Some courses in this minor will go into greater depth in certain topics (Toxicology, Molecular Principles of Brain Disorders) and Innovative Cell Biology and Immunology will show you, hands on, how immunological research is performed and interpreted. The course Antimicrobial Compounds: From Clinical Use to Target Analysis and Drug Development will show you how interdisciplinary research may disclose new drug targets and lead to drugs for clinical use. The minor is advanced and interdisciplinary and is a good preparation for various master programs.
Explore more about biology and health
The emergence and spread of antimicrobial resistance in pathogens is a major health threat that is often discussed in the media. Yet, the development of new antibiotics with new working mechanisms only decreased over the past decades. Why is the generation of new antimicrobials so difficult? This course aims to offer understanding in the interaction of microbial pathogens with their host and how infections with these pathogens can be treated. The use of antimicrobials as well as the rational of antimicrobial guidelines associated with antibiotic/antimicrobial resistance will be discussed. Furthermore, the emerging problems of antibiotic resistance, the discovery of new antibiotics and the process of bringing these new compounds into the clinic will be covered.
Innovative Cell Biology and Immunology
The main goal of this course is to introduce students to the current techniques used and also to introduce them to novel methods and models under development within academia and industry. This will include animal models, human organoid models and organ-on-chip models together with a multitude of analysis methods. Hands-on experience with several techniques will be included. The practical training is based around the theme of allergic contact dermatitis and includes immunohistochemistry on skin biopsies, chemical exposure of reconstructed human skin models and ELISA, as well as chemical exposure of dendritic cells and flow cytometry analysis.
The aim of this course is to introduce students to the scientific field of toxicology. Topics that will be addressed include toxicokinetics, endocrine disruption, neurotoxicology, and genotoxicity. Compound groups that will be studied include natural toxins and pharmaceuticals, but also industrial chemicals, metals, and pesticides. Exposure assessment will be illustrated with examples from human biomonitoring studies. Toxic effects will be discussed at different levels of biological organization ranging from the molecular initiating event to the adverse outcome at population level. Following this framework of adverse outcome pathways (AOPs), the contribution of omic-techniques in the unraveling of such pathways will be discussed. Different levels of toxicity testing will be covered ranging from in silico and in vitro studies to in vivo animal studies and epidemiological studies. Finally, the course will address how quantitative toxicity data are used in risk assessment procedures to derive threshold doses for toxic compounds to which we are exposed through different routes of exposure (food, drinking water, air, soil, house dust, consumer goods, working place, etc.).
Molecular Principles of Brain Disorders
Our brain enables us to perform even the most complex tasks. Sometimes however, diseases of the brain compromise its optimal function. In this course students learn what the clinical manifestations are of the neurological and psychiatric diseases, and what type of cellular or animal models are around to learn us more on how disturbed processes and systems in the brain lead to these illnesses and that may provide us with clues on treatment options. Various treatments options for these conditions, including the use of pharmacological agents and deep brain stimulation will be discussed. We will focus on two different themes: Neurodegenerative disorders and Psychiatric disorders.
The minor can be completed by choosing a course that is part of another science minor for which you fulfill the requirements for admission (consult the TER of your study programme).