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Pathogen Host Interactions



May 14 - June 8, 2018.

Admission requirements

  1. The course will be given at level 500, expanding on knowledge acquired in the first and second-year Bachelor courses Pathogen Host Interactions (from 2016 on called: Infectious Agents and Immunity) and second year Bachelor course Immunology.
    1. Students should have a good/basic understanding of immunology, e.g. The Immune System (third/fourth edition) by Parham P, Garland Science. Chapter 1 to 14.
    2. Students should have at least 3-4 months of experience working in a research laboratory, i.e safe microbiological techniques, experience with cell culture, pipetting, basic lab calculation, etc
    3. Some experience in writing a research proposal and presenting a research proposal orally. Successful completion of the Master course How To Write A Research Proposal is strongly recommended.


Content of the course:
The main theme of this advanced course is a detailed understanding of the complex interactions between pathogens and the human host (cells). It is expected that biomedical research into these interactions will lead to new therapies against infectious diseases. This course will provide detailed insights into the latest developments in fundamental biological research aiming at understanding the complex interactions between pathogens and host cells as well as into some aspects of today’s clinical practice.

The first week will consist of plenary seminars by experts in the field, an extensive literature study (complex reviews) on interactions between pathogens and host (cells), three journal clubs, and a minisymposium on Pathogen Host Interactions with Societal Impact.
In this week, students will get a detailed insight into three topics:

  • (Myco) Bacteriology

  • Virology

  • Parasitology
    In addition, a one-day visit to the Biomedical Primate Research Center in Rijswijk is included.

In the 2nd en 3rd week an intensive 8-day in-lab training is offered. This intensive in-lab training period consists of both theoretical and practical work, and the students, in groups of 2 or 3, will become familiar with the various aspects of the scientific research of the group. The students will write a report on their findings.
During this period the student will have familiarised her/himself with the various topics allowing her/him to prepare a research proposal in the field of the topic of choice in the last week. As this assignment is very intensive, students will start with their research proposal in week 2 of this course.

In week 4 students will present their proposals orally and submit them in writing.

This course will particularly focus on:
Research competences:
In-lab training related to a research project, defining a research question, writing a research proposal, analyzing data, choosing appropriate techniques, integrate different biomedical disciplines, implement new research tools, multi-tasking abilities.
Professional competences:
Collaborating with peers, digesting of other people’s opinions, reflecting on personal actions, presentation skills.

Course objectives

The students will obtain a broader and deeper insight into:

  • several topics of scientific research within the Center of Infectious Disease (CID) of the LUMC.

  • how current challenges in the field of the research project of choice can be identified.

The students are able to:

  • identify targets for therapy of infectious diseases

  • to formulate a hypothesis regarding these infectious disease problems and to prepare a research proposal including an experimental design

Mode of instruction

Plenary seminars provided by experts in the field, self-study assignments and interactive discussion s between students and tutors as detailed in the course book, practical work in the form of mini-projects.

Assessment method

Overall assessment is based on participation in the three journal clubs, the quality of the lab work, written report of in-lab trainings; the writing, presentation and defence of a research proposal, and the overall student attitude during the course (motivation, independency, oral reporting, participation in lab-work and scientific discussions).