BIC-31312 Systems@Work: A Toolbox of Systems Biology


Credits 12.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Individual Paper12
Course coordinator(s)prof. dr. D Weijers
Lecturer(s)prof. dr. SC de Vries
prof. dr. D Weijers
dr. PJ Schaap
dr. ir. LH de Graaff
dr. C Fleck
Examiner(s)prof. dr. D Weijers

Language of instruction:

Dutch and/or english

Assumed knowledge on:

MOB-30306 Control of Cellular Processes and Cell Differentiation.

Continuation courses:

MSc Theses


The availability of the primary DNA sequences of organisms has given unprecedented insight into evolution of genomes and the realisation that the building blocks of cells share many common elements. This means that traditional subdivisions between animals, plants and prokaryotes begin to disappear. Another effect is the growing need to integrate experimental details from many areas such as bioinformatics, biochemistry, cell biology, physiology and genetics to translate the DNA blue print into a working, living cell. This has given rise to a new field in biology, called systems biology. The primary goal of the Systems-Toolbox is to provide students a broad experimental overview of this new non-reductional approach to a complex biological problem. Examples are understanding a complex phenotype or finding networks of proteins involved in a biosynthetic or signal transduction pathway.
The course is aimed to deal with a selection of the following topics:
1. bioinformatics approaches to integrate proteomics and genomics data;
2. biochemical analysis and in vivo visualization of protein interactions:
- yeast interaction screens;
- protein interaction assays;
- isolation of protein complexes;
- introducing tagged proteins to visualize protein complexes;
- identification of proteins by LC/MS/MS/MALDITOF procedures. 3. isolation and characterization of cloned genes for use in yeast/E.coli expression systems;
4. gene expression:
- reporter analysis by fluorescence assays;
5. basics of FRET detection; relation with other methods.

Learning outcomes:

At the end of the course, students are expected to: - have learned to work with an integrated set of advanced tools to determine protein networks that perform specific tasks at the cell level; - have learned to be involved in several experiments simultaneously, occasionally in different research groups; - have learned to collect background information independently; - have experience in performing research in a small group; - have documented the results of their experiments properly and have presented them written and orally.


- carry out experiments according to available manuals and protocols; - perform database and neural network-based searches; - work as a member of a team.


The final mark will be based on theoretical insight in the project and laboratory skills shown during the work (50%), on the quality of the oral presentation (20%) and written report (30%) of the results of the work.


Will be provided during the course.

Restricted Optional for: MBTBiotechnologyMScC: Medical Biotechnology5WD, 6WD
MMLMolecular Life SciencesMSc5WD