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Genomic Architecture


Admission requirements

BSc degree


Coordinator: Dr. T.J. de Jong


How are we genetically different from Neanderthalers? How many genes do organisms have? What fraction of our genome consists of genes? Do prokaryotes shop for genes? Why do salamanders have much more DNA per cell than we have? How does the genome of related species differ? How is the DNA of different individuals different? How well can one make predictions on health and personalized medicine from your DNA? With the advance of genome sequencing all these questions about DNA and evolution can, in principle, be answered. Starting from the basics (introns, extrons, gene families, recombination, QTLs) we address these questions and ask what these new insights mean for ideas about health and evolution of species. In the practical you will use R to browse the genome looking for specific sequences, both at a basic and at an advanced level.

Learning goals:

Course objectives:

  • update knowledge on basic genetic mechanisms

  • overview of field of genomics

  • learn to extract DNA information from databanks

  • learn to apply DNA information for answering scientific questions

  • learn to evaluate differences between individuals or species using DNA info

  • read and evaluate scientific articles on DNA and evolution

Final qualifications:

  • Student is familiar with technical terms used in genomics

  • Student knows how genomes of major groups of organisms are organized

  • Student can use DNA information for answering questions about evolution and health.


From 4 October – 28 October 2016. First 2 weeks lectures and self study (DNA, genome prokaryotes, genome vertebrates, human evolution), week 3 practical bioinformatics with R. Week 4 individual poster projects. The detailed schedule will be placed on Blackboard.

Mode of instruction

Lectures, reading chapters from Lesk and Alberts, reading scientific articles, individual project (last week), make poster.

Assessment method

Three multiple choice tests. On Thursday of the last week hand in a short poster (1 A4) about an individual project. Last day: evaluation, drinks and pub quiz.


Blackboard will be used for communication.

Reading list

Strongly advised to buy as backup for students:

  • Lesk AM (2007) Introduction to genomics. Oxford UP, second edition

Suggested reading:

  • Claverie J-M, Notredam C (2007) Bioinformatics for dummies (2nd edition) Wiley.

  • Alberts B et al. (2008) Molecular biology of the cell. 5th ed. Garland Science.


in Usis and enroll in Blackboard

Exchange and Study Abroad students, please see the Prospective students website for more information on how to apply.