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Mechanisms of Disease (MCB)



Dr. B. Ewa Snaar-Jagalska
Tel. 071-5274980


The aim of this course is to get a good understanding of the molecular mechanisms of human disease in particular cancer (oncogenes, tumor suppressors, chromosomal abbreviations and genome instability), infectious disease (tuberculosis, Salmonella infection); diabetes; neuronal-stress disorders; developmental disorders and ageing.

Methods of instruction

A series of obligatory lectures provided by invited specialist speakers (Dr. K. Szuhai, Prof. P. ten Dijke and Dr. M. Ouwens from LUMC; Prof. J. den Hertog and Dr. Jeroen Bakkers from Hubrecht Lab; Dr. B. Zwaan, Prof. M. Richardson, Dr. M. Schaaf, Dr. A. Meijer, Dr. E. Snaar-Jagalska from IBL) will be combined with own literature self-study. The students will have to write a short summary on the topic of the lecture before and subsequently answer a few questions after the lectures.

Study material

Lectures and Alberts et al, Molecular Biology of the Cell, 4th edition 2002, Garland Science NY and additional literature required for the lectures and own power point presentation on a chosen topic.


  • PowerPoint presentation.

  • Written examination requesting knowledge of lectures and the following pages from Alberts: 831-889, 907-929, 1340-1361, and 1453-1462.

Course requirements/recommendations

Second year Cell Biology course or the elementary knowledge of Molecular Biology.

Time table

The lectures will be given mostly in the morning and the afternoons are meant for self-study on a daily basis. In the last week of the course students will give their own presentation on a chosen topic and prepare for the examination, which will be taken on the 23rd of December.




The course information, time table and study material will be available via the Blackboard.

Course objective

The goal of this course is to generate a good knowledge on cell-cell communication, how the signal transduction events underlie various pathological processes and how this knowledge can be used to develop better treatment strategies of human diseases.
Students will improve: their skills concerning the literature study, writing, discussing and presenting their knowledge in the group.


Course can be followed by BA/MSC biology students and by LST, BFW MSC students.