• Class Number 6351
  • Term Code 3160
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • AsPr Brendan McMorran
    • AsPr Brendan McMorran
    • Prof Christopher Nolan
    • Dr Dan Andrews
    • Prof Elizabeth Gardiner
    • Dr Gaetan Burgio
    • Dr Nathalie Dehorter
    • AsPr Riccardo Natoli
    • Dr Rippei Hayashi
    • AsPr Tamas Fischer
    • Dr Yvette Wooff
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 26/07/2021
  • Class End Date 29/10/2021
  • Census Date 14/09/2021
  • Last Date to Enrol 02/08/2021
SELT Survey Results

This course will extend the Genetics of Human Disease I course, focussing on more advanced topics of human genetics and disease. We will examine the genetics of non-This course focusses on understanding genetic and molecular causes of important human diseases. Recent advances in human genomics, genome-editing and molecular therapeutics are enabling unprecedented understanding and treatment of many important human diseases. Using a range of specific diseases as examples, this course will examine how genetic and genomic technologies may be applied to elucidate disease mechanisms and develop therapies.  It will also cover contemporary and advanced concepts in human genetics that extend on topics taught in BIOL3204/6204 Genetics of Human Disease, such as genome evolution, gene-environment interactions, mutation prediction, and genetic regulation and genome editing. The course is taught largely by medical researchers working at the John Curtin School of Medical Research, and the topics incorporate their own specific research interests.


We will cover topics including:

• Disorders and diseases affected the pulmonary, blood, endocrine, vision and neurological systems.

• Genomic analysis tools for mutation prediction and generation, including genome editing.

• Impact of disease on genome evolution.

• Genetic approaches to treating disease.

Note: Graduate students attend joint classes with undergradutes but are assessed separately.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Explain and evaluate how genetic mutations cause disease and variable phenotypes in humans.
  2. Describe the genetic basis of specific diseases, how genetics assists in understanding pathophysiology and treatment options, and differentiate the current knowledge gaps.
  3. Explain the concept and evidential basis of selective pressure, and illustrate how selection affects disease gene frequency and inheritance.
  4. Review and critically evaluate web-based and literature-based resources in the field of human disease genetics and pathophysiology.
  5. Understand and apply theories in the bioinformatic study of genes and disease-causing mutations.

Recommended student system requirements 

ANU courses commonly use a number of online resources and activities including:

  • video material, similar to YouTube, for lectures and other instruction
  • two-way video conferencing for interactive learning
  • email and other messaging tools for communication
  • interactive web apps for formative and collaborative activities
  • print and photo/scan for handwritten work
  • home-based assessment.

To fully participate in ANU learning, students need:

  • A computer or laptop. Mobile devices may work well but in some situations a computer/laptop may be more appropriate.
  • Webcam
  • Speakers and a microphone (e.g. headset)
  • Reliable, stable internet connection. Broadband recommended. If using a mobile network or wi-fi then check performance is adequate.
  • Suitable location with minimal interruptions and adequate privacy for classes and assessments.
  • Printing, and photo/scanning equipment

For more information please see https://www.anu.edu.au/students/systems/recommended-student-system-requirements

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • written comments
  • verbal comments
  • feedback to whole class, groups, individuals, focus group etc

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Overview This course will explore in detail several different human diseases with a genetic basis and advanced concepts in human genomics. You will learn about: Diseases affecting the lung, brain and neurological systems, vision, erythrocytes and platelets, and metabolic conditions such as diabetes. In each disease, details on the underlying genetics and pathogenesis, and how genetics helps our understanding of pathophysiology, management and treatment. Examples of gene-environment interactions, human genetic evolution, and new concepts in genome function. Conceptual and introductory training in important human genome analysis technologies, including gene-editing (CRISPR-Cas9) and computational approaches for mutation detection. Individual topics will be taught by research group leaders working at the JCSMR, who are experts in their topics.
2 COURSE SCHEDULE is tentative and subject to change Lectures and Tutorials: Topics as below. Timetable will be posted and updated continually: please refer to Wattle for updated schedules.
3 Topics The course is comprised of nine different topics taught over one or two weekly blocks. Each week requires attendance (or viewing) of three lectures (1 hour each) and participation at a tutorial (2 hours). Tutorials will be either classroom-based Q&A and discussion, or computer or laboratory-based practicals led by the respective topic lecturer. Provisions will be made for remote-learning students using Zoom in all teaching sessions and/or worksheets. Topics will be assessed by online multi-choice questions (set at the conclusion of each topic block), two exams (mid-semester and end of semester), two assignments relating to specific topics, and a special topic essay. The topics include: Erythrocytic diseases Genetic brain disorders Inherited bleeding disorders DNA repair and disease. liquid-liquid phase separation and disease Vision genetics Diabetes Genome analysis - variant discovery and annotation. Genome editing Asessment Task 1: Two separate assignments relating to specific topics. Assessment Task 2: Online multiple choice questions on all lecture topics. Assessment Task 3: Mid-semester exam (on Term 1 lecture topics taught in weeks 1-6) Assessment Task 4: End of semester exam (on Term 2 lecture topics taught in weeks 7-12). Assessment Task 5: Special topic essay.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Topic assignments 20 % * * 1,2,3,4
Online multiple choice questions on each topic 13 % * * 1,2,3,4,5
Mid-semester exam 28 % 24/09/2021 08/10/2021 1,2,3
End-of-semester exam 27 % 04/11/2021 02/12/2021 1,2,5
Special topic essay 12 % 18/10/2021 29/10/2021 2,4

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the Academic Integrity . In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.


