Masters degrees in Molecular Biology offer advanced study of the structure and function of macromolecules (such as proteins and acids) which are essential in the biological processes of living organisms. Focus is given particularly to the chemical reactions within cells, and the role of DNA in determining biological states.
Specialisms and related subjects include Cell Biology, Molecular Pathology as well as branches of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Genetics. Entry requirements normally include an undergraduate degree.
In understanding the molecular mechanics of an organism, you open a realm of possibility in understanding its health, biological environment, and possible uses for either the organism itself or its biological outputs. For example, you may wish to study how plant molecules form vaccines against disease, or how certain animals survive in extreme environments.
You will explore practices in genetics, such as DNA sequencing and bioinformatics, to examine patterns within genetic material and their influence on biological functions. Activities such as lab testing, bioimaging, and 3D modelling are also a key component.
Careers are highly varied, but may include roles within industries such as agriculture, pharmaceuticals, and bioengineering. Molecular Biologists often undertake consultancy within government agencies and NGOs.
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Molecular biology and genomics play an increasingly important and exciting role in research on medically important parasites and arthropods, and this award provides advanced training in this field. It provides an important foundation of knowledge of the basic biology of parasites and vectors, followed by specialised modules on the molecular and cellular biology and functional genomics of parasites and vectors, as well as related public health, and tropical health issues. There is a significant practical component throughout the programme, and the laboratory work undertaken provides a wide range of techniques that would be highly relevant to a future research career. Following the taught component, participants complete a dissertation including a period of applied research either overseas or in Liverpool.
LSTM education courses are taught within a dynamic environment by staff working at the cutting-edge of research in tropical medicine and global health. They are designed to enable the professional development of the student, to be relevant to students from both the UK and overseas and to promote approaches to study that will enable students to continue their learning into the future.
This course aims to:
Equip students with the knowledge and practical skills to develop a career in molecular research in parasitology or vector biology.
Provide practical experience of a range of specialised technical and analytical skills relevant to the study of the molecular biology of parasites and disease vectors.
Enable students to conduct independent research in the laboratory and/or field.
Produce graduates who are experienced, committed, informed, proactive and effective professionals, capable of taking substantial and leading professional roles.
Facilitate high quality learning that is informed by critical analysis of current research.
Develop independent and reflective approaches to study that will enable graduates to continue to learn in the future.
Many alumni of LSTM hold prominent positions in health ministries, universities, hospitals, and international organisations throughout the world. Graduates are competitively placed to begin PhD programmes, seek employment as research assistants, work in developing countries with a wide variety of employers, or return to previous employers with enhanced knowledge and skills with which to advance their existing careers. Graduates of the MSc Molecular Biology of Parasites and Disease Vectors have undergone excellent general preparation for a career in laboratory research in biological sciences, in which molecular biology is widely applied, and are particularly well placed for careers in research or training in areas related to the molecular biology of parasitic and vector-borne tropical diseases.
Professor Mark Taylor "Parasitology at LSTM studies how best to treat and control parasitic diseases such as malaria and the Neglected Tropical Diseases. We cover the entire spectrum of translational research from the discovery of new drugs, vaccines and diagnostics through to large scale global programmes aimed at eliminating diseases such as elephantiasis and river blindness. In addition to the traditional parasites and their vectors, we also work on other important tropical diseases such as snakebite, arboviruses, and tuberculosis."