Specialisation Biomedical Research

The biomedical research specialisation prepares gives you the opportunity to take part in cutting-edge research: from identifying and studying the function of genes involved in the development of diseases, the finding of specific treatments and drugs that can be used for genetic and other diseases, to diagnostic tests based on DNA and protein technology, drug targeting and controlled release. During this specialisation medical topics will be discussed from a biological, chemical and physical perspective. This knowledge will be put into practice during practicals on subjects as virology, immunotechnology and cell biology.

Research example

The image at the top of this page represents one of the cutting-edge research projects at the chair group of Microbiology. It shows the start of the revolution in gene technology, the gene editing qualities of CRISPR systems such as CRISPR-Cas9. The petri dishes describe how the E. coli CRISPR-Cascade complex can attack DNA using a crisprRNA (crRNA), which can be harnessed to target any DNA sequence based on specifically designed crRNA. This is one of the examples of research topics discussed during the Biomedical Research specialization.

Courses

The specialisation biomedical research has a compulsory course, General medicine. You will need to choose a deepening course, however you can always opt to do more. All details can be found in the study handbook, but some characteristic courses of this specialization are shortly explained below:

Research Methods Microbiology

In this research methods course, the chair group of Microbiology offers a set of experiments based on on-going ecological, physiological and genomics research at their laboratory. Besides the practical part, theoretical background and objectives of the experiments are explained. Each student participates in three experiments: one with a molecular-physiological focus, one with a molecular-ecological focus and one with focus on microbe-host interactions. Students work in small groups, and use advanced techniques in microbiology, molecular biology and bioinformatics.

General Medicine

This course offered by the chair group of Human Nutrition and Health aims to offer more insight into reasoning in the medical field and forms a compulsory basis for students interested in a career in the biomedical research field. The course consists of a variety of medical cases introduced during discussion lectures by medical specialists. During these lectures students are invited to actively participate and ask questions about these cases. Additionally, students work in small teams in which they discuss some of the presented cases more in depth. Students are also introduced to how medical doctors examine and diagnose patients.

Molecular virology

Starting from the molecular structure of the virus particle, the genomic structure and genetic information of viruses, and molecular processes leading to their multiplication are discussed. Some of the processes examined include: cell recognition, viral disassembly, genome expression and replication, specific viral gene functions for molecular control (anti-apoptosis, host shut-off) of the infected cell, and virus translocation. Furthermore, antiviral strategies such as vaccines and chemotherapeutic are examined, and considerable attention is given to the biotechnological application of viruses, for instance as expression vectors.

Thesis

The MSc thesis forms the core of your specialization, reflected in the value of 36 ECTS. Your thesis will be part of the research of one of the chair groups of Wageningen University. The research groups that offer thesis projects within this specialization are listed below, and you can get more the details on their respective websites.

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