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Organ transplantation


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.

Key words:

Skills: Debating.

Topics: Multidisciplinary perspective on organ transplantation: clinical, scientific, ethical, economic and political discussions. Policy on Organ transplantation, lack of donor organs, immunological challenges, technological improvements to aid transplantation.

Disciplines: Medicine, Biology, Political Sciences, Public administration.


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, economical 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:

This Honours Class will be possibly held on Wednesdays from February 2020 onwards. The session is scheduled from 18.00-21.00 hours.
The exact dates will be announced.

Introduction: coming together, brief overview of the Honours Class and student assignment.

Tentative program of speakers:

Session 1: The purpose and benefits of transplantation - Prof. Marlies Reinders and Dr Mijntje Nijboer (LUMC)
Session 2: Lack of donor organs; how to increase the pool - Dr. Luc Colenbie (Universitair Ziekenhuis Gent, Belgium)
Session 3: The immunological challenges of transplantation - Prof. Cees van Kooten and Dr Sebastiaan Heidt (LUMC)
Session 4: Technological improvements to aid transplantation - Prof. dr Ian Alwayn (LUMC)
Session 5: Value based health care in transplantation - Prof. dr Willem-Jan Bos (LUMC & Sint Antonius, Nieuwegein)
Session 6: “The ADR system” - Mw Roos Oosterwijk (Ministry of VWS)
Session 7: Patient self-management in the internet age - Prof.dr. Andrea Evers and Dr. Lieke Wirken (Universiteit Leiden)
Session 8: The future of growing organs for transplantation - Dr. Cathelijne van den Berg and Drs. M. Koning (LUMC)


Leiden University Medical Centre (LUMC). Room to be announced.

Reading list:

The reading materials for the individual sessions will be posted on BlackBoard 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:

The assesment methods will look as follwow:

  • 20% organising a session;

  • 10% active participation in the sessions;

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


Blackboard will be used in this course. Students can register for the Blackboard site of Medicine two weeks prior to the start of the course.

Registration process:

Enrolling in this course is possible from Monday the 5th of November up to and including Thursday the 14th of November until 23:59 o'clock through the Honours Academy. The registration link will be posted on the student website of the Honours Academy.

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


Dr. Nelleke A. Gruis (Coördinator Honours College Medicine):