom-based interface.
May be taken as a stand-alone award or as part of our innovative distance learning MSc Structural Molecular Biology.
Taught within the Department of Biological Sciences which, with University College London, is part of the leading research-based Institute of Structural and Molecular Biology. Several of the department’s world-class researchers contribute to the course.

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This programme focuses on the integration of structural biology and bioinformatics approaches in order to understand the activity of proteins, including enzymes, antibodies and receptors, at a molecular level. Read more
This programme focuses on the integration of structural biology and bioinformatics approaches in order to understand the activity of proteins, including enzymes, antibodies and receptors, at a molecular level.

This understanding provides a platform for techniques such as structure-based drug design, biocatalysis and protein engineering, which are the basis for many recent advances in biotechnology.

The MSc programmes in Biology & Biochemistry are designed for students who wish to specialise further in a particular field or wish to change direction from their first degree (in a related area).If you already have extensive and relevant research experience and would like to specialise, you might consider an MRes programme (http://www.bath.ac.uk/science/graduate-school/taught-programmes/).

Visit the website http://www.bath.ac.uk/science/graduate-school/taught-programmes/msc-protein-structure-function/

Why study Biology and Biochemistry with us?

- Biology & Biochemistry ranked 2nd in the Sunday Times University Guide 2013
- 90% of our research judged to be internationally recognised, excellent or world-leading
- Our current research funding portfolio stands at £14 million, supporting internationally excellent research in the biosciences

What will I learn?

The aim of each of our MSc programmes in Biology and Biochemistry is to provide professional-level training that will develop highly skilled bioscientists with strong theoretical, research and transferable skills, all of which are necessary to work at the forefront of modern biosciences.

For further information please see our department pages (http://www.bath.ac.uk/bio-sci/)

Career opportunities

Since graduating, our students have gone on to employment or further research at institutions in the US, Europe, Australia, Asia and Africa.

Recent employers include:

Morvus-Technology Ltd
Janssen-Cilag
Royal United Hospital, Bath
Ministry of Defence
State Intellectual Property Office, Beijing
Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, Oxford University
AbCam
Salisbury Foundation Trust Hospital
BBSRC
Lonza

Find out more about the department here - http://www.bath.ac.uk/bio-sci/

Find out how to apply here - http://www.bath.ac.uk/science/graduate-school/taught-programmes/how-to-apply/

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This programme involves the integration of structural biology and bioinformatics approaches in order to understand the activity of proteins, including enzymes, antibodies and receptors, at a molecular level. Read more
This programme involves the integration of structural biology and bioinformatics approaches in order to understand the activity of proteins, including enzymes, antibodies and receptors, at a molecular level. This understanding provides a platform for techniques such as structure-based drug design, biocatalysis and protein engineering, which are the basis for many recent advances in biotechnology.

The MRes provides a unique mix of taught components, extended laboratory projects, literature reviews and preparation of a grant proposal based on a research dissertation. It gives students an insight into a range of state-of-the-art research activities and techniques, and provides generic, transferable skills training needed for all early stage researchers. The programmes also address the scientific, ethical and commercial context within which the research takes place.

All of the MRes programmes can be studied as the first year of our Integrated PhD programme.

Visit the website http://www.bath.ac.uk/science/graduate-school/taught-programmes/mres-protein-structure-function/

Why study Biology and Biochemistry with us?

- Biology & Biochemistry ranked 2nd in the Sunday Times University Guide 2013
- 90% of our research judged to be internationally recognised, excellent or world-leading
- Our current research funding portfolio stands at £14 million, supporting internationally excellent research in the bioscience

What will I learn?

MRes degree programmes are designed for graduates who are contemplating a research career and who may go on to study for a PhD or to a position in industry involving interaction with research scientists.

If these do not apply, you might consider an MSc programme (http://www.bath.ac.uk/bio-sci/postgraduate/)

For further information please visit our department pages (http://www.bath.ac.uk/bio-sci/)

Career opportunities

Since graduating, our students have gone on to employment or further research at institutions in the US, Europe, Australia, Asia and Africa.

