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Pathogen Host Interactions


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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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
  4. 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.


Period: 13 May 2019 - 7 June 2019

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

Student is able to:

  • Display knowledge of, and insight in, Pathogen Host Interactions during journal clubs and in written assignments

  • Explain an scientific article in his/her own words

  • Analyse experimental data

  • Propose new ideas for a research project

  • Write a research proposal based on the knowledge acquired

  • Reply to questions about presented data

  • Perform experiments independently after a short instruction

  • Revise the research proposal and lab report based on feed-back obtained from tutors

  • Collaborate with peers to present at the journal club, during lab work and when writing lab report

  • Ask subject-related questions about data presented by others

  • Propose new ideas for a research project

  • Ask subject-related questions about data presented by others

  • Collaborate with peers to present at the journal club, during lab work and when writing lab report


All course and group schedules are published on our LUMC scheduling website or on the LUMC scheduling app.

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.

Course load

Total course load is the amount of EC’s multiplied with 28 hours.

Assessment method

Summative assessment:
1) Journal club

2) In lab training:
2a) Practical work
2b) Written report

3) Research proposal:
3a) Oral presentation
3b) Written proposal


Blackboard will be used during this course.

Reading list

Will be distributed during the course.


Registration for FOS courses, H2W, Scientific Conduct, How to start, Course on Animal Science , and CRiP and Adv concepts courses takes place in lottery rounds in the beginning of July. After the lottery rounds: if you want to register for a course you are kindly asked to contact the student administration at