Anton Wutz: Catalogue data in Spring Semester 2019

Name Prof. Dr. Anton Wutz
Inst. f. Molecular Health Sciences
ETH Zürich, HPL E 12
Otto-Stern-Weg 7
8093 Zürich
Telephone+41 44 633 08 48
RelationshipFull Professor

551-0102-01LFundamentals of Biology I Information Restricted registration - show details
Registrations via myStudies until 30.1.2019 at the latest. Subsequent registrations will not be considered.
6 credits8PM. Gstaiger, T. A. Beyer, M. Kopf, R. Kroschewski, M. Künzler, D. Ramseier, M. Stoffel, E. B. Truernit, A. Wutz
AbstractThis 1st year Laboratory course introduces the student to the entire range of classical and modern molecular biosciences. During this course (Praktikum GL BioI) the students will do three praktikum days in:
- Biochemistry
- Cell Biology I
- Microbiology
- Plant Anantomy & Ecology
(total of 12 experiments)

Each experiment takes one full day.
ObjectiveIntroduction to theoretical and experimental biology

General Praktikum-information and course material can be obtained from Moodle

The general Praktikum information (Assignment list, Instructions and Schedule & Performance Sheet) will also be sent to the students directly (E-mail).
ContentThe class is divided into four blocks: Biochemistry, Microbiology, Plant biology & Ecology and Cell Biology I.

- TAQ Analysis (part 1): Protein purification
- TAQ Analysis (part 2): SDS-Gelelektrophoresis
- TAQ Analysis (part 3): Activity test of the purified protein

Day 1: Basics for the work with microorganisms & Isolation of microorganisms from the environment
Day 2: Morphology and diagnostics of bacteria & Antimicrobial agents
Day 3: Morphology of fungi & Microbial physiology and interactions

- Microscopy and plant cell anatomy
- Plant organ anatomy and gene expression
- Ecology

- Anatomy of mouse & Blood cell determination
- Histology
- Chromosome preparation and analysis
Lecture notesLaboratory manuals

- The protocols can be downloaded from: Moodle

- The protocols can be found from: Moodle
- You HAVE TO print the pdf-file, which is also used as the lab manual during the experiments. Therefore, you have to have the Script always with you, when doing the experiments in Microbiology.

- The protocols can be found from: Moodle

- The handouts of the experiments entitled "Histology" will be provided
- The protocols of "Anatomy of mouse & Blood cell determination" and "Chromosome preparation and analysis" can be found from: Moodle

Your attendance is obligatory and you have to attend all 12 Praktikum days of GL BioI. Absences are only acceptable if you are able to provide a Doctor’s certificate. The original Dr's certificate has to be given to Dr. M. Gstaiger (HPM F43) within five days of the absence of the Praktikum day.

If there will be any exceptional or important situations then you should directly contact the Director of Studies of D-Biol, who will decide if you are allowed to miss a Praktikum day or not.


1. Due to the increased number of students, the official Praktikum registration has to be done, using myStudies, preferably at the end of HS18 but not later than Wednesday January 30, 2019.

2. Later registration is NOT possible and can NOT be accepted!

3. The course registration for FS2019 is usually possible at the end of Autumn semester 2018 and you will obtain an E-mail from the Rectorate when the course registration using myStudies is possible.

Students can register for a practice group via myStudies. As soon as the course unit is registered in myStudies, a text box appears indicating that a group can be selected. Accordingly, students can select a group in the next step. If more than 240 students register, the surplus students will be placed on a waiting list and then allocated by the course responsible.

