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Experimental Models in
Molecular Biomedicine

Meet senior biomedical scientists from different CIVIS Universities who will teach you design experiments to address real research questions by using their favorite experimental model

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CIVIS focus area
Health
Open to
  • Bachelor's
  • Master's
  • Phd
Field of studies
  • Medicine and Health
Tipo
  • Blended Intensive Programmes (BIP)
Course dates
4 February - 5 July 2024

If you want to pursue a research career in biomedicine, this course is for you. It will provide you knowledge on different experimental models commonly used in current biomedical research, as well as on the principles of scientific method and experimental approaches. Under the supervision of scientists and teachers from seven CIVIS universities, you will practice by designing and discussing experiments to address real research questions.

Teaching is based on team-, active- and peer- learning activities.

You will be able to choose between 3, 5 or 6 ECTS by following virtual face-to-face sessions for 9, 15 or 17 weeks respectively (1 or 3h/ week - see calendar) and one final week of physical face-to face sessions in Madrid:

  • Presentation & introductory lectures: 1 week (3h -> compulsory; 1h -> lecture)
  • Research workshops: 4, 6 or 8 models of your choice, 2 weeks/ workshop (1h/ 1st week + 3h/ 2nd week->compulsory)
  • Physical mobility: 5 days (July 1-5)

Every workshop will have the same structure: 2 weeks of face-to face work (Monday, Wednesday and Friday between 15:00-16:00 CET) and compulsory attendance: week 1 - only Friday; week 2 - all three sessions for team work & presentations and peer evaluation.

The students will have:

  • a week ahead pre-recorded 1h-lecture (most important concepts behind the scientist project) plus 1h-seminar on the teacher research. He will be on-line Monday and Wednesday for doubts and questions (non compulsory);
  • 2 sessions (1h each) of team work (3-4 students) aimed at proposing and designing experiments to address assigned specific research questions raised at the end of the seminar. These sessions will be tutorized by the teacher (teams will be split in different virtual rooms). Teams will also prepare a simple 3-4 slides-presentation;
  • 2 last sessions (1h each) for a team presentation of their proposals. These will be evaluated by the teacher but also by the peer teams. Both teacher and students will be provided with evaluation rubrics.

At the end of the course, all teachers and students will meet in person in Madrid for the physical mobility part of the program. During this week, the individual evaluation will also take place. 

Main topics addressed

  • Introductory lectures: scientific method, different types of experiments, the dynamics of an experimental approach
  • Research workshops:
  1. Yeast as a biotechnological tool with multiple applications: a model for dietary toxicology
  2. Non-coding RNAs and RNA modifications in cell differentiation and disease
  3. Behavioral phenotyping of Mouse Models
  4. Single-Cell Next Generation Sequencing (NGS)
  5. Adult Stem Cells
  6. In Vivo and Ex Vivo Cancer Immunity Models
  7. Models to study Angiogenesis
  8. Novel approaches to study Human Diseases

Learning outcomes

At the end of this course, the students are expected to have acquired:

  • knowledge of scientific method, experimental approaches, basics of experimental design;
  • vision on different experimental models in biomedical research;
  • knowledge on how to design experiments, to delineate outcomes, predict interpretations;
  • ability to apply all previous theroretical knowledge;
  • team work skills;
  • knowledge on how to make simple, effective, informative, right-to-the point graphic presentations;
  • ability of peer evaluation.
Dates: 4 February - 5 July 2024 Total workload: 150 hours
Format: Blended ECTS: 6*
Location: Madrid, Spain Language: English (B2)
Contact: carmela.cales@uam.es  

*Recognition of ECTS depends on your home university.

Physical mobility

The physical mobility week at the end of the course, held in Madrid on 1st to 5th of july, will include:

  • visits to companies, university's facilities and/ or laboratories; 
  • the individual evaluation of each student - written and oral presentation;
  • general discussions on each model;
  • personal feedback from scientists;
  • closing ceremony including keynote speeches from young and veteran researchers.

City tours and local cultural activities will make the mobility experience the most enriching for all international participants.

Monday: Teachers Seminars

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday:

  • morning: written exam, individual presentations & individual feedback tutorial (up to six practical cases, similar to those presented and worked on during the workshops, will be proposed. The students will choose two of them for development, and afterwards only one to be presented in the following days. All teachers and students will be present and there will be individual feedback provided to each student);
  • afternoon: visits to companies & big research facilities; cultural visit of the city; social program.

Friday:

  • course wrap up;
  • inspirational seminar by an invited speaker;
  • diplomas delivery ceremony.

Virtual part

Week 1: General lectures (compulsory)

  • 5 February - Presentation
  • 7 February - Scientific method
  • 9 February - Experimental approaches

Then students will have to attend 4, 6 or 8 workshops (depending on the enrolled ECTS - 3, 5 or 6). Please note that dates are final, however workshops order can be changed, although the final calendar will be updated (if needed) before the enrollment.

