Advanced Genetic Engineering

Faculteit Science and Engineering
Jaar 2021/22
Vakcode WMBS006-05
Vaknaam Advanced Genetic Engineering
Niveau(s) master
Voertaal Engels
Periode semester I b (10-01-2022 till 30-01-2022)

Uitgebreide vaknaam Advanced genetic engineering and complex gene regulatory circuitries
Leerdoelen At the end of the course, the student is able to:

1) Explain the underlying principles of Synthetic Biology. (e.g what are the scientific approaches, in which way is it different than conventional genetic engineering?)

2) Describe the principles of transcriptomics and describe its application in molecular biology.

3) Design and build a genetic circuit using biobricks and experimentally prove its functionality.

4) Analyse a scientific, relevant article using the information presented during the lectures, and present this analysis clearly tot their peers.

5) Identify ethical and societal problems of synthetic biology and evaluate pros and cons of its approach.
Omschrijving The emphasis will be on the practical aspects of genetic engineering of novel circuitries and on the principles of Synthetic Biology, both in silico and in the lab. In principle, the students will work in pairs on a research project in the practical part. The students will avail of- and study a number of bacterial strains with earlier developed DNA-biobricks (also from iGEM collections). Novel circuitries will be designed and engineered using Gram-positive or Gram-negative organisms as hosts. Modeling efforts will support the design. The engineered circuits will be characterized using various statistics-, bioinformatics and visualization packages, and functionality will be tested experimentally (e.g. by fluorescence microscopy or enzymatic assays).

In this course, theory and practicals will be combined to give an in-depth view of current (high-throughput) genetic engineering approaches, gene regulatory mechanisms and -networks related to microbial physiology-Advanced genetic engineering: this includes use of Biobricks, Gibson assembly, use of BACs and YACs, toolboxes, gene integration, complex genetic circuitries (natural and synthetic): bistability, toggle switches, oscillations, feed-back mechanisms.
Uren per week
Onderwijsvorm Hoorcollege (LC), Opdracht (ASM), Practisch werk (PRC), Werkcollege (T)
(lectures, practicals, discussion meetings chalktalk, homework assignments)
Toetsvorm Practisch werk (PR), Presentatie (P), Schriftelijk tentamen (WE)
(The exam, the practical + presentation and the chalktalk contribute 50%, 40% and 10% respectively of the final grade. A grade of 5.5 has to be minimally attained on all elements.)
Vaksoort master
Coördinator prof. dr. O.P. Kuipers
Docent(en) H. Karssens ,prof. dr. J. Kok ,prof. dr. O.P. Kuipers , A.J. van Heel, PhD.
Verplichte literatuur
Titel Auteur ISBN Prijs
Scientific articles
Entreevoorwaarden The course unit assumes a good background in microbiology and genetics courses as presented in the bachelor programme Moleculaire levenswetenschappen.
Opmerkingen Students from the degree programme Biomolecular Sciences have priority, to register please send an email to:

Study load:
Lecture 15 hours
Chalktalk 8 hours
Assignment 2 hours
Practical 72 hours
Self-study 43 hours
Total 140 hours

Max 24 students
Opgenomen in
Opleiding Jaar Periode Type
MSc Biology: Research  (Compulsory master courses) - semester I b keuze
MSc Biology: Science, Business and Policy  (Compulsory master courses) - semester I b keuze
MSc Biomolecular Sciences  (Electives/Optional modules) - semester I b keuze
MSc Biomolecular Sciences  ( Compulsory courses general programme (3 out of 9)) - semester I b keuzegroep
MSc Ecology and Evolution: Ecology and Conservation  (Electives/optional modules) - semester I b keuze
MSc Ecology and Evolution: Evolutionary Biology  (Electives/optional modules) - semester I b keuze
MSc Marine Biology: Research  (Electives/Optional modules) - semester I b keuze