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The Pathophysiology of Coagulation


Admission requirements


Period: 20 November 2023 - 15 December 2023

Blood coagulation is a uniquely complex process that protects from significant blood loss following vascular damage. Research in this area focuses on the fundamental mechanistic understanding, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of blood coagulation disorders, such as bleeding or thrombosis. Bleeding can result from (genetic) defects or deficiencies in blood coagulation proteins, which are at the basis of the bleeding disorders von Willebrand disease or hemophilia, for instance. Thrombosis is one of the major causes of death in western cultures. It may occur in arteries (myocardial infarction, stroke) and veins (deep-vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism).

In this course, we will focus on various aspects of the regulation of the coagulation system, such as how to engineer novel coagulation factors for the treatment of bleeding, the role of von Willebrand factor in the prevention of arterial thrombosis, or the link between coagulation, tumor progression, and cancer-associated thrombosis. The course will start with some introductory lectures on these subjects and will include additional lectures in the field of coagulation and vascular medicine – from bench to bedside. The introductory lectures, journal club and patient interview are organized in collaboration with the FOS course Finding New Causes of Thrombosis.

During the course, the students will work in teams of two to three students and will design a detailed research project. The students will mimic performing this scientific study and will pass through all phases of a research project: posing a research question, setting up the research strategy (collection of patient samples, design of molecular, biochemical and/or cellular approach), interpretation of (provided) data, writing a report. While no actual experiments will be performed, the students will work on original research data, analyze these data and develop new hypotheses and experimental approaches. The students are supervised by tutors, who will be available for frequent work discussions. The students will give weekly oral presentations for the entire group and will produce a written final report.

Course objectives

The student:

  • shows insight in aspects of the regulation of the coagulation system;

  • shows insight in structure-function relationships of blood coagulation proteins, the pathophysiology of the bleeding disorders von Willebrand disease and hemophilia, the biological mechanism(s) underlying acquired and genetic risk factors for venous thrombosis, and the link between coagulation, tumor progression, and cancer-associated thrombosis;

  • is able to design a detailed research project which entails posing a research question, finding a study design, setting up the research strategy (collection of patient samples, design of biochemical and/or cellular approach);

  • is able to collect, analyze, and interpret actual data adequately in order to pose new hypotheses and experimental approaches;

  • shows communication skills by writing and presenting coherently and convincingly while taking into account modern presentation and academic writing principles;

  • is able to react constructively to questions/feedback and connecting this feedback to their own position regarding their own research and in doing so showing an open, self-critical yet firm and self-confident attitude;

  • shows proactive behavior by taking initiative in assignments;

  • shows intrinsic motivation by serious involvement and engagement in assignments such as oral reporting and participation in discussion;

  • shows responsible and constructive critical behavior and thereby organizing work together with fellow students in a constructive manner.


All course and group schedules are published on MyTimeTable.

Mode of instruction

This course is full-time and instructions are through interactive lectures, work groups, self-study assignments and patient demonstrations.

Assessment method

Oral presentations of assignments; written final report.

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