Weeks 2 & 3: Workshop Yeast as a biotechnological tool with multiple applications: a model for dietary toxicology

  • 12 & 14 February: Optional tutorial on lecture and seminar
  • 16 & 20 February: Compulsory team-work on proposal & presentation
  • 22 & 24 February: Compulsory presentation and peer-evaluation

Weeks 4 & 5: Workshop Non-coding RNAs and RNA modifications in cell differentiation and disease

  • 27 & 29 February: Optional tutorial on lecture and seminar
  • 2 & 4 March: Compulsory team-work on proposal & presentation
  • 6 & 8 March: Compulsory presentation and peer-evaluation

Weeks 6 & 7: Workshop Behavioral phenotyping of Mouse Models

  • 11 & 13 March: Optional tutorial on lecture and seminar
  • 15 & 18 March: Compulsory team-work on proposal & presentation
  • 20 & 22 March: Compulsory presentation and peer-evaluation

25 March - 14 April: Easter holidays spanning all different CIVIS countries

Weeks 8 & 9: Workshop Single-Cell Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) to study Hematopoietic Stem Cell Aging

  • 15 & 17 April: Optional tutorial on lecture and seminar
  • 19 & 21 April: Compulsory team-work on proposal & presentation
  • 23 & 25 April: Compulsory presentation and peer-evaluation

Weeks 10 & 11: Workshop In Vivo and Ex Vivo Cancer Immunity Models

  • 29 Apr & 2 May: Optional tutorial on lecture and seminar
  • 3 & 6 May: Compulsory team-work on proposal & presentation
  • 8 & 10 May: Compulsory presentation and peer-evaluation

Weeks 12 & 13: Workshop Human adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells differentiation for tissue engineering applications

  • 13 & 15 May: Optional tutorial on lecture and seminar
  • 17 & 20 May: Compulsory team-work on proposal & presentation
  • 22 & 24 May 24: Compulsory presentation and peer-evaluation

Weeks 14 & 15: Workshop Models to study Angiogenesis

  • 27 & 29 May: Optional tutorial on lecture and seminar
  • 31 May & 3 Jun: Compulsory team-work on proposal & presentation
  • 5 & 7 Jun: Compulsory presentation and peer-evaluation

Weeks 16 & 17: Workshop Novel approaches to study Human Diseases

  • 10 & 12 Jun: Optional tutorial on lecture and seminar
  • 14 & 17 Jun: Compulsory team-work on proposal & presentation
  • 19 & 21 Jun: Compulsory presentation and peer-evaluation

Requirements

This course is open to Bachelor's, Master's and PhD students at CIVIS member universities with at least 180 certified ECTS of Bachelor Degree in Biochemistry, Molecular & Cell Biology, Biotechnology, Genetics, Biomedicine, Pharmacy or similar (in the field of Health sciences).

Participants should have a good level of written and spoken English (B1), but also skills such as critical analysis of experimental design, team work and peer-instruction, self- and peer-assessment, ability to make simple, effective, informative, right-to-the point graphic presentations. 

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.

Students from CIVIS’ strategic partner universities in Africa cannot apply for participation in this course.

Application process

Send your application by filling in the online application form by 7 November 2023, including:

  • CV
  • Motivation letter
  • Level of english (According to CEFR)

Applications will be evaluated based on the academic performance of the student, Molecular and Cell Biology courses background (ECTS number & grades),  motivation letter: career plan, expectations, research interests, reasons to choose the course.

Apply now

Assessment

The assessment will comprise teacher and peer evaluation (based on a default form which will be fullt explained):

Continous assessment:

  • individual questionnaires: 15%
  • team work & presentations (4, 6 or 8 - depending on the enrolled ECTS): 35% (20% teachers + 15% peer teams)

Individual exam & presentation:

  • written exam: 30%
  • presentation: 20%

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.

GDPR Consent

The CIVIS alliance and its member universities will treat the information you provide with respect. Please refer to our privacy policy for more information on our privacy practices. By applying to this course you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.

Dr. Lavinia Ruta (UB) engineers yeast and plants to model toxicology studies.

Prof. Alessandro Fatica and Dr Monica Ballarino (SUR) work on epitranscriptomics in different physiological and pathological conditions.

Dr. Thorsten Schmidt (TU) models neuropathologies involving ataxin genes in the mouse.

Dr. Estelle Duprez (CNRS, AMU) studies hematopoietic aging by using advanced single-cell transcriptome analysis.

Dr. Sorina Dinescu (UB) works in adult stem cells.

Dr. Maria Tsoumakidou (NKUA) uses tumor-chips and patient-derived xenografts for oncoimmunology research.

Dr. Maud Martin (ULB) studies the role of microtubules during vascular bed-specific angiogenesis.

Drs. Schmidt-Arras and Krenn (PLUS) use innovative ex vivo models to study human diseases.

Prof. Carmela Calés, assisted by Prof. Isabel Sánchez (UAM) coordinates the course.

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