NFYK14009U Physics of molecular diseases

Volume 2015/2016

MSc Programme in Physics


Diseases are complex dynamical processes, that are often caused by disregulations at the molecular and cellular levels. With the current developments in biology and physics we are at the point where quantitative description and understanding of these processes becomes crucial for treatment and disease prevention.

In this course we will get an overview of where and how physics approaches are contributing to understanding of the diseases.

Through lectures, article discussions and related computer exercises we will see how simple quantitative models are becoming a powerful tool in understanding not only the causes of isolated diseases, but also uncover similarities across them.

Learning Outcome

Build and analyze quantitative models of biological systems both at the level of molecular regulatory networks and cell populations. Perform computer simulations of the corresponding models. Critical reading of articles at the cross of several disciplines: biology, physics, mathematics and medicine.

Learn how physics toolbox can be applied to solving a number of interesting, real-world disease related problems including : and aggregation processes in protein misfolding diseases (e.g. Parkinson, Alzheimers); excitable media in Heart Arrhythmia and Inflammation, negative feedbacks and separation of time-scales in Type 2 diabetes, diffusion and networks in spreading of Infectious diseases.

Quantitative understanding of the basic mechanisms behind a variety of the diseases.

In addition the student will develop an intuition where physics approach can be able to relevant understanding the causes for onset and progression of the disease.

Course notes in form of power point slides.

Additional reading material will be posted on Absalon.

Knowledge of Matlab or other programming language.
Lectures, exercises and paper discussion.
It is expected that the student brings laptop with Matlab or other programming environment installed.
Restricted elective for the specialisations in "Bio- and Medical Physics" and "Physics"
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Exercises
  • 48
  • Lectures
  • 32
  • Preparation
  • 114
  • Study Groups
  • 12
  • Total
  • 206
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Oral examination, 20 minutes
Oral exam, 20 minutes per person
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
more internal examiners
Criteria for exam assesment

see learning outcome