In vivo skills Masters Programme

Lead Research Organisation: University of Birmingham
Department Name: Clinical and Experimental Medicine


Instruction for a Home Office Personal Licence - ethical and legal issues, animal handling, some surgical skills. Module 1 Generic research training (10 credits) - a broad training programme via a lectures course for all students within the College of MDS Graduate School, includes professional skills, ethics, intellectual property, statistics, communication and interpersonal skills. Module 2 Generic training for in vivo research (10 credits) - seminars develop an understanding of the integrative nature of in vivo responses, different conceptual approach required in data acquisition, issues around experimental artefact and translational research, emphasising that the biologically-relevant value of mechanisms studied at the molecular and cellular levels can only be revealed by studying the intact animal. The technology available for in vivo experimentation, statistical design and data handling, consideration of Systems Biology and the 3Rs. Module 3 Basic practical training in in vivo ethos (20 credits) - real-time recording of simultaneous data streams, developing a critical sense of observation, improving manual dexterity, recognising sources of interference/artefact, trouble shooting. Students take measurements of several physiological parameters and the effects of stimuli that perturb them, first on themselves, then progress to isolated organs. Group analysis of pooled data provides experience of statistical analysis with real data. Industry sponsored elements include short courses on invasive recording and biotelemetry, plus guest lectures and laboratory placements. Module 4 Practical training in molecular and cellular methods (20 credits) - introductory lectures on specific methodologies followed by practical application in the laboratory covering molecular biology and proteomic techniques as a research tool, and use of genetically modified rodents. Designed to enable students to demonstrate an understanding of the scientific basis and appropriate use of the research tools available to study problems in molecular medicine and cell biology. Module 5 'Taster' projects (30 credits) - students experience 'live' research with six 1-week placements in laboratories. They follow the in vivo research, receive training and assessment of practical competence in selected techniques, observe the in vivo ethos in action, etc. Students submit 1 in depth plus 5 short, less detailed reports (rationale for the research, aim of the experiments, techniques employed, data obtained, problems encountered and their resolution). Module 6 - Research project (90 credits) - in depth full time research project in an in vivo laboratory leading to a substantial piece of research assessed by thesis and oral or poster presentation. Projects offered in the following areas: Neuroscience, Cardio-respiratory sciences, Tissue regeneration and repair, Stem and progenitor cells in health and disease. Overall Learning Outcomes - practical and theoretical knowledge of in vivo techniques, ethics, statistics etc. measured by essays, practical write-ups, project reports, literature reviews and presentations, weighted according to overall course objectives. Health and Safety - students are screened by Occupational Health, and must have current Hepatitis B vaccination. If sensitisation to animal tissue develops, they may divert into the Molecular and Cellular Medicine pathway for the final project. Outreach activities, pastoral care etc. - student allocated an academic Mentor and postgraduate 'buddy' to facilitate integration into the wider PG body, is a member of the UoB and College Graduate Schools, is offered career development courses by the Postdoctoral Training and Career Development Programme (PTCDP), training courses in media communication (e.g. UAR) etc. Guidance on Career progression - career paths in academia (PTCDP); industrial options (lectures from major Pharmaceutical companies); commercialisation of university research; scientifi


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