BSc Minor Microbes Inside (WUMIN) / BSc


The BSc Minor Microbes Inside is intended for students in the Life Sciences and provides challenging examples of how the omnipresent nature and function of microbes, including bacteria, archaea and fungi, affects our life. We are colonized since birth by complex microbial communities (also known as our microbiome) that are important for health and disease. Our intestinal tract is densely populated with mainly anaerobic microbes that not only contribute to the processing of our food, produce vitamins and other important compounds, but also have developed intimate interactions with ourselves and our immune system. This BSc Minor provides the basic knowledge to describe, understand and exploit these interactions. This is realized in a series of related courses that integrate theory and practice. These focus on the relation of microbes and their environment (Microbial Ecology), the interaction of food and microbes with human and other hosts (Immunomodulation by Food and Feed), and the high throughput approaches needed to study the function of microbes and host based on their genomic information (Functional Genomics). The final course (Microbes Inside) is integrating this basic information and provides a comprehensive and interdisciplinary view on the human intestinal tract and their microbes, and their applications in the food, diagnostics & pharma industry.

Learning Outcomes

After successful completion of this minor students are expected to be able to:
- understand the basic mechanisms by which microbes colonize the intestinal tract and interact with the host;
- define and memorize the immune defence reactions against gut-associated pathogens and the tolerance towards endogenous microbiota;
- have a basic understanding of the high throughput approaches to study intestinal functionality in health and disease;
- be able to describe the effects of dietary components on gut microbiota and host;
- design and perform experiments related to intestinal microbiology and modulation of the local gut-associated immune response by dietary components;
- describe follow up experiments using literature data and electronic databases.

BSc Minor Coordinator

Prof dr W.M. de Vos
Phone: + 31 (0)653735635

Target Group

This minor is interesting for WU-students of the Life Science BSc-programmes Nutrition and Health, Biology, Animal Sciences, Molecular Life Sciences, Biotechnology, Food Technology. Also for non-WU students, Dutch or international, who are interested in nutrition and health, immunomodulation by diet, tolerance induction in the gut, and research in probiotics and prebiotics.