Bioengineering and -omics

This minor focuses on learning cutting edge technique of gene editing CRISPR CAS9. Students work on real-life projects and learn how to design and execute CRISPR experiment. During the project students prepare knock-out mammalian cells for testing the possible targets for cancer therapy.

Following this course students will enrich their portfolio with the expertise of independent design and execution of molecular cloning experiments, big data interpretation and reporting. Knowledge and skills obtained during this course can improve the student’s chances during job interviews, especially when requests are focused on working in the research group as biotechnology analysts.

Overview

Study start

  • February

Location

  • Leeuwarden

Language

  • English

European credits

  • 30 EC's

Minor type

  • For specific bachelor programmes

Subject area

  • Technical

Minor content

Within the spectrum of activities of bioengineering CRISPR CAS9 (genome editing technique) takes the lead in many directions. Genetic manipulation can be used to let cells produce new molecules and/or to knock out genes encoding for proteins, thus allowing to obtain knowledge about cell metabolism. This minor focuses on learning and applying the technique of CRISPR CAS9 and on exploring its consequences using –omics (genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics) approach. Students work on real-world project: knocking-out gene in mammalian cells in order to study possible target for cancer therapy, such contributing to sustainable development goal of Good health and well-being.

To obtain desired result, cloning strategy will be first designed and further carried out in the laboratory. Students will analyse the consequences of the genetic manipulation and perform functional studies of obtained cells. This course is intended to mimic the practice of a research group. Students are responsible for their own research and report the results by weekly meetings/presentations to the rest of the research groups (students) and their group leaders (lecturers). Additionally, students are motivated to discuss with their the class mates current findings in the bioengineering and –omics field via presenting selected research articles.

Structure of the minor

Course consists of six parts: A (Theory): 160 hours, B (Practical instructions in the laboratory): 88 hours, C (Research proposal): 166 hour, D (Laboratory assignment): 290 hours, E (-Omics Journal club): 108 hours, F (Self-reflection): 28 hours. Students get 30 EC when successfully finalizing all the parts of the course. 

Competencies: Experimenting, level II; Researching, level II

Learning goals:

  • Students will be able to orientate in the field of genetic engineering;
  • Students will be able to perform predesigned CRISPR CAS9 experiment and design their own CRISPR CAS9 gene editing project;
  • Students will be able to set up a research proposal and execute the practical part in the laboratory;
  • Students will be able to use Clone Manager software and online tools to visualize cloning strategy;
  • Students will be able to interpret and report data obtained from molecular cloning and software tools;
  • Students will be able to interpret data obtained from research articles.

The project in this course is developed in cooperation with the University of Chemistry and Technology in Prague. Students will receive guest (international) lectures about their research topic and about legislation and ethics of GMO, and visit biotechnological company during organized excursion. As a closing moment of this course, students will present their results at self-organized congress.

Recommended literature for the course is:

  • Thomas A., Thrive in Genetics, Oxford University Press, 2013, ISBN: 9780199694624
  • Primrose S.B. and Twyman R.M., Principles in Gene Manipulation and Genomics, John Wiley And Sons Ltd, 2006, ISBN: 9781405135443

Examination

To pass, the results of each examination part must be ≥ 5.5 (grading 0.1-10) and/or “sufficient”.

Students are graded based on six assessments:

  • Part A: written exam (open and multiple choice questions).
  • Part B: assessed by the attendance (mandatory), commitment, and a presentation.
  • Part C: assessed by Research proposal and presentation (sufficient/insufficient).
  • Part D: assessed by the midterm and end-term assessment (MTA and ETA) and by the poster presentation.
  • Part E: assessed by the attendance, article analysis and presentations (mandatory) (sufficient/insufficient).
  • Part F: assessed by the reflection report written on student function/role in the minor Bioengineering and  -omics (sufficient/insufficient).

Admission requirements

This course is suitable for motivated students of biotechnology, biomedical sciences and forensic sciences having an interest in learning latest techniques of molecular cloning (CRISPR CAS9) and in learning a holistic understanding of the CRISPR landscape and its future potential.

Following this course gives students exceptional opportunity to experience the newest techniques of molecular cloning. Holistic approach of investigating the challenges of molecular cloning and its influence on the metabolism of the cell and expression profile will deepen the student’s knowledge in molecular biology.

To start the minor student has to have minimum of 75 EC related to Life Sciences & Technology and successfully completed courses of Molecular Biology (or similar courses involving topics of cell, biochemistry, molecular biology), including the basic skills in  molecular cloning. Foreign students are asked to deliver the proof of successfully completed course of safety work in biology/microbiology laboratories. The documents proving the student eligibility must be send to email martina.sura@hvhl.nl in electronical version: Overview of current status of obtained ECs together with the list of courses from which the ECs were obtained.

Questions?

Do you have questions about this minor? Ask them via the online form.