Recent employers include:

Morvus-Technology Ltd
Janssen-Cilag
Royal United Hospital, Bath
Ministry of Defence
State Intellectual Property Office, Beijing
Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, Oxford University
AbCam
Salisbury Foundation Trust Hospital
BBSRC
Lonza

Find out more about the department here - http://www.bath.ac.uk/bio-sci/

Find out how to apply here - http://www.bath.ac.uk/science/graduate-school/taught-programmes/how-to-apply/

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Programme description. 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. Read more

Programme description

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.

Online learning

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.

Programme structure

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.

Courses

  • Professional Skills in Drug Discovery
  • Measuring Drug Binding
  • Structure Determination of Drug Targets
  • Introduction to Modelling Biological Systems
  • Systems Approach to Modelling Cell Signal Transduction
  • Molecular Modelling
  • High Throughput Drug Discovery
  • Commercial Aspects of Drug Discovery
  • Systems Approach to Modelling Cell Signal Transduction
  • In Silico Drug Discovery
  • Research Grant Proposal

Career opportunities

You will enhance your career prospects with marketable analytical and presentation skills.



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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. Read more

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).

Our Facilities

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.

Course content

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.

Course structure

Compulsory modules

  • Bioimaging 10 credits
  • Topics in Plant Science 10 credits
  • Practical Bioinformatics 10 credits
  • Plant Biotechnology 10 credits
  • High-throughput Technologies 10 credits
  • MSc Bioscience Research Project Proposal 5 credits
  • Research Planning and Scientific Communication 10 credits
  • Advanced Biomolecular Technologies 20 credits
  • Protein Engineering Laboratory Project 15 credits
  • Bioscience MSc Research Project 80 credits

For more information on typical modules, read Plant Science and Biotechnology MSc in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching

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.

Assessment

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.

Career opportunities

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:

  • GlaxoSmithKline
  • Ernst and Young
  • The Food and Environment Research Agency
  • The Health Protection Agency
  • MedImmune
  • Thermofisher Scientific
  • Hays Life Sciences
  • European Bioinformatics Institute
  • Smaller University spin-out companies, such as Lumora.

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.



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This programme will give you hands-on practical experience of both laboratory and bioinformatics techniques. You will also be trained in biotechnology research strategies. Read more
This programme will give you hands-on practical experience of both laboratory and bioinformatics techniques. You will also be trained in biotechnology research strategies. A strong practical foundation is provided in the first semester (Semester A) when you study two modules: 'Cellular Molecular Biology' and 'Core Genetics and Protein Biology'. These modules concentrate on the basic principles and the techniques used in modern molecular biology investigations, and on aspects of cellular molecular biology and development.

The second semester (Semester B) has a problem-based learning approach to the application of the knowledge you gained in Semester A. You will study two modules: 'Industrial Biotechnology' and 'Molecular Biotechnology'. These modules will give you an in depth understanding of the application of molecular biological approaches to the production of industrial and medicinal proteins. You will also learn how to apply and design industrial and environmental biotechnology processes, such as process kinetics and design, reactor design and oxygen transfer, sterilization kinetics and the application of biotechnology processes for the bioremediation of contaminated sites.

In the third semester (Semester C) you undertake a research project to develop your expertise further. The research project falls into different areas and may include aspects of fermentation biotechnology, genetic manipulation and protein engineering, bioinformatics, microbial physiology and environmental biotechnology.

Why choose this course?

