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Mechanisms of Disease


Admission requirements

Advice: elementary knowledge of Cell Biology, Cell Signaling and Molecular Biology.

Contact information

Coordinator: Dr. B. Ewa Snaar-Jagalska


The aim of this course is to get a good understanding of the molecular mechanisms of human disease, in particular cancer (oncogenes, tumor suppressors, chromosomal abbreviations and genome instability), infectious disease (tuberculosis, Salmonella infection), diabetes, neuronal-stress disorders, developmental disorders and ageing.

Learning goals

Course objectives:
The goal of this course is to generate a good knowledge on the cell-cell communication, how the signal transduction events underlie various pathological processes and how this knowledge can be applied to develop better treatment strategies of human diseases.
The lectures will be given by the experts from the field providing excellent knowledge from the lab table but also giving opportunity to learn the topography of scientific research in the Netherlands.

Final qualifications:
Students will improve their skills concerning the literature study, understanding of challenging lectures on the modern scientific topics, comparing and executing them to own knowledge, writing short assessments based on the own study, formulating scientific questions, discussing and presenting their knowledge in the group.


26 October 2015 – 20 November 2015
The lectures will be given mostly in the morning and the afternoons are meant for self-study on a daily basis. In the last week of the course students will give their own presentation on a chosen topic and prepare for the examination. Participation in lectures is obligatory and this is a full time course.

Mode of instruction

A series of obligatory lectures provided by invited specialist speakers will be combined with own literature self-study. The students will have to write a short summary on the topic of the lecture before and subsequently formulate a few questions after the lectures.

Assessment method

  • PowerPoint presentation.

  • Written examination requesting knowledge of lectures and the following pages from Alberts: 879-941, 946-954, 1103-1109, 1208-1223, 1230-1265, 1446-1450, and 1485-1491, 1507-1508, 1512.

Grade will be calculated as 70% examination (min 5,0 is obligatory) plus 30% power point presentation and other tasks


The course information, time table and study material will be available via Blackboard.

Reading list

  • Lectures

  • Recommended: Alberts et al, Molecular Biology of the Cell, 5th edition 2008, Garland Science NY

  • Additional literature required for the lectures and own power point presentation on a chosen topic.


Via USIS and enroll in Blackboard

Exchange and Study Abroad students please see the Prospective students website for more information on how to apply.


Course can be followed by Biology MSc and by LST, BFW, BMW MSc students, but please realize this is a difficult course asking your interest and commitment.