Search result: Catalogue data in Autumn Semester 2016

Biology Master Information
Elective Major Subject Areas
Elective Major: Molecular Health Sciences
Elective Compulsory Master Courses
551-0571-00LFrom DNA to Diversity (University of Zurich)
No enrolment to this course at ETH Zurich. Book the corresponding module directly at UZH.
UZH Module Code: BIO336

Mind the enrolment deadlines at UZH:
W2 credits2VA. Hajnal, D. Bopp, E. Hafen
AbstractThe evolution of the various body-plans is investigated by means of comparison of developmentally essential control genes of molecularly analysed model organisms.
ObjectiveBy the end of this module, each student should be able to
- recognize the universal principles underlying the development of
different animal body plans.
- explain how the genes encoding the molecular toolkit have evolved
to create animal diversity.
- relate changes in gene structure or function to evolutionary
changes in animal development.
Key skills:
By the end of this module, each student should be able to
- present and discuss a relevant evolutionary topic in an oral
- select and integrate key concepts in animal evolution from
primary literature
- participate in discussions on topics presented by others
551-1303-00LCellular Biochemistry of Health and Disease Information Restricted registration - show details
Number of participants limited to 15.
W4 credits2SP. Picotti, Y. Barral, J. Fernandes de Matos, V. Korkhov, B. Kornmann, R. Kroschewski, M. Peter, A. E. Smith, K. Weis
AbstractDuring this Masters level seminar style course, students will explore current research topics in cellular biochemistry focused on the structure, function and regulation of selected cell components, and the consequences of dysregulation for pathologies.
ObjectiveStudents will work with experts toward a critical analysis of cutting-edge research in the domain of cellular biochemistry, with emphasis on normal cellular processes and the consequences of their dysregulation. At the end of the course, students will be able to introduce, present, evaluate, critically discuss and write about recent scientific articles in the research area of cellular biochemistry.
ContentGuided by an expert in the field, students will engage in classical round-table style discussions of current literature with occasional frontal presentations. Students will alternate as discussion leaders throughout the semester, with the student leader responsible to briefly summarize key general knowledge and context of the assigned primary research paper. Together with the faculty expert, all students will participate in discussion of the primary paper, including the foundation of the biological question, specific questions addressed, key methods, key results, remaining gaps and research implications.
LiteratureThe literature will be provided during the course
Prerequisites / NoticeThe course will be taught in English.
551-0512-00LCurrent Topics in Molecular and Cellular Neurobiology Information Restricted registration - show details
Number of participants limited to 8.
W2 credits1SU. Suter
AbstractThe course is a literature seminar or "journal club". Each Friday a student, or a member of the Suter Lab in the Institute of Molecular Health Sciences, will present a paper from the recent literature.
ObjectiveThe course introduces you to recent developments in the fields of cellular and molecular neurobiology. It also supports you to develop your skills in critically reading the scientific literature. You should be able to grasp what the authors wanted to learn i.e. their goals, why the authors chose the experimental approach they used, the strengths and weaknesses of the experiments and the data presented, and how the work fits into the wider literature in the field. You will present one paper yourself, which provides you with practice in public speaking.
ContentYou will present one paper yourself. Give an introduction to the field of the paper, then show and comment on the main results (all the papers we present are available online, so you can show original figures with a beamer). Finish with a summary of the main points and a discussion of their significance.
You are expected to take part in the discussion and to ask questions. To prepare for this you should read all the papers beforehand (they will be announced a week in advance of the presentation).
Lecture notesPresentations will be made available after the seminars.
Prerequisites / NoticeYou must attend at least 80% of the journal clubs, and give a presentation of your own. At the end of the semester there will be a 30 minute oral exam on the material presented during the semester. The grade will be based on the exam (45%), your presentation (45%), and a contribution based on your active participation in discussion of other presentations (10%).
551-1153-00LSystems Biology of Metabolism
Number of participants limited to 15.
W4 credits2VU. Sauer, N. Zamboni, M. Zampieri
AbstractStarting from contemporary biological problems related to metabolism, the course focuses on systems biological approaches to address them. In a problem-oriented, this-is-how-it-is-done manner, we thereby teach modern methods and concepts.