Students are strongly encouraged to actively participate throughout the course, particularly with respect to attendance/engagement at lectures and tutorials, and using the Wattle forum and chat functions. All in-room lectures and tutorial sessions will also use Zoom to facilate remote live engagment, and will be recorded and posted to Wattle. Additional face-to-face meetings via video conferencing may also be arranged if required.

To pass this course you must achieve an overall mark of 50% or more, including all assessments. Students are not required to pass the written exams. Students who achieve a final result of 45-49% for the course will be offered supplementary exam.

Refer to ANU Supplementary exams rules at the following site: http://www.anu.edu.au/students/program-administration/assessments-exams/supplementary-exams.

If the supplementary examination is passed, the final result will be 50PS. If the supplementary examination is failed, the final result will be N.”


Mid-semester exam is scheduled for Week 7. The date time and location will confirmed by course convenor and on the Wattle site.

End of semester exam is scheduled during the end of semester exam period by University Exams Office. Please check the ANU Final Examination Timetable http://www.anu.edu.au/students/program-administration/assessments-exams/examination-timetable to confirm the date, time and location.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 20 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Topic assignments

Topic assignments

Read and understand prescribed research papers on the assignment topic. Provide and submit written answers to a set of questions based on the analysis and interpretation of these papers.

Value: 20%

Estimated submission due date: TBA

Estimated return date: One week after submission.

There are 2 topic assignments due this semester.

Please refer to the Wattle site for the Assignment submission dates

Assessment Task 2

Value: 13 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

Online multiple choice questions on each topic

Multiple choice questions will be posted on Wattle during the week of each topic. Students are required to answer the questions within 1 week of posting.

Value: 1.25% per topic for submitting and correctly answering all questions by the due date (13.5% total for the course).

Estimated due date: One week following each respective topic.

Estimated return date: Within two days of due date.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 28 %
Due Date: 24/09/2021
Return of Assessment: 08/10/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Mid-semester exam

Students will be required to answer questions relating to topics taught during Weeks 1-6.

Example questions will be provided in the lead up to the exam.

The exam will be scheduled during Week 7 and run as an online exam.

There will be no lectures scheduled for Week 7 to assist with study time.

Value: 27.5%

Assessment Task 4

Value: 27 %
Due Date: 04/11/2021
Return of Assessment: 02/12/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,5

End-of-semester exam

Students will be required to answer questions relating to topics taught during Weeks 7-12.

Example questions will be provided in the lead up to the exam.

The exam will be scheduled after the conclusion of Semester 2 during the University exams period and run as an online exam.

Value: 27.5%

Assessment Task 5

Value: 12 %
Due Date: 18/10/2021
Return of Assessment: 29/10/2021
Learning Outcomes: 2,4

Special topic essay

Students will write an essay discussing a contemporary topic in human genetics. Further details on the topic choice, essay requirements and submission date will be posted on Wattle .

Value: 11.5%

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically, committing to honest and responsible scholarly practice and upholding these values with respect and fairness.

The ANU commits to assisting all members of our community to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle and Academic Misconduct Rule, uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with.

The Academic Misconduct Rule is in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Very minor breaches of the academic integrity principle may result in a reduction of marks of up to 10% of the total marks available for the assessment. The ANU offers a number of online and in person services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. Visit the Academic Skills website for more information about academic integrity, your responsibilities and for assistance with your assignments, writing skills and study.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Individual assessment tasks may or may not allow for late submission. Policy regarding late submission is detailed below:

  • Late submission not permitted. If submission of assessment tasks without an extension after the due date is not permitted, a mark of 0 will be awarded. Late submission will not be permitted for the online quizzes.
  • Late submission permitted. Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Returning Assignments

Assignments and essays will be returned to students via Wattle.

The exact return date will be posted on the Wattle site.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. Extensions may be granted for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Resubmission of Assignments

Resubmission of assignments and essays will not be allowed.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

AsPr Brendan McMorran
6125 7182

Research Interests

AsPr Brendan McMorran

AsPr Brendan McMorran

Research Interests

AsPr Brendan McMorran

Prof Christopher Nolan
6174 5311

Research Interests

Prof Christopher Nolan

Dr Dan Andrews

Research Interests

Dr Dan Andrews

Prof Elizabeth Gardiner

Research Interests

Prof Elizabeth Gardiner

Dr Gaetan Burgio

Research Interests

Dr Gaetan Burgio

Dr Nathalie Dehorter

Research Interests

Dr Nathalie Dehorter

AsPr Riccardo Natoli

Research Interests

AsPr Riccardo Natoli

Dr Rippei Hayashi

Research Interests

Dr Rippei Hayashi

AsPr Tamas Fischer

Research Interests

AsPr Tamas Fischer

Dr Yvette Wooff

Research Interests

Dr Yvette Wooff

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions