MICR5831 Molecular and Cellular Microbiology

6 points
(see Timetable)

If this unit does not have an online alternative, then students who are presently unable to enter Western Australia and whose studies would be delayed by an inability to complete this unit, should contact the unit coordinator (details given on this page) to ascertain, on an individual case-by-case basis, if alternate arrangements can be made to support their study in this unit.

Semester 2UWA (Perth), QEII Medical CentreFace to face Predominantly face-to-face. On campus attendance required to complete this unit. May have accompanying resources online.
The unit deals with the molecular and cellular basis of disease caused by infectious agents. Students gain an understanding of the molecular basis of the interactions between microbes and the host, and learn how these interactions result in disease. The unit describes how molecular strategies are used to dissect mechanisms of pathogenesis and immune responses to the pathogen, and how an understanding of such processes is applied to the development of new vaccines and antimicrobials. The unit also includes strong theoretical and practical components dealing with the basis of molecular technologies that are applied in laboratory diagnosis and epidemiology.
Students are able to (1) describe the basic structure and function of bacteria and viruses; (2) explain the theoretical basis of molecular techniques such as polymerase chain reaction (PCR), DNA cloning, sequencing and the expression and purification of recombinant proteins; (3) demonstrate the practical application of molecular techniques in the laboratory competently; (4) explain how such techniques are applied to the investigation of pathogenesis, diagnostics, epidemiology and vaccinology; (5) explain aspects of the molecular basis of bacterial and viral pathogenesis; and (6) explain the basis of innate and adaptive immunity and how they are applied to the development of vaccines against infectious diseases.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) continuous assessment and (2) a two-hour end-of-semester examination. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is available for those students who obtain a mark of 45 to 49 inclusive in this unit.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Associate Professor Charlene Kahler
Unit rules
enrolment in the Master of Infectious Diseases
Contact hours
lectures: 2 hours per week; practical classes/assignments: 3 hours per week
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.