ObjectiveDevelop a deeper understanding of how relevant biological problems can be solved, thereby providing advanced insights to key experimental and computational methods in systems biology.
ContentThe course will be given as a mixture of lectures, studies of original research and guided discussions that focus on current research topics. For each particular problem studied, we will work out how the various methods work and what their capabilities/limits are. The problem areas range from microbial metabolism to cancer cell metabolism and from metabolic networks to regulation networks in populations and single cells. Key methods to be covered are various modeling approaches, metabolic flux analyses, metabolomics and other omics.
Lecture notesScript and original publications will be supplied during the course.
Prerequisites / NoticeThe course extends many of the generally introduced concepts and methods of the Concept Course in Systems Biology. It requires a good knowledge of biochemistry and basics of mathematics and chemistry.
551-1105-00LGlycobiologyW4 credits2VM. Aebi, T. Hennet
AbstractStructural principles, nomenclature and different classes of glycosylation. The different pathways of N- and O-linked protein glycosylation and glycolipid biosynthesis in prokaryotes and eukaryotes are discussed. Specific glycan binding proteins and their role in deciphering the glycan code are presented. The role of glycans in infectious diseases, antigen mimicry and autoimmunity are discussed.
ObjectiveDetailed knowledge in 1) the different areas of prokaryotic and eukaryotic glycobiology, in particular in the biosynthesis of glycoproteins and glycolipids, 2) the cellular machinery required for these pathways, 3) the principles of carbohydrate/protein interaction, 4) the function of lectins, 5) the role of glycans in infectious disease.
ContentStructure and linkages; analytical approaches; N-linked protein glycosylation (ER, Golgi); glycan-assisted protein folding and quality control; O-linked protein glycosylation; glucosaminoglycans; glycolipids; prokaryotic glycosylation pathways; lectins; glycans and infectious disease
Lecture noteshandouts
LiteratureIntroduction to Glycobiology; M.E.Taylor, K.Drickamer, Oxford University Press, 2003
Essentials of Glycobiology (second edition); A.Varki et al. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, 2009
Prerequisites / NoticeThe course will be in English. It will include the preparation of short essays (marked) about defined topics in Glycobiology.
551-1171-00LImmunology: from Milestones to Current TopicsW4 credits2SB. Ludewig, J. Kisielow, M. Kopf, A. Oxenius, University lecturers
AbstractMilestones in Immunology: on old concepts and modern experiments
ObjectiveThe course will cover six grand topics in immunology (B cells, innate immunity, antigen presentation, tumor immunity, thymus and T cells, cytotoxic T cells and NK cells) and for each grand topic four hours will be allocated. During the first double hour, historical milestone papers will be presented by the supervisor providing an overview on the development of the conceptional framework and critical technological advances. The students will also prepare themselves for this double lecture by reading the historical milestone papers and contributing to the discussion. In the following lecture up to four students will present each a recent high impact research paper which emerged from the landmark achievements of the previously discussed milestone concepts.
ContentMilestones and current topics of innate immunity, antigen presentatino, B cells, thymus and T cells, cytotoxic T cells and NK cells, and tumor immunology.
Lecture notesOriginal and review articles will be distributed by the lecturer.
LiteratureLiteraturunterlagen werden vor Beginn des Kurses auf folgender website zugänglich sein: Moodle Course
752-6105-00LEpidemiology and Prevention
Information for UZH students:
Enrolment to this course unit only possible at ETH. No enrolment to module CS16_101 at UZH.

Please mind the ETH enrolment deadlines for UZH students: Link
W3 credits2VM. Puhan, R. Heusser
AbstractThe module „Epidemiology and prevention“ describes the process of scientific discovery from the detection of a disease and its causes, to the development and evaluation of preventive and treatment interventions and to improved population health.
ObjectiveThe overall goal of the course is to introduce students to epidemiological thinking and methods, which are criticial pillars for medical and public health research. Students will also become aware on how epidemiological facts are used in prevention, practice and politics.
ContentThe module „Epidemiology and prevention“ follows an overall framework that describes the course of scientific discovery from the detection of a disease to the development of prevention and treatment interventions and their evaluation in clinical trials and real world settings. We will discuss study designs in the context of existing knowledge and the type of evidence needed to advance knowledge. Examples form nutrition, chronic and infectious diseases will be used in order to show the underlying concepts and methods.
636-0003-00LBiological Engineering and BiotechnologyW6 credits3VM. Fussenegger
AbstractBiological Engineering and Biotechnology will cover the latest biotechnological advances as well as their industrial implementation to engineer mammalian cells for use in human therapy. This lecture will provide forefront insights into key scientific aspects and the main points in industrial decision-making to bring a therapeutic from target to market.
Objective1. Insight Into The Mammalian Cell Cycle. Cycling, The Balance Between Proliferation and Cancer - Implications For Biopharmaceutical Manufacturing. 2. The Licence To Kill. Apoptosis Regulatory Networks - Engineering of Survival Pathways To Increase Robustness of Production Cell Lines. 3. Everything Under Control I. Regulated Transgene Expression in Mammalian Cells - Facts and Future. 4. Secretion Engineering. The Traffic Jam getting out of the Cell. 5. From Target To Market. An Antibody's Journey From Cell Culture to The Clinics. 6. Biology and Malign Applications. Do Life Sciences Enable the Development of Biological Weapons? 7. Functional Food. Enjoy your Meal! 8. Industrial Genomics. Getting a Systems View on Nutrition and Health - An Industrial Perspective. 9. IP Management - Food Technology. Protecting Your Knowledge For Business. 10. Biopharmaceutical Manufacturing I. Introduction to Process Development. 11. Biopharmaceutical Manufacturing II. Up- stream Development. 12. Biopharmaceutical Manufacturing III. Downstream Development. 13. Biopharmaceutical Manufacturing IV. Pharma Development.
Lecture notesHandsout during the course.
752-4009-00LMolecular Biology of Foodborne PathogensW3 credits2VM. Loessner, M. Schuppler
AbstractThe course offers detailed information on selected foodborne pathogens and toxin producing organisms; the focus lies on relevant molecular biological aspects of pathogenicity and virulence, as well as on the occurrence and survival of these organisms in foods.
ObjectiveDetailed and current status of research and insights into the molecular basis of foodborne diseases, with focus on interactions of the microorganism or the toxins they produce with the human system. Understanding the relationship between specific types of food and the associated pathogens and microbial risks. Another focus lies on the currently available methods and techniques useful for the various purposes, i.e., detection, differentiation (typing), and antimicrobial agents.
ContentMolecular biology of infectious foodborne pathogens (Listeria, Vibrio, E. coli, Campylobacter, etc) and toxin-producing organisms (Bacillus, Clostridium, Staphylococcus). How and under which conditions will toxins and virulence factors be produced, and how do they work? How is the interaction between the human host and the microbial pathogen? What are the roles of food and the environment ? What can be done to interfere with the potential risks? Which methods are best suited for what approach? Last, but not least, the role of bacteriophages in microbial pathogenicity will be highlighted, in addition to various applications of bacteriophage for both diagnsotics and antimicrobial intervention.
Lecture notesElectronic copies of the presentation slides (PDF) and additional material will be made available for download to registered students.
LiteratureRecommendations will be given in the first lecture
Prerequisites / NoticeLectures (2 hours) will be held as a single session of approximately 60+ minutes (10:15 until approx. 11:15 h), with no break !
752-6101-00LDietary Etiologies of Chronic DiseaseW3 credits2VM. B. Zimmermann
AbstractTo have the student gain understanding of the links between the diet and the etiology and progression of chronic diseases, including diabetes, gastrointestinal diseases, kidney disease, cardiovascular disease, arthritis and food allergies.
ObjectiveTo examine and understand the protective effect of foods and food ingredients in the maintenance of health and the prevention of chronic disease, as well as the progression of complications of the chronic diseases.
ContentThe course evaluates food and food ingredients in relation to primary and secondary prevention of chronic diseases including diabetes, gastrointestinal diseases, kidney disease, cardiovascular disease, arthritis and food allergies.