-This course gives in-depth knowledge of biotechnology and molecular biology for biosciences or biological chemistry graduates
-It has a strong practical basis giving you training in biotechnology research strategies and hand-on experience of laboratory and bioinformatics techniques
-It equips you for research and development positions in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, as well as a wide range of non-research roles in industry
-Biosciences research facilities cover fermentation biotechnology, high performance liquid chromatography, (HPLC), cell culture, molecular biology and pharmacology
-There are excellent facilities for chemical and biomedical analysis, genetics and cell biology studies and students have access to the latest equipment for chemical synthesis and purification, PCR, qPCR and 2D protein gel analysis systems for use during their final year projects
-The School of Life and Medical Science will move into a brand new science building opening in September 2015 providing us with world class laboratories for our teaching and research. At a cost of £50M the new building provides spacious naturally lit laboratories and social spaces creating an environment that fosters multi-disciplinary learning and research

Careers

On successful completion of the programme you will be well qualified for research and development positions in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, to progress to a research degree or to consider non-research roles in industry such as management, manufacturing and marketing.

Teaching methods

The course consists of five modules including a research project:
-Cellular Molecular Biology
-Core Genetics and Protein Biology
-Industrial Biotechnology
-Molecular Biotechnology
-Biosciences Research Methods for Masters
-Research project

All modules are 100% assessed by coursework which includes in-course tests.

Structure

Core Modules
-Biosciences Research Methods for Masters
-Cellular Molecular Biology
-Core Genetics and Protein Biology
-Industrial Biotechnology
-Molecular Biotechnology
-Project-Mol Biology, Biotechnology, Pharmacology

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Our modular distance learning programme provides you with a grounding in the structure of proteins, and the main techniques that are used to study protein structure. Read more
Our modular distance learning programme provides you with a grounding in the structure of proteins, and the main techniques that are used to study protein structure.

Structural biology allows you to understand how macromolecules work at the atomic level of detail. This is important, particularly in designing drugs which act at the molecular level to affect macromolecules. Increasingly, research uses a range of complementary biophysical and structural techniques to study protein-protein interactions. This requires that researchers have some understanding of what all these techniques can achieve. This programme is designed to give the theoretical background required to use this range of methods.

Why study this course at Birkbeck?

Study by distance learning, wherever you are in the world, with our internet-based teaching.
Graduates are well placed to study for PhDs, start professional research careers, or change disciplines to encompass this important area of modern molecular biology.
Part of the Institute of Structural and Molecular Biology, a joint initiative with University College London.
Birkbeck houses state-of-the-art equipment for X-ray crystallography, cryo-electron microscopy and tomography and associated image processing. We have excellent facilities for UV and CD spectroscopy, calorimetry, fluorescence spectroscopy, ultracentrifugation, and protein expression and purification in the biochemical and molecular biology laboratories. We have a 158 processor cluster for intensive data processing. All areas have specialised computer equipment for data analysis, molecular graphics and molecular modelling and programming.

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If you have a Bachelors degree in the biosciences, biochemistry, pharmacy or biological chemistry and you want to develop specialist knowledge in molecular biology then this postgraduate programme is for you. Read more
If you have a Bachelors degree in the biosciences, biochemistry, pharmacy or biological chemistry and you want to develop specialist knowledge in molecular biology then this postgraduate programme is for you. It will allow you to gain new skills and enhance your employability in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries or allow you to progress to a research degree.

About the course

The MSc Molecular Biology will give you hands on practical experience of both laboratory and bioinformatics techniques. You will also be trained in molecular biology research strategies. A strong practical foundation is provided in the first semester (Semester A) when you will study two modules:
-Cellular Molecular Biology - This module aims to help you develop a systematic understanding and knowledge of recombinant DNA technology, bioinformatics and associated research methodology.
-Core Genetics and Protein Biology - This module will provide you with an advanced understanding of genetics, proteins, the area of proteomics and the molecular basis of cellular differentiation and development.

The second semester (Semester B) has a problem-based learning approach to the application of the knowledge you gained in Semester A. You will study two modules:
-Molecular Medicine - You will study the areas of protein design, production and engineering, investigating specific examples of products through the use of case studies.
-Molecular Biotechnology - You will gain an in-depth understanding of the application of molecular biological approaches to the characterisation of selected diseases and the design of new drugs for their treatment.

In semester C you will undertake a research project to develop your expertise further. The research project falls into different areas of molecular biology and may include aspects of fermentation biotechnology, cardiovascular molecular biology, cancer, angiogenesis research, diabetes, general cellular molecular biology, bioinformatics, microbial physiology and environmental microbiology.

