Development of a short course on molecular techniques with application for the aquaculture industry

Elliman, Jennifer, Burgess, Graham, Owens, Leigh, Ariel, Ellen, La Fauce, Kathy, and Govan, Brenda (2011) Development of a short course on molecular techniques with application for the aquaculture industry. In: Australasian Scientific Conference on Aquatic Animal Health. From: First Australasian Scientific Conference on Aquatic Animal Health , 5-8 July 2011, Cairns. (Unpublished)

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The trend for diagnosis of diseases in the arena of both human and animal health has long been moving in the direction of molecular technology. By identifying the pathogen on a molecular level, we not only achieve a fast and reliable diagnosis, but we are also able to make meaningful conclusions as to the origin of the organism and thereby its molecular epidemiology and pathogenicity. In the current climate, the challenge is to provide people with the appropriate skills and knowledge base to undertake molecular diagnostic and research applications. There is a general lack of trained staff and a specific lack of Microbial Molecular Epidemiology in the Australian diagnostic and research field. Such skills are valuable and relevant for existing staff and new students in this industry, both external to a degree or as part of a degree.

In 2010 a discussion between several microbiologists at James Cook University identified a need for formalised training in Microbial Molecular Epidemiology and Analysis. A short intensive course was suggested as the most efficient use of resources as this also lends itself to involvement by professionals for continuing professional development. We would like to provide a certain number of places in this intensive to professionals to schedule-in an upgrade of their skills without being too expensive on their time. The intensive will be organised so the students and professionals will have to interact and the students, by default, will learn where their skill set can take them.

This is a vocationally oriented subject aimed at providing practical training for students, future professionals and current professionals with a microbial research and/or diagnostic focus. The subject introduces the molecular techniques with respect to microbial epidemiology and analysis. It covers both underlying theory and practical application.

Areas that the student will be exposed to include quality assurance and measures of error, pipette maintenance, genetic techniques such as nucleic acid extraction, PCR and cloning and computer assisted analytical techniques such as primer design, sequence and SNP analysis, whole genome and next generation sequencing, database searches, testing the validity and robustness of phylogenetic data and identification of markers of microbial pathogenicity and virulence. The examples used in the subject will be from both aquatic and terrestrial disease systems, with students able to select the sample type most closely relating to their field of interest.

The course will have been carried out in June 2011 for the first time, utilising graduate students and staff from several schools within the university as well as external personnel. From this we will have received feedback on aspects of the course such as usefulness, comprehensibility and any topics that are not covered that students would have liked to have worked through. We hope to also find out from attendees at the 1st Australasian Scientific Conference what aspects of molecular microbial techniques they would most like to see in a short course structure.

Item ID: 28668
Item Type: Conference Item (Presentation)
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Date Deposited: 15 Aug 2013 05:53
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0605 Microbiology > 060503 Microbial Genetics @ 50%
13 EDUCATION > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130212 Science, Technology and Engineering Curriculum and Pedagogy @ 50%
SEO Codes: 93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9303 Curriculum > 930302 Syllabus and Curriculum Development @ 80%
93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9302 Teaching and Instruction > 930201 Pedagogy @ 20%
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