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Chemical Biology, Signal Transduction and Targeted Therapy

Course 2018-2019

Admission requirements

• Basic understanding of chemistry and signal transduction mechanisms (Biomedical Sciences Bachelor courses Biomolecules, Cellular Communication, and Molecular Biology and Oncology).
• Alberts B. et al, Molecular Biology of the Cell, 4th ed 2002, New York: Garland. Chapter 15.
• Weinberg RA, The Biology of Cancer, Garland Science, Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. Chapters 5 and 6.
• Successful completion of 3120321PPY (How to write a research proposal) is strongly recommended.


Period: 22 October 2018 - 16 November 2018

Chemistry-based diagnostic and therapeutic targeted approaches for human diseases will be studied, in particular disorders associated with misregulated signal transduction, protein degradation and ubiquitination. In addition, drug-design and identification and functional characterization of the targets of novel diagnostic and therapeutic molecules will be discussed.

This four week course will take you through the successive steps of how chemical and cell biological techniques are used for the development of diagnostic and/or therapeutic molecules to be used in targeted clinical applications.

In the first weeks you will get an introduction into the aims of the course (what is signal transduction? what is targeted therapy? which chemical tools (e.g the ubiquitination toolbox) are available and (being) developed), and you will get lectures on different aspects of translational research (chemistry, drug discovery and development, molecular imaging, genetic approaches, animal models, examples of deregulated signal transduction in human disorders). Some of these lectures will be part of the PhD course “From Molecular Pathogenesis to Targeted Therapy” ( October 31- November 2, 2018)

Moreover, couples of 2 students each will be linked to a PhD student or postdoc to discuss and if possible participate in (one of) his/her research topics. Each individual student will analyse and present (a) relevant scientific paper(s) on this research topic. (Presentations to be held in the beginning of the second week). Moreover, each student couple will under supervision of the PhD student/postdoc and the course coordinators write a grant proposal in which a specific molecule/target is proposed for drug/clinical development. At the beginning of the 4th week each couple will also give a presentation on this proposal - for peer review. During the course visits will be made to Biotechnology companies (involved in clinical trials). In addition, a senior scientist will be invited to discuss with students what it takes to be a successful scientist.

Course objectives

The student:
* Shows and applies understanding of signal transduction and cellular communication in normal and pathological systems
* Develops treatment strategies of human diseases
* Is able to substantiate conclusions independently with relevant literature and/or data
* Considers, depending on the topic, possible social and ethical implications in developed treatment strategies and conclusions
* Shows communication skills in presenting coherently and convincingly while taking into account modern presentation principles
* Experiences critical and challenging academic atmosphere in a modern research group


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

Mode of instruction

Lectures, self-study, work groups. A pro-active behaviour is expected from the student.

Course load

Total course load is the amount of EC’s multiplied with 28 hours.

Assessment Method

Each student will be assessed for (a) his/her paper presentation/journal club in week 2, (b) the written grant proposal, and (c) his/her grant presentation in week 4.

Formative assessment
* Individual written and/or oral feedback by tutor
* Feedback in interactive discussions by tutors and peers
* Individual written and/or oral feedback by tutor on content and skill

Summative assessment
* Research proposal
* Oral literature presentation
* Oral research proposal presentation
* Student behaviour


Blackboard will be used during this course.

Reading list

Will be distributed during the course.


Registration for FOS courses, H2W, Scientific Conduct, How to start, Course on Animal Science , and CRiP and Adv concepts courses 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