Why choose this course?

-This course gives in-depth knowledge of molecular biology for biosciences graduates
-It has a strong practical basis giving you training in molecular biology research strategies and hand-on experience of laboratory and bioinformatics techniques
-It equips you for research and development positions in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, as well as a wide range of non-research roles in industry
-Biosciences research facilities cover fermentation biotechnology, high performance liquid chromatography, (HPLC), cell culture, molecular biology and pharmacology
-There are excellent facilities for chemical and biomedical analysis, genetics and cell biology studies and students have access to the latest equipment for PCR, qPCR and 2D protein gel analysis systems for use during their final year projects
-The School of Life and Medical Science will move into a brand new science building opening in September 2016 providing us with world class laboratories for our teaching and research. At a cost of £50M the new building provides spacious naturally lit laboratories and social spaces creating an environment that fosters multi-disciplinary learning and research

Careers

Graduates of the programme will be qualified for research and development positions in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, to progress to a research degree, or to consider non-research roles in industry such as management, manufacturing and marketing.

Teaching methods

The course consists of five modules including a research project. All modules are 100% assessed by coursework including in-class tests.
-Cellular Molecular Biology
-Core Genetics and Protein Biology
-Molecular Biotechnology
-Molecular Medicine Research
-Biosciences Research Methods for Masters
-Methods and Project

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The programme aims to provide students with training and learning opportunities in the skills and specialised knowledge needed to equip them for a career in biotechnology, molecular biotechnology or molecular biology, in particular in industry. Read more
The programme aims to provide students with training and learning opportunities in the skills and specialised knowledge needed to equip them for a career in biotechnology, molecular biotechnology or molecular biology, in particular in industry.

Practical skills will include sessions on fermentation, molecular biology, immunology, cell biology and protein chemistry, and you will go on to complete a major, supervised laboratory or computer-based research project.

Transferable skills gained via this programme will include written and oral presentation skills, statistics, and the ability to plan and write a grant application or a business plan. Subject-specific skills will include key techniques used in molecular biotechnology, specialist knowledge in theoretical and practical aspects of the subject, including: process engineering, molecular biology, functional genomics, 'omics' technologies, protein expression systems and antibody engineering. Practical skills will include fermentation, molecular biology, immunology, cell biology and protein chemistry.

Careers

While many graduates will go on to employment in biotechnology companies, you will also be employable in other life sciences industries or able to go on to further study and research.

About the School of Biosciences

As one of the top biosciences departments in the UK, our research covers the entire spectrum of cutting-edge biosciences. We are home to the Institute of Microbiology and Infection and part of the University’s Systems Science for Health initiative.
Our research focuses on a number of important themes that run through modern biological and biochemical research: Biosystems and Environmental Change; Microbiology and Infection; Molecules, Cells, Signalling and Health; and Plant Science.
Our postgraduate students join a diverse international community of staff and students. For students on research degrees, the annual Biosciences Graduate Research Symposium, organised by PhD students, is an example of an event where the whole School comes together to talk about science.
We have extensive high-technology facilities in areas such as functional genomics, proteomics and metabolomics, including a world-class Advanced Mass Spectrometry Facility. Our cutting-edge facilities extend to protein structure determination and analysis, confocal microscopy, drug discovery, horticulture, structural biology and optical imaging. The £8 million Phenome Centre Birmingham is a large metabolic phenotyping facility led by internationally recognised metabolomics and clinical experts at the University of Birmingham, in collaboration with Birmingham Health Partners.

Funding and Scholarships

There are many ways to finance your postgraduate study at the University of Birmingham. To see what funding and scholarships are available, please visit: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/funding

Open Days

Explore postgraduate study at Birmingham at our on-campus open days.
Register to attend at: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/visit

Virtual Open Days

If you can’t make it to one of our on-campus open days, our virtual open days run regularly throughout the year. For more information, please visit: http://www.pg.bham.ac.uk

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The MSc in Cancer Biology is for students who wish to gain an advanced education and training in the biological sciences, within the context of a disease that affects a large proportion of the global population. Read more
The MSc in Cancer Biology is for students who wish to gain an advanced education and training in the biological sciences, within the context of a disease that affects a large proportion of the global population.

