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Organ Transplantation


Topics: Organ transplantation, and all its medical, scientific and societal aspects.
Disciplines: Medicine, Biolomedical Sciences, Psychology.
Skills: A (bio)medical background is not essential, but a basic biology background is a pre, and you should have a broad interest in societal aspects of transplantation. Active participation and collaborate on specific assignments with students from other disciplines.

Admission requirements:

This course is an (extracurricular) Honours Class: an elective course within the Honours College programme. Third year students who don’t participate in the Honours College, have the opportunity to apply for a Bachelor Honours Class. Students will be selected based on i.a. their motivation and average grade.

Note: A (bio)medical background is not essential, but a basic biology background is a pre, and you should have a broad interest in societal aspects of transplantation.


The aim of this Honours Class is to provide an integrated and broad view on the process of organ transplantation. Both cell and organ transplantation have a long history and are currently accepted treatment modalities and very successful life-saving clinical procedures in several diseases. Despite this success, there are still major challenges ahead. Transplantation is in the middle of clinical, scientific, ethical, economic and political discussions. Therefore an integrated and multidisciplinary approach is needed to help the field forward.

The faculty participating in this Honours Class constitutes of experts in these diverse areas, including clinicians and scientists forming the centre of the transplantation procedure, opinion makers in the societal discussions surrounding the transplantation process and people involved in technological developments and regenerative medicine pushing the boundaries of transplantation.

Course objectives:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will have an integrated and broad view on the process of organ transplantation.

Programme and timetable:

The sessions of this class will take place on Wednesdays from 18.30 - 21.00 from February until and including May.

Introduction - Session 1: 7 February 2024
Introduction program; Get to know each other
Ian Alwayn (LUMC, dept Surgery, LUMC Transplant Center),
Sebastiaan Heidt (LUMC, dept Immunology),
Cees van Kooten (LUMC, dept Internal Medicine-Nephrology)

Session 2: 21 February 2024
*Liver transplantation and the optimal benefits for patients *
Dr Mijntje Nijboer (LUMC, dept Surgery) & Dr Minneke Coenraad (LUMC, dept Gastroenterology)
Amine El Kandoussi (Medicine) & Suzanne van der Zwaan (Biomedical Sciences)

Session 3: 28 February 2024
The immunological challenges of transplantation
Dr Sebastiaan Heidt (LUMC, dept Immunology) & Prof Cees van Kooten (LUMC, dept Internal Medicine)
Jelle Bosman (Biology) & Heleen de Groot (Medicine)

Session 4: 13 March 2024
Lack of donor organs; how to increase the pool
Dr Luc Colenbie (Universitair Ziekenhuis Ghent, Belgium)
Casper Orens (Biomedical Sciences) & Quirine Selker (Medicine)

Session 5: 27 March 2024
Combating the trade in human organs
Dr Frederike Ambagtsheer (ErasmusMC, Transplant Institute, Rotterdam)
Amber de Graaf (Medicine)& Karen Thorsen (International Psychology)

Session 6: 10 April 2024
Immunosuppressive cell therapies in kidney transplantation
Dr Aiko de Vries & Dr Siebe Spijker (dept Internal Medicine, LUMC Transplant Center).
Ruben van Delden (BioPharmacy) & Alexander Franssen (Medicine)

Session 7: 24 April 2024
Value based health care in transplantation
Prof Willem Jan Bos (LUMC, Internal Medicine; St Antonius Ziekenhuis, Nieuwegein)
Tycho Willems (Biopharmacy) & Talisa Mosk (Medicine)

Session 8: 15 May 2024
The future of growing organs for transplantation
Dr Cathelijne van de Berg (LUMC, dept Internal Medicine-Nephrology) & Drs Marleen Jacobs (LUMC, dept Internal Medicine-Nephrology)
Floris Boon (Medicine) & Lieke van Megen (Biopharmacy)

Session 9: 29 May 2024
Technological improvements to aid transplantation
Prof Ian Alwayn (LUMC, dept Surgery) & Dr Jason Doppenberg (LUMC, Organ Preservation and Regeneration Unit (OPR))
Bente van Gaalen (Medicine) & Kiki de Vries (TU Delft)

The external speakers of the classes and format of different evenings might be subject to change. In the 10 evenings, the following specific subjects will be dealt with:

Spare Session: 12 June 2024

Introductory session: Coming together, brief overview of the Honours Class and assignment and promote groups building of the students in this class.

Subjects to be discussed in sessions (all with dedicated expert speakers):
The purpose and benefits of transplantation;
The immunological challenges of transplantation;
Lack of donor organs; how to increase the pool;
The new Dutch law on ‘ADR’ (active donor registration);
The ethical boundaries of transplantation;
The impact of COVID-19 on transplantation programs;
Technological improvements to aid transplantation;
The economic challenge of medical care and transplantation;
Value based health care in transplantation;
Patient self-management in the internet age;
The future of growing organs for transplantation.

Leiden University Medical Centre (LUMC), lecture room 4

Reading list:

The reading materials for the individual sessions will be posted on Brightspace and distributed by email.

Course load and teaching method:

This course is worth 5 EC, which means the total course load equals 140 hours.

  • Lectures: 10 sessions of 4 hours; (attendance is mandatory)

  • Literature reading: 5 hours per session;

  • Session organization: 15 hours;

  • Assignments & final essay: 40 hours.

Assessment method:

This course is worth 5 EC, which means the total course load equals 140 hours.

  • 20% organising a session;

  • 10% active participation in the sessions;

  • 70% final essay (minimum of 2000 words).

Brightspace and uSis:

Brightspace will be used in this course. Upon admission students will be enrolled in Brightspace by the teaching administration.

Please note: students are not required to register through uSis for the Bachelor Honours Classes. Your registration will be done centrally.

Application process:

Submitting an application for this course is possible from Monday 30 October up to and including Sunday 19 November 2023 23:59 through the link on the Honours Academy student website.

Note: students don’t have to register for the Bachelor Honours Classes in uSis. The registration is done centrally before the start of the class.

Coördinator Honours College Medicine Dr. Nelleke A. Gruis