Molecular Microbiology


Course Objective

Overall the students will obtain in-depth theoretical knowledge of
various microbiological topics, including the techniques applied to
investigate those topics. Furthermore, the Laboratory research project
intends to learn students to combine theory, and experimental approaches
to answer research questions that are related to the topics discussed in
the theoretical part of the course. For that purpose, the complex
molecular processes in the bacterial cell serve as central theme. The
emphasis is on structure
and function of the cell envelope, its role in bacterial pathogenesis
and vaccine development.
At the end, the students are able to understand and know:
• Fundamental molecular processes that are important for growth,
functioning and pathogenicity of micro-organisms.
• Practical and experimental approaches in molecular microbiology,
immunology, bacterial DNA technology, protein techniques.

Course Content

This course consists of two parts:
1. A theoretical series of 12 lectures (24h contact)
2. A laboratory project of 3 weeks.

1. The Lectures focus on bacterial processes that enable them to
colonize and survive in their niches, which can be an underlying cause
for bacterial infections . A major topic is the biogenesis of the
complex cell envelope of Gram-negative bacteria, because this bacterial
compartment is directly involved in contact with the environment and
plays a pivotal role in host-pathogen interactions.

2. The Research project involves a small experimental project in which a
group of 3-4 students collaborate to solve a research question of a
microbiological topic. The topics are provided by the project
supervisors and closely connected to the research lines of the
Department of Molecular Microbiology. The project involves three stages:
- writing a Research Proposal that discusses the research question to
investigate and the experimental strategy chosen to solve it (week 1; 3h
- The actual experimental work in the Laboratory (week 2 and 3; 70h
contact [full-time, so full days])
- preparing and presenting a presentation on the results of the project
in a symposium (3h contact).

Teaching Methods

Theory; Lectures series
Research project: in a small group with a supervisor planning and
conducting a research project in the laboratory of that supervisor. The
full participation in the laboratory project is obligatory (requires
full days).

Method of Assessment

Deliverables for the course are:
- A written Research proposal (25%)
- A presentation at a symposium (25%)
- A written exam on the lectures series (50%; this mark should be at
least 5,0 to pass the complete course)


Brock, Biology of Microorgamisms, Twelth Edition. Madigan, Martinko
DunLap Clark and Parker, Pearson Education, Inc., 2009

Each Lecture will be supported by a concise review on the topic, but
also includes data and insights of the lecturer. For the Lectures a list
of reviews is provided. These are updated yearly to keep the course up-
to-date. The list will be published on the Canvas site prior to the
start of the course.

Target Audience

Students of Minor Biomolecular Sciences and of other Minors with
biomolecular or biomedical background that can use this course as
optional course.

Additional Information

Guest Lecturer: Dr. P. van der Ley; Laboratory of Vaccine Research,
National Institute of Health and the Environment, Bilthoven.

Course with a lot of direct contact with the professors, associate and
assistant professors, PhD's and postdocs.

Custom Course Registration

Maximum number of participants: 44

General Information

Course Code AB_470610
Credits 6 EC
Period P3
Course Level 300
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Faculty of Science
Course Coordinator dr. J.P. van Ulsen
Examiner dr. J.P. van Ulsen
Teaching Staff dr. J.P. van Ulsen
dr. R.J.M. van Spanning
prof. H. Lill
dr. S. Luirink
dr. M.P. Bergman
prof. dr. W. Bitter
dr. E.N.G. Houben
drs. C.P. Kuijl

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Last-minute registration is available for this course.

Teaching Methods Lecture, Computer lab, Practical, Symposium