Extra Praktikum days have to be organized if more than 220 - 240 students will attend the Praktikum. The group division is random and the reserved Extra Praktikum days are:

3.6 / 4.6 / 6.6

The Praktikum GL BioI will take place during the following days and therefore, you have to make sure already now that you will not have any other activities / commitments during these days:

PRAKTIKUM DAYS FS18 (Thursdays):

21.2 / 28.2 / 7.3 / 14.3 / 21.3 / 28.3 / 4.4 / 11.4 / 2.5 / 9.5 / 16.5 / 23.5

No Praktikum during the Easter vacation: 19.4.-26.4. 2019


3.6 / 4.6 / 6.6
551-0106-00LFundamentals of Biology IB5 credits5GA. Wutz, S. P. Hart, O. Y. Martin, E. B. Truernit, S. Wielgoss, S. C. Zeeman
AbstractThis course is an introduction into the basic principles of evolution, diversity, animal/plant form and function, and ecology.
ObjectiveIntroduction into aspects of modern biology and fundamental biological concepts.
ContentThe course is divided into distinct chapters
1. Mechanisms of evolution.
2. The evolutionary history of biological diversity (bacteria and archea, protists, plants and animals).
3. Plant form and function (growth and development, nutrient and resource acquisition, reproduction and environmental responses).
4. Animal form and function (nutrition, immune system, hormones, reproduction, nervous system and behaviour).
5. Ecology (population ecology, community ecology, ecosystems and conservation ecology).
Lecture notesNo script
LiteratureThis course is based on the textbook 'Biology' (Campbell, Reece, 9th edition). The structure of the course follows that of the book. It is recommended to purchase the English version.
Prerequisites / NoticePart of the contents of the book need to be learned through independent study.
551-0140-00LEpigenetics4 credits2VA. Wutz, U. Grossniklaus, R. Paro, R. Santoro
AbstractEpigenetics studies the inheritance of traits that cannot be attributed to changes in the DNA sequence. The lecture will present an overview of different epigenetic phenomena and provide detailed insight into the underlying molecular mechanisms. The role of epigenetic processes in the development of cancer and other disorders will be discussed.
ObjectiveThe aim of the course is to gain an understanding of epigenetic mechanisms and their impact on the development of organisms, regenerative processes or manifestation of disease.
- historical overview, concepts and comparison Genetics vs. Epigenetics
- Biology of chromatin: structure and function, organization in the nucleus and the role of histone modifications in processes like transcription and replication
- DNA methylation as an epigenetic modification
- Inheritance of epigenetic modifications during cell division: cellular memory
- Stability and reversibility of epigenetic modifications: cellular plasticity and stem cells
- Genomic imprinting in plants and mammals
- X chromosome inactivation and dosis compensation
- position effects, paramutations and transvection
- RNA-induced gene silencing
- The role of epigenetic processes in cancer development or cell aging
551-0326-00LCell Biology Information 6 credits4VS. Werner, M. Bordoli, R. Henneberger, W. Kovacs, M. Schäfer, U. Suter, A. Wutz
AbstractThis Course introduces principle concepts, techniques, and experimental strategies used in modern Cell Biology. Major topics include: neuron-glia interactions in health and disease; mitochondrial dynamics; stem cell biology; growth factor action in development, tissue repair and disease; cell metabolism, in particular sensing and signaling mechanisms, cell organelles, and lipid metabolism.
Objective-To prepare the students for successful and efficient lab work by learning how to ask the right questions and to use the appropriate techniques in a research project.
-To convey knowledge about neuron-glia interactions in health and disease.
- To provide information on different types of stem cells and their function in health and disease
-To provide information on growth factor signaling in development, repair and disease and on the use of growth factors or their receptors as drug targets for major human diseases
-To convey knowledge on the mechanisms underlying repair of injured tissues
-To provide the students with an overview of mitochondrial dynamics.
-Providing an understanding of RNA processing reactions and their regulations.
-To provide a comprehensive understanding of metabolic sensing mechanisms occurring in different cell types and organelles in response to glucose, hormones, oxygen, nutrients as well as lipids, and to discuss downstream signaling pathways and cellular responses.
-To provide models explaining how disturbances in complex metabolic control networks and bioenergetics can lead to disease and to highlight latest experimental approaches to uncover the intricacies of metabolic control at the cellular and organismal level.
-Providing the background and context that foster cross-disciplinary scientific thinking.
551-1298-00LGenetics, Genomics, Bioinformatics Information 4 credits2V + 2UE. Hafen, C. Beyer, B. Christen, U. K. Genick, J. Piel, R. Schlapbach, G. Schwank, S. Sunagawa, K. Weis, A. Wutz
AbstractThe course provides the basis of modern genetics, genomics and bioinformatics. A special focus is placed on the use of these tools for the understanding of biological processes in bacteria, model organisms and humans. The unit uses the principle of blended learning consisting of self-study modules in Moodle, tasks and input lectures by experts from the department.
ObjectiveAt the end of this course you know the most important genetic tools in different organisms. You can use the essential methods in bioinformatics by using online tools. You know the advantages and disadvantages of various model organisms to understand biological processes. You know the various mutagenesis methods and other tools to disrupt gene function and can discuss their merits and drawbacks. You are aware of the difficulties in choosing a phenotype for selection in a mutagenesis experiment. Finally, you can describe how you would study a specific biological process by choosing a model organism and the appropriate genetic or genomic tools.
ContentThe appearance and function of an organism (phenotype) is determined by the interplay between its genome (genotype) and the environment: Genotype + environment = phenotype. Understanding these interactions to the point where we can ultimately predict the phenotype from knowledge of the genotype and environmental factors is one oft the great challenges of biology.