Lecture notesThere is no script. Powerpoint presentations will be made available on-line to students.
LiteratureTo be provided by the individual lecturers, at their discretion.
Prerequisites / NoticeNo compulsory prerequisites, but prior completion of Human Nutrition I + II (Humanernährung I+II) is strongly advised.
636-0507-00LSynthetic Biology II Restricted registration - show details W4 credits4AS. Panke, Y. Benenson, J. Stelling
Abstract7 months biological design project, during which the students are required to give presentations on advanced topics in synthetic biology (specifically genetic circuit design) and then select their own biological system to design. The system is subsequently modeled, analyzed, and experimentally implemented. Results are presented at an international student competition at the MIT (Cambridge).
ObjectiveThe students are supposed to acquire a deep understanding of the process of biological design including model representation of a biological system, its thorough analysis, and the subsequent experimental implementation of the system and the related problems.
ContentPresentations on advanced synthetic biology topics (eg genetic circuit design, adaptation of systems dynamics, analytical concepts, large scale de novo DNA synthesis), project selection, modeling of selected biological system, design space exploration, sensitivity analysis, conversion into DNA sequence, (DNA synthesis external,) implementation and analysis of design, summary of results in form of scientific presentation and poster, presentation of results at the iGEM international student competition (
Lecture notesHandouts during course
Prerequisites / NoticeThe final presentation of the project is typically at the MIT (Cambridge, US). Other competing schools include regularly Imperial College, Cambridge University, Harvard University, UC Berkeley, Princeton Universtiy, CalTech, etc.

This project takes place between end of Spring Semester and beginning of Autumn Semester. Registration in April.

Please note that the number of ECTS credits and the actual work load are disconnected.
376-0300-00LTranslational Science for Health and Medicine Restricted registration - show details W3 credits2GJ. Goldhahn, C. Wolfrum
AbstractTranslational science is a cross disciplinary scientific research that is motivated by the need for practical applications that help people. The course should help to clarify basics of translational science, illustrate successful applications and should enable students to integrate key features into their future projects.
ObjectiveAfter completing this course, students will be able to understand:
Principles of translational science (including project planning, ethics application, basics of resource management and interdisciplinary communication)
ContentWhat is translational science and what is it not?
How to identify need?
- Disease concepts and consequences for research
- Basics about incidence, prevalence etc., and orphan indications
How to choose the appropriate research type and methodology
- Ethical considerations including ethics application
- Pros and cons of different types of research
- Coordination of complex approaches incl. timing and resources
How to measure success?
- Outcome variables
- Improving the translational process
Challenges of communication?
How independent is translational science?
- Academic boundary conditions vs. industrial influences
Positive and negative examples will be illustrated by distinguished guest speakers.
551-1145-00LViral and non-Viral Vectors for Human Gene-Therapy - from Pathogens to Safe Medical Applications
No enrolment to this course at ETH Zurich. Book the corresponding module directly at UZH.
UZH Module Code: BIO708

Mind the enrolment deadlines at UZH:
W2 credits3VUniversity lecturers
AbstractBasic aspects of virology, the viral mechanisms for transfer of genetic material into cells, different vector-systems and target cells, animal models, specific applications for inborn diseases of the immune system and of metabolism, adverse effects, and new developments of vector systems will be taught.
ObjectiveKnowledge of important viral and non-viral vector systems.
Knowledge of application in human diseases.
Knowledge of limiting factors.
551-1407-00LRNA Biology Lecture Series I: Transcription & Processing & Translation Information 4 credits2VF. Allain, N. Ban, U. Kutay, further lecturers
AbstractThis course covers aspects of RNA biology related to gene expression at the posttranscriptional level. These include RNA transcription, processing, alternative splicing, editing, export and translation.
ObjectiveThe students should obtain an understanding of these processes, which are at work during gene expression.
ContentTranscription & 3'end formation ; splicing, alternative splicing, RNA editing; the ribosome & translation, translation regulation, RNP biogenesis & nuclear export, mRNA surveillance & mRNA turnover; signal transduction & RNA.
Prerequisites / NoticeBasic knowledge of cell and molecular biology.
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