‘Omics’ technologies allow the components of a living organism to be appreciated in their entirety by providing insight into gene expression, protein synthesis and function and metabolic networking. This course builds upon concepts presented in third year courses (e.g. BCHM 315/3.0, BCHM 316/3.0, BCHM 310/9.0) by covering the basic principles of proteomics and metabolomics and their application in the new systems biology ‘omics’ approach to scientific discovery. This course will emphasize both the methodologies used in proteomics and metabolomics, as well as their applications in both research and medical diagnostic settings.
For BHSc students
Minimum 4th year (Level 4) standing and BCHM 218/3.0, BCHM 270/3.0 and BMED 370/3.0 or permission from the instructor.
For non-BHSc students
BCHM 315/3.0 and BCHM 316/3.0 or BCHM 310/9.0 or permission of the instructor.
After completing BMED 482, students will be able to:
- Describe what proteomics and metabolomics are, including how they differ from other emerging ‘omics fields, to identify the significance they carry in scientific research. (PLO 8; Assessment 1–5)
- Understand the basis of proteomic and metabolomic techniques and their limitations to be able to create scientific arguments as to whether or not they can be applied to a specific problem. (PLO 8; Assessment 1, 3–4)
- Identify the types of information that proteomic and metabolomic techniques provide, and how these techniques can become more powerful when combined with complementary methods. (PLO 8; Assessment 1, 3–5)
- Develop an appreciation of how online databases can be used as tools in the comprehensive analysis of the results gained from metabolomic and proteomic methods discussed. (PLO 8; Assessment 1, 3)
- Gain a comprehensive understanding of how the proteomic and metabolomic methods can be used in both the study and diagnosis of disease states in order to apply them to their own research endeavors. (PLO 8; Assessment 1, 3–5)
- Communicator (Assessment 1–5)
- Advocate (N/A)
- Leader (N/A)
- Scholar (Assessment 1, 3–5)
- Professional (Assessment 1–5)
- Collaborator (Assessment 5)
All assessments will be graded using marking rubrics.
Each assessment corresponds to a program learning outcome (PLO) and course learning outcome (LO), as indicated in brackets.
Assessment 1 – Module Discussion Board Series (LO 1–5)
Each module will have an associated assigned scientific paper with guiding questions. These will be the basis of a discussion with peers regarding ‘big picture’ concepts in proteomics and/or metabolomics.
Assessment 2 – Discussion Board Contribution and Response (LO 1)
Students will discuss the contributions of proteomics/metabolomics to our understanding of the human genome, and how it challenges earlier theories in genomics. This information provides a basic understanding of the relevance of proteomics and metabolomics, preparing the student for the remainder of the course.
Assessment 3 – Proteomics and Metabolomics in Disease Research (LO 1–5)
Students will review primary literature and critique certain methods used to understand proteomics/metabolomics in the context of disease. The ability to read and critique scientific literature to form well-supported arguments will provide students with analytical skills required in medical, scientific, and policy related careers. Students will also apply course content to design a novel experiment to extend the current knowledge base, a useful research-related skill.
Assessment 4 – Mass Spectrometry Technique Comparison (LO 1–3, 5)
In this assessment, students will compare and contrast two scientific studies on the same disease or research problem which utilize different types of mass spectrometry techniques. Students will determine which technique was more effective at solving the research problem, and identify and propose technical solutions to gaps in the research in a comparative report targeted for their peers.
Assessment 5 – Group Presentation and Peer Review (LO 1, 3, 5)
Students will work in small groups to produce an asynchronous, narrated presentation for their peers. By applying course content and conducting additional research in the primary literature, students will evaluate the contributions of proteomics and metabolomics in relation to a specific health condition, disease or drug response. Each group will then provide feedback to their peers’ presentations as well as conduct an internal group peer review.
9–10 hours a week (108–120 hours per term).
Textbooks and Materials
- BMED 482 course notes via modules posted online.
- Relevant primary literature and review articles will be provided by the instructor pertaining to specific modules.