HAP-22306 Practical Lab Skills for Animal Sciences


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Group work8
Course coordinator(s)dr. KJ Teerds
Lecturer(s)prof. dr. ir. J Keijer
dr. C Carmone
prof. dr. ir. HFJ Savelkoul
prof. dr. J Wells
dr. KJ Teerds
Examiner(s)dr. KJ Teerds
prof. dr. ir. J Keijer

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

Human and Animal Physiology I and II


This course has a maximum number of participants. The deadline for registration is one week earlier than usual. 
See Agenda & Calendar Academic Year (http://www.wur.nl/en/Education-Programmes/Current-Students/Agenda-Calendar-Academic-Year.htm) -> Registration for Courses). 
The primary goal of this introductory course is to understand the principles of various common laboratory techniques, and gain practical experience in these techniques, with emphasis on common molecular and biochemical research in animal sciences. In the course students will address practical questions at the tissue, cell and molecular level, relevant for Animal Sciences students using a panel of different lab techniques such as 1) histology, immunohistochemistry and Western blotting, 2) ELISA 3) RT-PCR and 4) enzym activity assays. To explore the opportunities and limitations of these techniques in different tissues, we will start off with:
- Western blotting (protein quantification assay on whole tissue), followed by:
- immunohistochemical analysis of proteins in homegeneous and heterogenous tissues to acquire knowledge on when which technique provides most information regarding cellular/tissue functioning;
- perform and study an immunological response and analyze this;
- understand principles of  gene expression and to assess gene function and protein synthesis. 
Techniques included are: qPCR, Western and Immunoblotting, ELISA, microscopy, biochemical assays, etc. Theoretical background of each technique will be provided and theoretical background of complementary techniques will be explained.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to: 
- retrieve background information relevant to the research topic; 
- apply molecular and biochemical analysis techniques, interpret the results, and incorporate these in a written report; 
- have insight in practical procedures, identify the crucial steps and be able to optimize protocols and experimental strategies for analysis of experiments related to animal sciences; 
- carry out experiments independently;  
- complete experiments and write a report as part of a team.


- perform experiments according to available protocols;
- documentation of obtained results in an (electronic) lab journal;
- literature search for relevant background information;
- write a report;
- work as a team;
- acquire knowledge of the scientific background of the techniques used and be able to chose the correct technique to obtain the desired information.


- research competence evaluated by an exam at the end of the course (30%);
- written reports (70%).
The minimum mark for the exam and each of the written reports is a 5.5. The partial marks will be valid for 6 years.


Wilson and Walker's Principles and Techniques of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 8 th edition (2018) Cambridge University Press

Compulsory for: BASAnimal SciencesBScB: Spec. B - Biological Functioning of Animals5AF