1st semester of Molecular Techniques in Life Science – Part II

3. Frontier in Translational Medicine (at Karolinska’s Hospital)

According to the course website, the purpose of the course is to acquire

“knowledge about human biology, disease etiology and pathogenesis, understand why and how bioinformatics tools improve the understanding of human biology, disease etiology and pathogenesis, as well as the implications of these interdisciplinary approaches for the discovery of novel diagnostic tools and pharmaceuticals from a global health perspective.”

It comprises of five blocks: application of bioinformatics in diseases, immunology, neurology, cancer, and metabolism. In terms of ECTS points, it occupies the heaviest portion of our whole master study. How “heavy” is it? Below is a typical schedule for a week:

Week one of neurology block

As you may see from the schedule, each class is conducted by different teachers who are specialists in this field. Besides regular lectures and exams, the course offers unique opportunities in interactive learning:

Computer lab X 3:

There are three computer labs throughout the courses in which we integrate knowledge in biomedicine with application of multiple bioinformatics analysis softwares. Under the guidance of teachers, we learned how to use different softwares, the weaknesses and strength of individual bioinformatics tools, how to interpret the results etc.

Journal club X 3:

In the journal club, we were separated into two small groups and focused on a few selected scientific paper. There are various forms of journal club: sometimes we concentrated more on discussion in technical details of an important technology (e.g. RNA sequencing), sometimes we were asked to give a presentation in groups on a current topic. Between and after each journal club, the teachers would give remarks to our performance and suggestions for important. I still remember four teachers were invited at our third journal club: they are physician, researcher in life science, bioinformatician and even a mathematician! (Because that journal club involved topics in modeling and statistics.)

Our first journal club

(Photo from my classmate Carolina)

Individual assignment:

At the end of a course, we are required to submit an individual assignment and give a presentation on it. There is only one requirement of this assignment is the title: it must be “Use X (a bioinformatics tool) to Study Y (a disease)”. Indeed, this is the purpose of the course: mastery in application of bioinformatics tool in diseases.

The assessment of the courses include two exams with grades Fail/Pass/Pass with Distinction. While other portions (journal clubs, computer labs, assignment) are all compulsory with grades Pass/Fail.

4. Frontier in life science

It requires us to attend seminars and submit report within a fixed period. At that time, I started to explore open lectures in Stockholm and discovered that the opportunities are overwhelming! Topics in SCIENCE AND MORE will mainly be the ongoing cutting-edge researches at KTH or other research institutes in big Stockholm metropolis. For example, the Nobel lecture series  is something that you certainly don’t want to miss! It is detailed in my blog In the Nobel Week: Lecture by Dr. Ohsumi.

After submitting our own report, we need to mark two reports from our classmates and leave comments. This allows us to learn from others: as we may have attended different seminars.

Want to learn more?

Now, I have introduced all the four courses of the first semester at the Master Programme in Molecular Techniques in Life Science! If you want more official information, you may visit our course website:



If you are interested in knowing more about our campus life at Karolinska Institutet, our my classmate Carolina, a student ambassador at Karolinska, is to help you with her wonderful blog: studentblogski.wordpress.com/author/carolinasavatierdupre/




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