Evolutionary Medicine

Faculteit Science and Engineering
Jaar 2021/22
Vakcode WBBY039-05
Vaknaam Evolutionary Medicine
Niveau(s) bachelor
Voertaal Engels
Periode semester II a
Rooster rooster.rug.nl

Uitgebreide vaknaam Evolutionary Medicine
Leerdoelen At the end of the course, the student is able to:
1) Define and discuss general ecological and evolutionary concepts including selection, mutation, drift, trade-offs and
2) Review the evolutionary dynamics operating upon infectious disease and parasites, with implications for human health
3) Discuss and debate the concept of an evolutionary mismatch between the contemporary human environment and the
environment in which we evolved
4) Explain the concept of virulence with implications for human health
5) Describe the progress of cancer in evolutionary terms
6) Describe how disease risk has varied over the course of human evolution
7) Present a poster presentation on applied evolutionary medicine
Omschrijving We normally think of evolution as optimizing the phenotype of an animal so that it is well-adapted to its environment. So, the existence of diseases such as influenza or cancer are a puzzle. The course will investigate why and how diseases which are obviously harmful persist over evolutionary timescales.

This course will give a broad overview where ecological and evolutionary thinking can advance the understanding of human health and disease. We will cover a range of topics including:

- A review of evolutionary genetics and dynamics
- The co-evolution of parasites and hosts
- Evolution of the immune system
- Evolution and origin of human infectious diseases
- Evolution of virulence – why are some infectious diseases fatal and others so mild that they are barely noticed?
- Evolution of sexually transmitted diseases
- The evolution of antibacterial and antimicrobial resistance
- Microbiota and human health
- Evolutionary processes operating in during cancer development
- The evolution of aging and diseases of old age
- The evolution of human reproductive disorders and pregnancy complications
- Applied evolution

The course is suitable for any student interested in evolution and ecology or a biomedical field.
Uren per week
Onderwijsvorm Hoorcollege (LC), Opdracht (ASM), Werkcollege (T)
(LC-30 hrs, T-3 hrs, ASM-16 hrs)
Toetsvorm Meerkeuze toets (MC), Presentatie (P), Schriftelijk tentamen (WE)
(WE-30%, MC-30%, P-40%. To pass the course, the final exam and poster presentation must each receive a grade higher than 5.5)
Vaksoort bachelor
Coördinator dr. ir. M.G.J. de Vos
Docent(en) dr. ir. M.G.J. de Vos , M.G. Elliot, PhD.
Verplichte literatuur
Titel Auteur ISBN Prijs
Brock, Biology of Microorganisms (2019) Michael T Madigan, Kelly S Bender, Daniel Hezekiah Buckley, W Matthew Sattley, David Allan Stahl
Evolutionary Analysis 2015 Herron, Freeman
Scientific manuscripts provided in course
Entreevoorwaarden The course builds upon basic foundations of evolutionary biology acquired in the first year of the Biology curriculum. Students should have studied a first year course in evolution or a biomedical field.

Students from other degree programmes than Biology and/or Life Science & Technology who would like to participate in this course unit need to have basic biological and evolutionary knowledge. Students are obliged to contact one of the academic advisors before enrolling in this course in order to check whether they have met de entrance requirements. After this contact, students also have to request admission from the Board of Examiners Biology/Life Science & Technology. Failing to follow this entire procedure before the official enrollment deadline, results in immediate unenrollment without prior notification.

Students from the Bachelor's degree programmes Biology and Life Science & Technology take priority over students from other degree programmes when the course has a maximum capacity.
Opmerkingen Tutorials, and poster presentation are mandatory. Missing a tutorial without good reason will result in a 10% downgrade.
Opgenomen in
Opleiding Jaar Periode Type
BSc Biology: major Behaviour and Neurosciences 2 semester II a keuzegroep
BSc Biology: major Biomedical Sciences 2 semester II a keuze
BSc Biology: major Ecology and Evolution 2 semester II a keuze
BSc Biology: major Integrative Biology 2 semester II a verplicht
BSc Biology: major Molecular Life Sciences 3 semester II a keuze
BSc LS&T: major Molecular Life Sciences (cohort 2018 and 2019) 3 semester II a keuze