Beat Christen: Catalogue data in Spring Semester 2019

Name Dr. Beat Christen
FieldExperimental Systems Biology
Address
Professur für Exp. Systembiologie
ETH Zürich, HPM H24
Otto-Stern-Weg 3
8093 Zürich
SWITZERLAND
E-mailbeat.christen@imsb.biol.ethz.ch
DepartmentBiology
RelationshipAssistant Professor

NumberTitleECTSHoursLecturers
551-0324-00LSystems Biology Information 6 credits4VR. Aebersold, B. Christen, M. Claassen, U. Sauer
AbstractIntroduction to experimental and computational methods of systems biology. By using baker’s yeast as a thread through the series, we focus on global methods for analysis of and interference with biological functions. Illustrative applications to other organisms will highlight medical and biotechnological aspects.
Objective- obtain an overview of global analytical methods
- obtain an overview of computational methods in systems biology
- understand the concepts of systems biology
ContentOverview of global analytical methods (e.g. DNA arrays, proteomics, metabolomics, fluxes etc), global interference methods (siRNA, mutant libraries, synthetic lethality etc.) and imaging methods. Introduction to mass spectrometry and proteomics. Concepts of metabolism in microbes and higher cells. Systems biology of developmental processes. Concepts of mathematical modeling and applications of computational systems biology.
Lecture notesno script
LiteratureThe course is not taught by a particular book, but some books are suggested for further reading:

- Systems biology in Practice by Klipp, Herwig, Kowald, Wierling und Lehrach. Wiley-VCH 2005
551-1126-00LTechnologies in Molecular Microbiology4 credits2VH.‑M. Fischer, B. Christen, M. Christen, further lecturers
AbstractThe lecture course provides an advanced understanding of modern techniques used in molecular microbiology. Current technologies and research directions in molecular microbiology including applied aspects will be illustrated with paper discussions. The format is a lecture course enriched by group activities.
ObjectiveThe lecture course aims at providing principles of modern techniques used in molecular microbiology. Emphasis is on genetic, biochemical, and cellular analysis including also bioinformatics aspects. Discussion of a set of commonly applied technologies will assist students in evaluating current research in molecular microbiology and choosing appropriate methods for their own demands.
ContentImportant genetic, biochemical, biophysical, bioinformatic and structural analysis methods will be presented that are used to gain a deeper understanding of the molecular principles and mechanisms underlying basic physiological processes in prokaryotes. Applied aspects of molecular microbiology and current research in this area will also be covered.

List of topics:
- Analysis of genes, genomes and transcriptomes
- Analysis of proteins, proteomes and microbial systems
- Synthetic biology
Lecture notesUpdated handouts will be provided during the class.
LiteratureCurrent literature references, relevant papers and handouts will be provided during the lectures.
Prerequisites / NoticeThe following lecturers will contribute to the course:

Prof. Beat Christen (ETH)
Dr. Matthias Christen (ETH)
Prof. Hans-Martin Fischer (ETH)
Dr. Jonas Grossmann (FGCZ)
Dr. Florian Freimoser (Agroscope)
Dr. Bernd Roschitzki (FGCZ)
Dr. Roman Spörri (ETH)
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:
@dgmacarthur
@EricTopol
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.
551-1302-00LSynthetic Genomics Restricted registration - show details
Number of participants limited to 6.

The enrolment is done by the D-BIOL study administration.
6 credits7GB. Christen, M. Christen
AbstractLab course on experimental and computational approaches in synthetic microbiology. Participants work in small groups to address current questions in the field of synthetic genomics.
ObjectiveThe course covers high-throughput biology techniques and design approaches to engineer large-scale synthetic DNA constructs ranging form pathways to entire bacterial genomes. Training in experimental and computational work in a research laboratory.
ContentResearch project in synthetic biology. Learn basics of DNA part definition, sequence design, de novo DNA synthesis and assembly strategies used for synthetic genomics. Discuss recent advances and current limitations in the field.

Soft skills to be trained: scientific project planning, team-work, presentation and reporting.