In the course Bio IA you learnt about the composition and function of the genome and how it is inherited. The goal of this course is that you learn how genetic, genomic and bioinformatics methods are used to understand biological processes (the connection between genotype and phenotype).

In the first two weeks you will renew and deepen your knowledge of the basic principles of genetics and genomics in interactive learning modules on the Moodle platform. This is followed by an introduction of the basic tools of bioinformatics. You learn to search for specific genome sequences, to align them and to construct pedigrees of related genes.

After you have mastered the basic principles you will learn how to study biological processes either by inactivating specific genes or by randomly mutagenizing the entire genome. You will be introduced to different model organisms (bacteria, yeast, Drosophila, mouse) and humans.

Conventional genetic methods rely on the alteration of the function of single genes and on the observation of the effect on the organism (phenotype). Based on the observed phenotype one deduces the normal function of the gene. This is a strong simplification since, even if environmental factors are controlled, phenotypes are very rarely controlled by a single gene. It is therefore important to understand the influence of the entire genome in conjunction with environmental factors on a given phenotype (e.g. a human disease). Modern methods in genomics now permit first approaches in this direction. Therefore, the focus of the second part of the unit is on genome-wide association studies. You learn, how the influence of the entire genome on a specific phenotype is detected and what challenges are involved in the analysis and the interpretation of the results. We will examine these methods in model organisms and humans. You will also learn how the genome of cancer cells changes under the constant selection for these cells to survive and how this genome analysis provides new insights into diagnosis and therapy.

This course is based on active learning. Each week consists of a learning unit with clearly defined learning goals. In the first two hours you will learn the basics from texts, videos and questionnaires on the Moodle platform. In the third lecture an expert on the topic of the week (e.g. genetic screens in yeast) from the department will give an input lecture that builds on the basic knowledge that you acquired. In the fourth lecture you will discuss the tests and topics of the week with the expert. During the semester you will have access to assistants and lecturers via the Moodle online forum.

At the beginning of the learning unit you will take a short multiple-choice test on the content of the course. This formative assessment does not count for your final grade but gives you and us a way to determine where you stand also in relation to your fellow students. A similar formative assessment test will be given at the end of the semester. In this way, we can determine the learning gain during the course and obtain a quantitative feedback on the course. The exam is based on the learning goals of the individual chapters and the questions in the formative assessments.
Lecture notesThe learning material and slides of the input lectures are available on Moodle. There you will also find further information (articles, links, videos).
LiteratureAll texts and references will be available on Moodle. To follow the most recent developments in this rapidly evolving field follow the following experts on Twitter:
und/oder @ehafen
Prerequisites / NoticeThe course builds on the course Bio IA, in particular on that course's content regarding genetics and genomics. The course is based on self-learning units on Moodle, input lectures by experts from D-BIOL and exercises.