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MMB8053 : Enabling Technologies and Methodologies for Biomedical Research

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Annette Meeson
  • Co-Module Leader: Professor Andrew Filby, Dr Alex Laude
  • Lecturer: Dr Steven Lisgo, Dr Penny Lawton, Dr Rachel Queen, Professor Michael Taggart, Professor Matthias Trost, Dr Jonathan Coxhead, Dr David McDonald
  • Owning School: Biomedical, Nutritional and Sports Scien
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System


The module aims are to:

1.       Provide students with a concise theoretical and practical understanding of high-level technologies and
methodologies such as imaging, proteomics and genomics, that underpin nearly all aspects of biomedical
2.       To link technologies to relevant, high impact and wide-appeal use cases where they have driven new
biomedical discoveries and linked to understanding human health and disease.
3.       To support students to be equipped for a broad range of future opportunities including research projects
within the MRes programme, PhD programmes and careers in research facilities both within academia and

Outline Of Syllabus

This module will introduce the students to a number of technologies. It will include Imaging which will be a combination of taught components and practical experience (including some non-compulsory sessions) and is supported by a workshop on:

Exploring Electron Microscopy and volume EM workshop and two lectures where imaging has been used to support research. Other technologies that will be covered include, Metabolomics as lectures and two workshops. Proteomics delivered as a series of lectures that will cover the Basics in Mass Spectrometry and Proteomics (these will be delivered jointly alongside the postgraduate development program). Sequencing and bioinformatics will also be delivered as a series of lectures that will cover, Sequencing Technologies and Applications, and the basics of bioinformatics. We will also introduce students to Spatial transcriptomic technologies. To flow cytometry as both a lecture and a virtual practical on data analysis.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion135:0035:00Preparation and submission of essay
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture32:006:00Present in person lectures
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture121:0012:00Present in person lectures
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion148:0048:00Preparation and submission of report
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical11:001:00Synchronous online practical
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops32:006:00Present in person workshops
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study189:0089:00Independent study
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk31:003:00Synchronous online
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Successful research requires the understanding of what individual technologies need to be employed to address specific questions. This needs to be further support by understanding what type of data can be generated and how this is best analysed and presented. This module will provide students with the knowledge of best practice in understanding why certain technologies have been used in research and give them the ability to critically assess if the approaches used are appropriate and guide them toward recognising and solving issues around data reproducibility. In addition, the students will have the opportunity to gain some practical experience. This combination of practical skill and understanding will provide the students with more confidence in using technologies and interpreting data. Workshops will provide the opportunity for formative feedback on material covered.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M401500 word essay based on a published article that will be provided
Report1M602000 word report
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The purpose of this module is to enable students to understand the importance of the employment of the correct technologies to answer specific research questions and that by doing so how research can progress whether it be scientific, clinical or industrial. The essay assignment will give students experience in assessing why certain technologies were employed in a research study and if they feel this was successful or not.
In addition, for the report the students will be provided with a biological question and ask to consider what technologies they would employ to address this question, what is their rationale for the choices of technologies, what data will they generate and what are the possibly limitations?
These assignments will collectively, in combination with the taught content and practical experience, give the students skills in best practice in understanding and employing technologies for research progression. These skills will be valuable in their future career development.

Reading Lists