Toxicology and Neurodevelopment

2019-2020

Course Objective

To obtain knowledge about human development, as well as the effects of
toxicological agents on the life-time course of human development (pre-
and post-natal, including adolescence). Specifically, we study important
cascades of genes that play a pivotal role in development and that can
be disturbed due to toxicological agents. Furthermore, we will focus on
how this information can be related to detection of toxicological agents
using state-of-the-art molecular techniques. The course is a combination
of plenary lectures, hands-on practical work using zebra fish embryos, a
workshop on gene expression analyses, and a visit to the collection of
the ‘Vrolik Museum’ at the Amsterdam Medical Center (AMC).

Course Content

In the first week basal knowledge about human development (meiosis,
mitosis, fertilization, first weeks of development) and toxicology
(dose-response curves, bioassays, biotransformation) is given. Then,
using examples of different model organisms, we will take a closer look
at prenatal development (embryonic and fetal) of various organs and the
influence of teratogens, such as industrial by-products and agents of
substance abuse (nicotine, cocaine). You will even test the consequences
of such teratogens yourself on the well-known model of zebra fish
development.
Furthermore, we focus on signaling
cascades that are important and that can be perturbed by these agents.
As such, we will go into genomics techniques to determine the effect of
these agents at the cellular level. In the third week, we will check out
the development of the brain and concentrate on cognitive aspects of
postnatal development (from birth to teenage) and agents that could
influence our abilities at this late stage of development.
Practicals include normal and perturbed embryonic development of zebra
fish, and a bioinformatics workshop on measurement of gene expression
levels of relevant genes that target body axes and limb formation.
We will visit the Dutch 'Vrolik' collection of embryos and anatomical
abnormalities in the AMC;
be surprised of how much you have learned already in week 3 of the
course!
All and all, integration of the knowledge gathered from the practical
and the workshops is
assessed by an oral presentation.

Teaching Methods

Lectures, practicals and small meetings for discussion

Method of Assessment

Presentation practicals (30%), and written exam (70%). For both, it is
required to obtain a minimum grade of 5.0 to pass, and a final grade of
≥ 5.5.

Literature

Langman’s Medical embryology 12th edition (or up)

Target Audience

3rd year GZW, not advised for BMW and G&L

Additional Information

This minor course requires a minimum of 20 participants to take place
There is a maximum of 60 students, first comes first served.

This course is part of a minor and has a maximum number of students.
Students who follow the entire minor have priority.

Mind that this is a biomedical-oriented course, which means that you
really have to study hard, there are many lectures and practicals; it
will be a few busy weeks, but it pays off in the end. So, mind all this
if you chose this course (and this minor)

Custom Course Registration

Register 3 weeks before the start of the course, otherwise you cannot participate due to the preparation we have in terms of the practical. Also, in case you registered but do not participate in the end, please drop us an e-mail, so we know :) There is a maximum of 60 students, first comes first served.

General Information

Course Code AB_1026
Credits 6 EC
Period P3
Course Level 300
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Faculty of Science
Course Coordinator prof. dr. S. Spijker
Examiner prof. dr. S. Spijker
Teaching Staff prof. dr. S. Spijker

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Last-minute registration is available for this course.

Teaching Methods Lecture, Study Group, Computer lab, Practical, Excursion