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Organoid models in immunology-oncology

Learn more about organoid models in immunology-oncology with hands-on workshops

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CIVIS focus area
Open to
  • Master's
  • Phd
Field of studies
  • Medicine and Health
  • Natural Sciences and Mathematics
  • Blended Intensive Programmes (BIP)
Course dates
3 June - 7 July 2023

Organoids are 3D in vitro cultures forming mini-clusters of cells that self-organise and differentiate to mimic the organs from which they are derived. The ability to generate tumor organoids that capture the structure, function, cellular and genetic heterogeneity of cancer better than any immortalised cell line was immediately recognised as a major breakthrough.

Furthermore, methods of co-culturing epithelial cancer organoids with other cell populations in the tumor microenvironment, such as immune cells, allow the exploration of cellular interactions that govern cancer progression. Organoids therefore offer a new and exciting platform for the study of cancer biology and translational applications such as drug discovery and personalized medicine.

Main topics addressed

  • Introduction to tumor organoids
  • Organoids workshops
  • Neural organoids
  • Immune organoids
  • Organoid exploratory tools

Learning outcomes

The expected learning outcomes for the summer school on “Organoid models in immuno-oncology” are that students demonstrate the ability to:

  • Handle and culture organoids,
  • Develop critical thinking to support the choice, development and validation of 3D culture systems to appropriately simulate tumor tissue,
  • Compare methods of modelling tumor-immune host interactions with organoids,
  • Solve specific biological questions by designing experiments in a logical manner,
  • Ask questions to our expert lecturers and benefit from their knowledge and advice.
Dates: 3 June - 7 July 2023 Total workload: 178 hours
Format: Blended ECTS: 6*
Location: Marseille, France Language: English (B2) 

*Recognition of ECTS depends on your home university.

The contact points for this course are the following: 

Physical mobility

The physical mobility part will be running from 3 to 7 July 2023. 

It will consist of a 5-day intensive summer school in Marseille, France, with applied workshops.

Virtual part

The virtual part will be running from 3 June to 7 July 2023.

  • Organoid Challenges
  • Tutored Reading
  • Round Tables Preparation

The virtual component of the program will consist of the presentation of mini-research projects that will be conducted by the students during the physical components of the program: “The Organoid challenge.” Students will receive a general introduction to the research questions they will be asked to answer: How to design an experimental plan that uses organoid technology and unlock technological and scientific bottlenecks. Ten specific questions will be provided, 1 for each of the 10 groups of students (4 per group). In addition, students will be provided with research papers from the speakers to prepare questions to ask after each talk and to gather specific material for their mini-research project.


This course is open to Master's and PhD students at CIVIS member universities.

Applicants should have some experience in immunology, oncology, cellular and molecular biology and/or biophysics.

In addition, applicants should demonstrate a sufficient level of English language to communicate (oral and written) with their peers, speakers, professors, researchers and administrators.

NB: Visiting Students - Erasmus Funding Eligibility

To be eligible for your selected CIVIS programme, you must be a fully enrolled student at your CIVIS home university at the time you will be undertaking the programme. Click here to learn more about the eligibility criteria.

Application process

Send your application by filling in the online application form by 8 March 2023 with the following documents:

  • Motivation letter
  • CV
  • Grades

Apply now


  • A comprehensive exam of multiple-choice questions for the virtual component.
  • Active participation to talks from keynote lecturers and research speakers (asked questions and participation to round tables with speakers).
  • Poster presentation (best poster selected by a CIVIS jury).
  • Active participation to the practical workshops.
  • Mini research project presentation (best presentation selected by a CIVIS jury).

Blended Intensive Programme

This CIVIS course is a Blended Intensive Programme (BIP): a new format of Erasmus+ mobility which combines online teaching with a short trip to another campus to learn alongside students and professors across Europe. Click here to learn more about CIVIS BIPs.

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A panel of 9 internationally renowned speakers and a panel of 25 scientists/professors from Europe and abroad will deliver the lectures and will coordinate the practical workshops.