The programme provides training in the modern practical, academic and research skills that are used in academia and industry. Through a combination of lectures, small-group seminars and practical classes, students will apply this training towards the development of new therapies.

The programme culminates with a research project that investigates the molecular and cellular basis of cancer biology or the development of new therapies under the supervision of active cancer research scientists.

Visit the website: https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/226/cancer-biology

About the School of Biosciences

The School of Biosciences is among the best-funded schools of its kind in the UK, with current support from the BBSRC, NERC, MRC, Wellcome Trust, EU, and industry. It has 38 academic staff, 56 research staff (facility managers, research fellows, postdoctoral researchers and technicians), approximately 100 postgraduate students and 20 key support staff. The school's vibrant atmosphere has expanded to become a flourishing environment to study for postgraduate degrees in a notably friendly and supportive teaching and research environment.

Research in the School of Biosciences revolves around understanding systems and processes in the living cell. It has a strong molecular focus with leading-edge activities that are synergistic with one another and complementary to the teaching provision. Our expertise in disciplines such as biochemistry, microbiology and biomedical science allows us to exploit technology and develop groundbreaking ideas in the fields of genetics, molecular biology, protein science and biophysics. Fields of enquiry encompass a range of molecular processes from cell division, transcription and translation through to molecular motors, molecular diagnostics and the production of biotherapeutics and bioenergy.

In addition to research degrees, our key research strengths underpin a range of unique and career-focused taught Master’s programmes that address key issues and challenges within the biosciences and pharmaceutical industries and prepare graduates for future employment.

Course structure

Each one-hour lecture is supplemented by two hours of small-group seminars and workshops in which individual themes are explored in-depth. There are practical classes and mini-projects in which you design, produce and characterise a therapeutic protein with applications in therapy.

In additional to traditional scientific laboratory reports, experience will be gained in a range of scientific writing styles relevant to future employment, such as literature reviews, patent applications, regulatory documents, and patient information suitable for a non-scientific readership.

Modules

The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This list is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation. Most programmes will require you to study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also have the option to take modules from other programmes so that you may customise your programme and explore other subject areas that interest you.

BI830 - Science at Work (30 credits)
BI836 - Practical and Applied Research Skills for Advanced Biologists (30 credits)
BI837 - The Molecular and Cellular Basis of Cancer (15 credits)
BI838 - Genomic Stability and Cancer (15 credits)
BI840 - Cancer Therapeutics: From the Laboratory to the Clinic (15 credits)
BI857 - Cancer Research in Focus (15 credits)
BI845 - MSc Project (60 credits)

Assessment

The programme features a combination of examinations and practically focused continuous assessment, which gives you experience within a range of professional activities, eg, report writing, patent applications and public health information. The assessments have been designed to promote employability in a range of professional settings.

Programme aims

This programme aims to:

- provide an excellent quality of postgraduate-level education in the field of cancer, its biology and its treatment

- provide a research-led, inspiring learning environment

- provide a regional postgraduate progression route for the advanced study of a disease that affects a high proportion of the population

- promote engagement with biological research into cancer and inspire you to pursue a scientific career inside or outside of the laboratory

- develop subject specific and transferable skills to maximise employment prospects

- promote an understanding of the impact of scientific research on society and the role for scientists in a range of professions.

Research areas

Research in the School of Biosciences is focused primarily on essential biological processes at the molecular and cellular level, encompassing the disciplines of biochemistry, genetics, biotechnology and biomedical research.

The School’s research has three main themes:

- Protein Science – encompasses researchers involved in industrial biotechnology and synthetic biology, and protein form and function

- Molecular Microbiology – encompasses researchers interested in yeast molecular biology (incorporating the Kent Fungal Group) and microbial pathogenesis

- Biomolecular Medicine – encompasses researchers involved in cell biology, cancer targets and therapies and cytogenomics and bioinformatics.

