BIOTECH 7050 - Protein Purification: Principles and Practice

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2023

Recombinant proteins offer ever-increasing commercial value to medicine and science, as pharmaceuticals, medical diagnostics, and as research tools. They also find more industrial applications as enzymes for energy production, cleaning, and waste management. Generation of high-value recombinant proteins requires specialised techniques to separate, or purify, the protein from the cells they are produced in. In this predominantly practical-based course, students will use and compare a range of protein purification techniques, such as affinity and ion exchange chromatography and gel filtration to produce a selected purified recombinant protein. Throughout the course, you will be introduced to protein handling and separation science in the laboratory, while complementary lectorials will reinforce the theories and procedures that are essential for protein purification. The skills acquired in this course will be applicable to a variety of industries, including biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and research institutions.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code BIOTECH 7050
    Course Protein Purification: Principles and Practice
    Coordinating Unit School of Biological Sciences
    Term Semester 2
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 7 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Restrictions Available to students enrolled in the Master of Biotechnology (Biomedical), the Master of Biotechnology (Biomedical) (Advanced), the Master of Biopharmaceutical Engineering and the Graduate Certificate in Biotechnology (Biomedical) only
    Assessment Assessment of laboratory proficiency, laboratory note-book, practical reports, peer assessment, and tests
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Kate Wegener

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

    1.   Demonstrate sound knowledge of current protein purification techniques used in biomedical research and the biotechnology industry
    2.   Demonstrate practical laboratory skills in chromatography and protein purification.
    3.   Document laboratory procedures and data effectively in an electronic notebook.
    4.   Interpret and critically analyse experimental data relating to protein purification.
    5.   Effectively communicate results and conclusions to a broad audience.

    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)

    Attribute 1: Deep discipline knowledge and intellectual breadth

    Graduates have comprehensive knowledge and understanding of their subject area, the ability to engage with different traditions of thought, and the ability to apply their knowledge in practice including in multi-disciplinary or multi-professional contexts.


    Attribute 2: Creative and critical thinking, and problem solving

    Graduates are effective problems-solvers, able to apply critical, creative and evidence-based thinking to conceive innovative responses to future challenges.


    Attribute 3: Teamwork and communication skills

    Graduates convey ideas and information effectively to a range of audiences for a variety of purposes and contribute in a positive and collaborative manner to achieving common goals.


    Attribute 4: Professionalism and leadership readiness

    Graduates engage in professional behaviour and have the potential to be entrepreneurial and take leadership roles in their chosen occupations or careers and communities.


    Attribute 5: Intercultural and ethical competency

    Graduates are responsible and effective global citizens whose personal values and practices are consistent with their roles as responsible members of society.


    Attribute 7: Digital capabilities

    Graduates are well prepared for living, learning and working in a digital society.

    2, 3, 4, 5

    Attribute 8: Self-awareness and emotional intelligence

    Graduates are self-aware and reflective; they are flexible and resilient and have the capacity to accept and give constructive feedback; they act with integrity and take responsibility for their actions.

  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    No specific text book is required. A laboratory practical manual specific to the course with detailed experimental methodology will be provided. Suggested reading lists, journal articles, and web sites will be provided as required.

    Online Learning

    Course resources as provided including video/audio recording of lectures and copies of PowerPoint slides, as well as additional reading/recommended texts

    As specified during the course
    Scientific literature and journal articles

    Students will be given access to LabArchives for electronic note taking
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes

    This course will be delivered by the following means:
    1  x 1 hour lecture per week
    1  x 6 hour practical session per fortnight

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.
    Contact Hours (48 hours)
    Lectures 12 x 1 = 12 hours
    Practicals 6 x 6 = 36 hours

    Non-contact Hours (108 hours)
    Weekly reading/other study hours per lecture = 24 hours
    Preparation for practicals 2 hour per fortnight = 12 hours
    Preparation of lab-notebooks = 12 hours
    Report = 36 hours
    Test preparation= 24 hours

    Total = approximately 156 hours
    Learning Activities Summary

    The course involves undertaking practical experience of protein purification using a variety of chromatographic techniques, including affinity, ion exchange, hydrophobic interaction, and size exclusion chromatography. Students will record their activities and results in an e-notebook and analyse and present their results as a report suitable for industry or a research field. Understanding of the techniques will be demonstrated through two written tests, conducted during the course.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment  Task Type Due Weighting Learning Outcome
    Laboratory proficiency Formative and Summative Week 12 10 1,2
    E Notebook Formative and Summative Week 12 10 2,3
    Tests Formative and Summative Week 6/12 40 1,4
    Practical Reports Formative and Summative Week 7/12 40 1,4,5
    Report peer assessment Formative Week 8 0 1,4,5
    Assessment Detail

    Students will carry out a series of wet laboratory based practical sessions to purify a number of proteins. Students will be asked to compare the advantages and disadvantages of the different methods used.

    Laboratory Proficiency (total of 10%)
    Students will be assessed on their knowledge of key laboratory skills via quizzes following the laboratory sessions (10%). This will ensure students are proficient with the techniques used.

    E Notebook (10%)
    Students will submit electronic notebook entries at the end of each practical session and will be assessed on their submissions (10% total). Feedback will be given after the first entry. This will allow students to improve their laboratory and record keeping skills.

    Practical Reports (40%).
    Students will prepare an initial 2000 word report on the purification of one protein at the end of week 6 (15 %). This interim report will give students feedback on their report writing skills that they can utilise in the writing of their final 4000 word report (week 13, 25%). 

    Tests (40%)
    Tests will be used to assess student understanding of the experimental theory and methods that they have learned in lectures and carried out in the practical sessions. These will be given in weeks 6 and 12 (2 x 20% of final grade).

    Late Submission
    If an extension is not applied for, or not granted then a penalty for late submission will apply. A penalty of 10% of the value of the assignment for each calendar day that the assignment is late (i.e. weekends count as 2 days), up to a maximum of 50% of the available marks will be applied. This means that an assignment that is 5 days late or more without an approved extension can only receive a maximum of 50% of the marks available for that assignment.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

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