Experimental approaches to the study of biological systems are shifting from hypothesis driven to hypothesis generating research. Large scale experiments at the molecular scale are producing enormous quantities of data ("Big Data") that need to be analysed to derive significant biological meaning. For example, monitoring the abundance of tens of thousands of proteins simultaneously promises ground-breaking discoveries. In this unit, you will develop specific analytical skills required to work with data obtained in the biological and medical sciences. The unit covers quantitative analysis of biological systems at the molecular scale including modelling and visualizing patterns using differential equations, experimental design and data types to understand disease aetiology. You will also use methods to model cellular systems including metabolism, gene regulation and signalling. The practical program will enable you to generate data analysis workflows, and gain a deep understanding of the statistical, informatics and modelling tools currently being used in the field. To leverage multiple types of expertise, the computer lab-based practical component of this unit will be predominantly a team-based collaborative learning environment. Upon completion of this unit, you will have gained skills to find meaningful solutions to difficult biological and disease-related problems with the potential to change our lives.
Two 1-hour lectures; one 3-hour practical session on a weekly basis
One 3-hour final exam (50%), three 45-minute quizzes (20%), one 5-minute presentation (10%), laboratory assessment and practical book (20%)
An Introduction to Systems Biology: Design Principles of Biological Circuits, Uri Alon, (Chapman and Hall/CRC, 2007). Systems Biology, Edda Klipp, Wolfram Liebermeister, Christoph Wierling, Axel Kowald, Hans Lehrach, and Ralf Herwig, (Wiley-Blackhall, 2009). Molecular biology of the cell, Alberts B et al (6th edition, Garland Science, 2015) Discovering Statistics Using R, Andy Field (2012, SAGE Publications Ltd). Computational and Statistical Methods for Protein Quantitation by Mass Spectrometry, Martens L et al (Wiley, 2013)
Basic concepts in metabolism; protein synthesis; gene regulation; quantitative and statistical skills