Spring 2021 - MBB 438 D100

Human Molecular Genetics (3)

Class Number: 2614

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu, Th 10:30 AM – 12:20 PM

  • Prerequisites:

    MBB 331, with a minimum grade of C.



Recent advances in human molecular genetics including genome analysis, gene therapy, genetic testing, and studies of genetic disorders.


Course Description

This course will focus on recent advances in human molecular genetics. This lecture and seminar course will cover the topics listed below and will integrate primary research papers into the topics.

Lecture Topics:

1. Human genetic disease inheritance
2. Molecular analysis of single gene disorders
3. Genetic analysis of complex disease
4. Gene therapy
5. Gene testing
6. Cloning and stem cells
7. Animal models of human diseases
8. Ethical considerations of human genetics
9. Genetically modified organisms and food


  • Three non-cumulative exams (25% each) 75%
  • Short science communication paper 10%
  • Homework assignments and class participation 15%


  • Lectures:  blended (synchronous lectures, attendance is not mandatory; recorded and available online for asynchronous viewing)
  • Assessments:  synchronous midterm exams (students must take exams during scheduled class time), blended; both synchronous (mandatory attendance) and asynchronous assessments
  • Final exam:  synchronous (held during scheduled class time)



  • Access to high-speed internet
  • Computer preferably with webcam


Human Molecular Genetics by Strachan and Read and Genetics and Genomics in Medicine by Strachan et al. are excellent recommended references for the material. We will also be reading papers from the primary literature.

Department Undergraduate Notes:

  • For help with writing, learning and study strategies please contact the Student Learning Commons at
  • Students requiring accommodations as a result of a disability, must contact the Centre for Accessible Learning (778-782-3112 or e-mail:  caladmin@sfu.ca)

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in spring 2021 will be conducted primarily through remote methods. There will be in-person course components in a few exceptional cases where this is fundamental to the educational goals of the course. Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112).