Course catalogue doctoral education - VT18

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Title Microbiota, metabolism and immunity in the development and treatment of malignancies
Course number 3023
Programme Tumörbiologi och onkologi (FoTO)
Language English
Credits 1.5
Date 2018-06-04 -- 2018-06-08
Responsible KI department Institutionen för mikrobiologi, tumör- och cellbiologi
Specific entry requirements
Purpose of the course The microbiota has emerged as an important arbitrator of health and disease. The impact of the microbiota on intestinal malignancies has gained much attraction. This course intends to impart knowledge and introduce analytical tools to critically assess current ideas and evidence underpinning the role of the microbiota in cancer development and their effects on therapeutic regimes.
Intended learning outcomes At the end of the course the student is expected to: 

- Understand various ways to study the microbiota in health and disease
- To assess what tools are available to study the function of the microbiota in cancer
- Have basic knowledge about cancer pathology, especially gastrointestinal malignancies 
- To explore the molecular mechanisms underlying the impact of the microbiota on cancer development
- To understand how the microbiota may be a determinant in influencing treatment strategies
Contents of the course Cancer susceptibility is sometimes defined as gene-environment interaction. A critical component of our immediate environment is the commensal microbiota, which have a major impact on metabolism and immunity, two facets of physiology that impact on cancer. This course aims to convey current ideas and an understanding of the tools necessary to assess the slew of reports that link the microbiota to cancer development and treatment. The modules/lectures will explore how high throughput studies have been applied to assess this link, paying particular attention to the strength of the evidence and and limitations of the anaylses. Apart from lectures on metagenomics and metabonomics, students will be introduced to basic diagnostic cancer histopathology and molecular diagnostics, as well as to breakthroughs in exploratory translational research. A final goal is that the students shall be able to critically assess the research published on this subject and formulate the necessary criteria to test their assumptions. This can be in the form of a defined research project.
Teaching and learning activities The course will be organized as a series of lectures coupled with defined discussion topics, led by selected lectures. All students are to participate in the scheduled group discussions with invited experts/lecturers. Students are also very much encouraged and expected to engage in critical dialectic constructive discussions throughout the course ("Filip och Fredrik pedagogic"). The students will be provided before the starting of the course with material that they should read in advance and that will be used as base for the lectures and discussions.
Compulsory elements Attendance to the lectures, scheduled discussions and seminars is compulsory. In special cases, with limited absence, the student can compensate with a written report upon discussion with the course organisers.
Examination To pass the course the students must show that they have reached the learning outcomes of the course. This will be assessed formatively during the group discussions with the lecturers where students will be divided in group of 2-3, and by an individual assessment based on writing a microbiota-cancer project related to their own research interests.
Literature and other teaching material The students will be provided with relevant research papers prior and during the course.
Number of students 8 - 20
Selection of students Selection will be based on 1) the relevance of the course syllabus for the applicant's doctoral project (according to written motivation), 2) date for registration as a doctoral student (priority given to earlier registration date)
More information We intend to start with a brief presentation of research interests of participants and their expectations of the course.
1. Three and a half days of lectures, seminars and theory discussion sessions
2. One lab visit (microbiota sequencing laboratory)
3. Two afternoons of research proposal preparations
4. Presentation of research proposal
Additional course leader Velmurugesan Arulampalam, MTC,
Stefanie Prast-Nielsen, MTC,
Earlier evaluation of the course Not available
Course responsible Velmurugesan Arulampalam
Institutionen för mikrobiologi, tumör- och cellbiologi

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