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Pathogen Host Interactions


Admission requirements

  1. The course will be given at level 500, expanding on knowledge acquired in the second-year Bachelor course Infectious Agents and Immunity (or equivalent course elsewhere).
  2. Students should have a good/basic understanding of immunology, e.g. The Immune System (third/fourth edition) by Parham P, Garland Science. Chapter 1 to 14.
  3. Students should have at least 3-4 months of experience working in a research laboratory, i.e safe microbiological techniques, experience with cell culture, pipetting, basic lab calculation, etc.
  4. Some experience in writing a research proposal and presenting a research proposal orally. Successful completion of the Master course How To Write A Research Proposal is strongly recommended.


Period: 1 May 2023 - 26 May 2023

Content of the course:
The main theme of this advanced course is a detailed understanding of the ways in which the (human) host tries to combat (the invasion) of pathogens. It is expected that biomedical research into these interactions will lead to new therapies against infectious diseases. This course will provide detailed insights into the latest developments in fundamental biological research aiming at understanding the complex interactions between pathogens and host cells as well as into some aspects of today’s clinical practice.

The first two weeks will consist of plenary seminars by experts in the field, an extensive literature study on interactions between pathogens and host (cells), journal clubs. Students will get a detailed insight into three topics:

  • (Myco) Bacteriology

  • Virology

  • Parasitology

In the 2nd and 3rd week an in-lab training is offered consisting of both theoretical and practical work during which the students, in groups of 2 or 3, will become familiar with the various aspects of the scientific research of the group. The students will write a report on their findings and present their findings and experiences to the other students.

During this period the student will have familiarized her/himself with the various topics allowing her/him to prepare a research proposal in the field of the topic of choice in the last week. In view of time, it is advised that students plan a first meeting with their research proposal tutors in week 2 of this course.
In week 4, students will submit their written research proposal.

Course objectives

Student is able to:

  • Display knowledge of, and insight in, Pathogen Host Interactions during journal clubs and in written assignments

  • Explain a scientific article in his/her own words

  • Analyse experimental data

  • Propose new ideas for a research project

  • Write a research proposal based on the knowledge acquired

  • Reply to questions about presented data

  • Perform experiments independently after a short instruction

  • Revise the research proposal and lab report based on feed-back obtained from tutors

  • Collaborate with peers to present at the journal club, during lab work and when writing and presenting lab report

  • Ask subject-related questions about data presented by others


All course and group schedules are published on our LUMC scheduling website or on the LUMC scheduling app.

Mode of instruction

Plenary lectures provided by experts in the field, self-study assignments and interactive discussion s between students and tutors as detailed in the course book, practical work in the form of mini-labprojects.

Assessment method

Summative assessment:
1) Journal club

2) In lab training:
2a) Practical work
2b) Written report
2c) Oral presentation

3) Research proposal (written)

Reading list

Will be distributed during the course.


Registration for FOS courses, H2W, Scientific Conduct, Course on Lab Animal Sciences and CRiP takes place in lottery rounds in the beginning of July. After the lottery rounds: if you want to register for a course you are kindly asked to contact the student administration at