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Disease, Signalling and Drug Targets


This Minor is focused on basic scientific research required for discovery of new drug targets and development of new drugs. Cancer and Cardiovascular disease are discussed as important examples of progressive diseases which contribute substantially to morbidity and mortality in the ageing population.
Chronic progressive diseases result from changes at the cellular level that disturb the biology of healthy tissue. Dissection of the primary molecular mechanisms that underlie both the initiation as well as progression of disease processes leads to the identification of novel targets for drug intervention. The regulation of cell biological processes occurs by complex, cell specific signal transduction cascades both within affected cells as well as between different cell types in the affected tissue and/or organism.

Goal of this Minor is to provide insight into general signal transduction pathways and how these pathways are altered in disease. It also shows how these alterations in signaling can be dissected using state-of-the-art (molecular biological) techniques and how fundamental research of these processes can be used for the discovery of new drug targets.

Moreover, this minor also shows how insights in the changes in molecular pathways of disease constitute the basis for the identification of biomarkers that can be used for monitoring disease progression in patients. This is important for the development of new drugs aiming at modification of disease progression. Mechanism-based pharmacokinetic, pharmacodynamic, and disease progression models are presented which, in combination with new biomarkers, constitute a novel scientific basis to assess the effects of novel drug treatments in clinical trials.

When foreign students follow the Minor, all lectures and exams will be in English; students may however answer in Dutch.

Admission requirements

This Minor is particularly suitable for students in Bio-Pharmaceutical Sciences, Biology, Biomedical Sciences and Life Science & Technology. Moreover, the course ‘Thema Effecten van Geneesmiddelen 1’, ‘Life Sciences’, or an equivalent course must be completed successfully before the start of the Minor (see Appendix 3 of the Education and Exam regulation BSc Programmes (OER)).
Minimum/maximum capacity: 10/40


Application occurs via uSis, between May 1st and June 15th 2015.
The class number required to enroll in uSis can be found via the Faculty Website Sign up for classes
Important: All LST students should register via uSis
Other students from Technical University Delft or Erasmus University Rotterdam can register via the Application Form (available on this website from May 1st until May 31st 2015). From June 1st on, these students can register via the Minor Coordinator. All other students should always apply via the Minor Coordinator between May 1st and June 15th 2015.


Coordinator: Prof. Dr. B. van de Water


  • The Minor Disease, Signalling and Drug Targets starts on August 31st 2015 at 9.00 a.m. in a lecture room at the Gorlaeus Laboratories.