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Advanced Neurochemistry with Molecular Neurobiology

  • 15 credits

This course will give you a deeper theoretical and practical understanding of the cellular and molecular mechanisms of the nervous system. Specifically, how these shape the function of the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system in health and disease..

Cells expressing mutated PolyQ protein
Cells expressing mutated PolyQ protein.

Emphasis will be placed on the interplay between glia cells and neurons, the role of cytokines and neurotrophic factors, and how these molecules regulate gene expression and thus different functions in cells of the nervous system. The course will cover glial and neuronal functions/dysfunction in response to physical trauma, as well as in neuropsychiatric, neuroinflammatory and neurodegenerative diseases. The problems and possibilities with neuronal regeneration will also be discussed.
An additional focus of the course is to learn about different methods and models that can be used to study the nervous system in health and disease. Laboratory exercises and the project work will give practical experience of some models and methods , which includes training in eukaryotic cell culturing. Students will also learn how to present and analyze research data in a scientific manner.   

Previous knowledge equivalent to the course Neurochemistry with molecular neurobiology (KN7001) is required in order to enroll in this course.

  • Course structure

    Course consists of three modules

    Theory part (8 ECTS):
    The theory part consist of lectures, which includes small theoretical exercises to facilitate learning of the lecture material.

    Attending lectures is highly recommended and will help you identify the key knowledge required to pass the written exam.

    Laboratory exercises (3 ECTS):
    Laboratory exercises are performed in groups of 2-3 students and are mandatory. The laboratory exercises focus on learning to culture cells and studying the effect of neurotrophic factors and apoptosis in the nervous system.

    Project work (4 ECTS):
    During the project work you will investigate whether one for you unknown substance (substance X) induces apoptosis (programmed cell death) in SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells.

    The project work involves four parts;
    a) identifying a method and developing a detailed protocol for how to use the identified method to study whether substance X induces apoptosis in SH-SY5Y cells,
    b) perform a risk assessment for an experiment using the proposed protocol,
    c) performing the apoptosis experiment using the proposed method and protocol, and
    d) share data among the different research groups, analyze and present the results in a written project report.  

    All project activities are madatory. Projects are performed in groups of 2-3 students, however each student write an individual report.

    Modules

    Theory, 8 ECTS
    Laboratory exercises, 3 ECTS
    Literature project, 4 ECTS

    Teaching format

    Please see above under heading course details.

    Assessment

    It is expected that the student after completing the course will be able to:

    • Demonstrate enhanced insight into the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the function of the nervous system.
    • Demonstrate understanding of the interplay between neurons and glia cells, focusing on cytokine signaling, neurobiological changes after trauma and in neurodegenerative and autoimmune diseases affecting the nervous system
    • Demonstrate basic understanding of growth factors, their receptor mechanisms and role in nerve cell differentiation and plasticity.
    • Use, describe and discuss methods and model systems that can be applied to study the functions and dysfunction of the nervous system.
    • Analyze and present scientific data orally and in written form.

    Measurement of knowledge takes place through;
        • Written exam at the end of the course
        • Individual lab reports
        • Written project report

     

    Examiner

    Course responsible:

    Associate Professor Anna-Lena Ström

  • Schedule

    The schedule will be available no later than one month before the start of the course. We do not recommend print-outs as changes can occur. At the start of the course, your department will advise where you can find your schedule during the course.
  • Course literature

    Note that the course literature can be changed up to two months before the start of the course.
    • Lecture hand-outs
    • Scientific articles handed out by the teachers and found by your own search in PubMed
  • Contact

    Course responsible:

    Associate Professor Anna-Lena Ström

    E-mail: anna-lena.strom@dbb.su.se

     

    Chemistry Section & Student Affairs Office:

    Office:        Chemical Practice Laboratory M345
    E-mail:       chemistry@su.se