Each area is led by a senior professor and underpinned by excellent research facilities. The School-led development of the Industrial Biotechnology Centre (IBC), with staff from the other four other schools in the Faculty of Sciences, facilitates and encourages interdisciplinary projects. The School has a strong commitment to translational research, impact and industrial application with a substantial portfolio of enterprise activity and expertise.

Careers

A postgraduate degree in the School of Biosciences is designed to equip our graduates with transferable skills that are highly valued in the workplace. Our research-led ethos ensures that students explore the frontiers of scientific knowledge, and the intensive practical components provide rigorous training in cutting edge technical skills that are used in the modern biosciences while working in areas of world-leading expertise within the School.

Destinations for our graduates include the leading pharmaceutical and biotechnological companies within the UK and leading research institutes both at home and abroad.

Find out how to apply here - https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/apply-online/226

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Research in the School of Biosciences revolves around understanding systems and processes in the living cell. It has a strong molecular focus with leading-edge activities that are synergistic with one another and complementary to the teaching provision. Read more
Research in the School of Biosciences revolves around understanding systems and processes in the living cell. It has a strong molecular focus with leading-edge activities that are synergistic with one another and complementary to the teaching provision.

Our expertise in disciplines such as biochemistry, microbiology and biomedical science allows us to exploit technology and develop groundbreaking ideas in the fields of genetics, molecular biology, protein science, biophysics and computational biologoy. Fields of enquiry encompass a range of molecular processes from cell division, transcription and translation through to molecular motors, molecular diagnostics and the production of biotherapeutics and bioenergy.

Visit the website https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/1235/biochemistry

About the School of Biosciences

The School of Biosciences is among the best-funded schools of its kind in the UK, with current support from the BBSRC, NERC, MRC, Wellcome Trust, EU, and industry. It has 38 academic staff, 56 research staff (facility managers, research fellows, postdoctoral researchers and technicians), approximately 100 postgraduate research students and 20 key support staff. The school's vibrant atmosphere has expanded to become a flourishing environment to study for postgraduate degrees in a notably friendly and supportive teaching and research environment.

In addition to research degrees, our key research strengths underpin a range of unique and career-focused taught Master’s programmes that address key issues and challenges within the biosciences and pharmaceutical industries and prepare graduates for future employment.

Research areas

Research in the School of Biosciences is focused primarily on essential biological processes at the molecular and cellular level, encompassing the disciplines of biochemistry, genetics, biotechnology and biomedical research.

The School’s research has three main themes:

- Protein Science – encompasses researchers involved in industrial biotechnology and synthetic biology, and protein form and function

- Molecular Microbiology – encompasses researchers interested in yeast molecular biology (incorporating the Kent Fungal Group) and microbial pathogenesis

- Biomolecular Medicine – encompasses researchers involved in cell biology, cancer targets and therapies and cytogenomics and bioinformatics.

Each area is led by a senior professor and underpinned by excellent research facilities. The School-led development of the Industrial Biotechnology Centre (IBC), with staff from the other four other schools in the Faculty of Sciences, facilitates and encourages interdisciplinary projects. The School has a strong commitment to translational research, impact and industrial application with a substantial portfolio of enterprise activity and expertise.

Associated centres

- Kent Fungal Group

The Kent Fungal Group (KFG) brings together a number of research groups in the School of Biosciences that primarily use yeasts or other fungi as ‘model systems’ for their research. One strength of the KFG is the range of model fungi being exploited for both fundamental and medical/translational research. These include Bakers’ yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) and Fission yeast (Schizosaccharomyces pombe) and yeasts associated with human disease, specifically Candida albicans and Cryptococcus neoformans.

