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2021/22 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

MEDM5101M Research Informatics and Dissemination

15 creditsClass Size: 50

Module manager: Dr Lucy Stead
Email: L.F.Stead@leeds.ac.uk

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2021/22

Pre-requisite qualifications

As per programme entry qualifications

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

This module provides an overview of, and some training in, the fundamental skills needed to effectively acquire, interpret and communicate information in the context of biomedical scientific research. The course is separated into two main components which introduce and enable the development of: 1) the more generic, transferable skills needed to specifically assimilate and disseminate scientific knowledge; 2) the use of computational biology databases and tools that aid in the interpretation and understanding of biomedical research results and their placement within the wider context of the field.

Objectives

1. To enable students to develop a range of generic verbal and written transferable skills relevant to dissemination of Molecular Medicine research findings.
2. To provide a wide-ranging experience of the use of knowledge-acquisition resources relevant to Molecular Medicine including the use of computational resources and tools.

Learning outcomes
1. Design and implement a sensitive and specific bibliographic search strategy to capture literature relevant to a defined Molecular Medicine topic;
2. Deduce key information from written and verbal scientific communications;
3. Summarise and synthesise scientific material in writing, verbally and as posters.
4. Explain in detail basic computational biology concepts;
5. Evaluate and use multiple computational tools and databases appropriate to the study of DNA and proteins in the context of Molecular Medicine;

Skills outcomes
• How to use databases and genome browsers: getting information about genes, their function and their association with disease
• How to investigate genetic variation in silico: identifying mutations in the clinical setting and querying databases of known natural (and disease causing) genetic variation
• How to use computational tools to assess functional impact: determining the potential effect of a genetic variation of unknown clinical significance
• How to investigate protein structure in silico: resources for inspecting potentially disease-causing changes to protein structure, and function.


Syllabus

The generic skills will be taught via seminars on:
• How to identify (literature search strategies) and critique scientific research
• How to present your research orally
• How to design and present a scientific poster
• How to write a scientific research paper (including referencing and publication ethics)
The computational resources will be taught via lectures and workshops on:
• Databases and genome browsers: getting information about genes, their function and their association with disease
• Genetic variation: identifying mutations in the clinical setting and querying databases of known natural (and disease causing) genetic variation
• Assigning function: determining the potential effect of a genetic variation of unknown clinical significance
• Protein structure: resources for inspecting potentially disease-causing changes to protein structure, and function.
This module also requires attendance at seminars and subsequent submission of a summary of at least 7 of these.

Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Poster session12.002.00
presentation22.004.00
Class tests, exams and assessment12.002.00
Lecture41.004.00
Practical43.0012.00
Seminar71.007.00
Tutorial41.506.00
Independent online learning hours60.00
Private study hours53.00
Total Contact hours37.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Private study

Skills tutorials after which the students will be expected to:
• Perform online literature searchers, developing search strategies and identifying material to critique, with further reading for how to do this (1 x 5 hours online; 1 x 8 hours private study).
• Consolidate the information on the IMRD format for publication writing and the purposes and models used within these sections to develop their own model for a provided abstract (1 x 10 hrs private study)
• Prepare oral and poster presentations (3 x 5 hrs online and 3 x 5 hours private study)
Computational biology lectures and practicals which will require consolidation of the concepts taught (4 x 5 hrs private study) and practicing and developing computational skills in their own time (4 x 10 hrs online).

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Exercises set at the end of each of the first 3 skills tutorials will be used for formative feedback and will constitute:
1. A 500-word critique of a research article (learning objectives: Design and implement a sensitive and specific bibliographic search strategy; Critically evaluate key information; Deduce key information from written scientific communications; Summarise and synthesise scientific material in writing) to be submitted within 2 weeks
2. Identifying a model for writing scientific abstracts (learning objectives: Summarise and synthesise scientific material in writing) to be submitted within 2 weeks
3. A practice oral presentation (5 minutes presenting and 2 minutes for questions) to be given 2 weeks later (learning objectives: Summarise and synthesise scientific material verbally)
Exercises completed during all four computational biology practicals will be collectively marked with formative feedback at the end of those sessions.
Attendance is now monitored at internal sessions. External seminar attendance is monitored through provision of a log book (see assessment)

Methods of assessment

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information


Coursework
Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Oral Presentation7 min + 3 min questions20.00
Poster PresentationA1 poster 5 min presentation + 3 min questions20.00
In-course AssessmentComputer-based practical workbook to be completed in student's time30.00
Computer ExerciseComptuer-based practical workbook to be completed independently within 2-hour session30.00
Reflective logNotes on 7 research seminars0.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

The reflective log is a Pass or Fail exercise. It is a summary of at least 7 research seminars, attended throughout the term, and must be submitted in order to pass the module. If students have not attended 7 such seminars they will have the log returned and will not pass the course until the full number have been attended and summarised. The in-course assessment computer exercise is a workbook, to be completed in the student’s own time, that will assess understanding of computational biology concepts and ability to complete computational biology tasks that were taught in the first 2 blocks of 1 hr lecture+3 hr practical workshop. Compensation applies.

Reading list

There is no reading list for this module

Last updated: 13/09/2021

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