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Module

BIO8041 : Antimicrobial Discovery

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr James Stach
  • Owning School: Natural and Environmental Sciences
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0

Aims

The aim of this module is to demonstrate various routes to the discovery of antimicrobial products with commercial value. The module aims to familiarise students with a number of different approaches that have been undertaken in the search and discovery of antimicrobial compounds and to give students the practical skills to search for novel antimicrobial compounds.

Summary
This is an exciting time for those biologists involved in the search and discovery of novel antimicrobial products: the advent of genomics and post-genomic techniques has provided biologists with a number of research avenues that may lead to the discovery of novel products from microbial sources.

This module is designed to introduce students to such developments. The course uses a mixture of lectures and practicals to introduce contemporary approaches to antimicrobial drug discovery.

Outline Of Syllabus

The module comprises lectures that are delivered offline, with follow-up question and answer lectures to support the offline content. These lectures will comprise open discussion of topics, review of material, and discussion of papers and research in the lecture area. Students are encouraged to use the module blog to raise questions, suggest review areas and highlight interesting research. In addition, any recent advances in the area (papers) are used as the basis of extending learning within the question and answer sessions. The lecture series will cover:

1. Introduction to antimicrobials
2. Antibiotics from viruses
3-4. Antisense approaches to antimicrobial discovery
5. Genomics approaches to antimicrobial discovery
6. Antifungal discovery
7. Microarrays and drug discovery
8. Designing antimicrobials
9. Polypharmacology
10. Synthetic biology and drug discovery

Teaching Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials101:0010:00Online lecture materials via Canvas
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion21:303:00Non synchronous multiple choice tests
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion130:0030:00Practical lab report completion
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical13:003:00PiP practical at outstation
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical12:002:00PiP practical at outstation
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading100:305:00Reading of research papers
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study90:203:00Preparation and reflection on scheduled sessions
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study341:0034:00Lecture follow-up
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk101:0010:00Synchronous module talk
Total100:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The online lectures are based around specific research papers that demonstrate various techniques used in discovery. Students will become aware of the overall "search and discovery" ethos and be able to design discovery orientated research. The practicals introduce the laboratory techniques used to implement such research. The overall rationale is to equip students with theoretical and practical ability to discover novelty from microbial systems.

Assessment Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Practical/lab report2M40Practical report
Written exercise2M30Online MCQ test
Written exercise2M30Online MCQ test
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The practical laboratory test assesses necessary skills and insights: how research techniques that are described in the lectures are applied.

The online MCQ tests will test the students' progress with the content of the module and offer them feedback on their progress.

Reading Lists

Timetable