In addition to studying key cellular processes in the fungal cell such as protein synthesis, amyloids and cell division, members of the KFG are also using yeast to explore the molecular basis of human diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Creutzfeldt-Jakob, Huntington’s and Parkinson’s diseases as well as ageing. The KFG not only provides support for both fundamental and medical/translational fungal research, but also provides an excellent training environment for young fungal researchers.

- Industrial Biotechnology Centre

The School houses one of the University’s flagship research centres – the Industrial Biotechnology Centre (IBC). Here, staff from Biosciences, Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics, Computing and Engineering combine their expertise into a pioneering interdisciplinary biosciences programme at Kent, in order to unlock the secrets of some of the essential life processes. These approaches are leading to a more integrated understanding of biology in health and disease. In the Centre, ideas and technology embodied in different disciplines are being employed in some of the remaining challenges in bioscience. With such an approach, new discoveries and creative ideas are generated through the formation of new collaborative teams. In this environment, the IBC is broadening and enriching the training of students and staff in science and technology.

- The Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies of Reproduction (CISoR)

The centre comprises several like-minded academics dedicated to the study of reproduction in all its forms. Drawing on a range of academic disciplines, CISoR's core philosophy is that the study of this fascinating field will advance further through a multidisciplinary approach. Impactful, excellent research forms the basis of CISoR’s activities including scientific advance, new products and processes, contribution to public policy, and public engagement.

Careers

A postgraduate degree in the School of Biosciences is designed to equip our graduates with transferable skills that are highly valued in the workplace. Our research-led ethos ensures that students explore the frontiers of scientific knowledge, and the intensive practical components provide rigorous training in cutting edge technical skills that are used in the modern biosciences while working in areas of world-leading expertise within the School.

Destinations for our graduates include the leading pharmaceutical and biotechnological companies within the UK and leading research institutes both at home and abroad.

Find out how to apply here - https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/apply/index.html

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A Masters’ studentship is available in the group of Dr. Martin Schröder in the School of Biological and Biomedical Sciences at Durham University to study stress signaling mechanisms originating from the endoplasmic reticulum. Read more
A Masters’ studentship is available in the group of Dr. Martin Schröder in the School of Biological and Biomedical Sciences at Durham University to study stress signaling mechanisms originating from the endoplasmic reticulum. Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress contributes to the development and progression of many diverse diseases affecting secretory tissues, such as diabetes and neurodegenerative diseases. The successful candidate will employ modern genetic and molecular techniques to understand the underlying cell biological mechanisms in endoplasmic reticulum stress signaling that maintain the homeostasis of the endoplasmic reticulum.

The MRes student will investigate control of ER stress signaling specificity by the dosage of ER stress. You will use a range of molecular biology and biochemical techniques to study (a) how the severity of ER stress alters the signaling outputs of the ER stress sensing protein kinase-endoribonuclease IRE1 or (b) how ER stress regulates transcriptional responses through the Rpd3-Sin3 histone/lysine deacetylase (see for example Schröder et al., 2000; Schröder et al., 2004). These techniques include protein expression and purification, immunoprecipitation, chromatin immunoprecipitation, cloning, transfection, and RNA analysis by real-time PCR or Northern blotting.

Overall, the studentship will provide interdisciplinary training in molecular biology, genetics, and cell biology.

References

M. Schröder, Cell. Mol. Life Sci. 65 (2008) 862-894: Endoplasmic reticulum stress responses.
M. Schröder, C. Y. Liu, R. Clark, and R. J. Kaufman, EMBO J. 23 (2004) 2281-2292: The unfolded protein response represses differentiation through the RPD3-SIN3 histone deacetylase.
M. Schröder, J. S. Chang, and R. J. Kaufman, Genes Dev. 14 (2000) 2962-2975: The unfolded protein response represses nitrogen-starvation induced developmental differentiation in yeast.

To apply

To apply: send a CV including the names of two references and a one page personal statement describing clearly your background, interest and experience in scientific research to . In your cover letter you should clearly identify the funding source to cover living expenses, tuition fees and bench fees. Further information can be found at https://www.dur.ac.uk/martin.schroeder or by contacting Dr. Martin Schroeder.

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