NBIK15016U The Human Microbiome

Volume 2021/2022
Education

MSc Programme in Biochemistry
MSc Programme in Biology
MSc Programme in Biology with a minor subject
MSc Programme in Molecular Biomedicine

Content

Humans harbour ten times more bacterial cells than human cells. Different parts of the human body are inhabited by specific microbial communities forming the human microbiome. Within recent years it has become clear that the human microbiome interacts extensively with their human host and is important for human health.

Learning Outcome

This course will give students a thorough understanding of the microbial communities in and on humans. This includes the different roles of the communities in the well-being of humans and links to important human diseases like allergies, obesity, inflammatory bowel diseases, and diabetes. Students will obtain detailed knowledge on the different microorganisms shaping the microbiome of key human habitats, i.e. the colon, skin, oral cavity, vagina and lungs.
 

Knowledge:

By completing the course the student will be able to:

  • describe the main members of the microbiome of the human colon, skin, oral cavity, vagina, and lungs
  • describe key physiological aspects of the main members of the human microbiome
  • describe how the main members of the microbiome interact with their human host
  • describe how the human microbiome may be linked to human disease, i.e. obesity, allergies, inflammatory bowel diseases, and diabetes
  • describe how the human microbiome may affect the behaviour of humans
  • describe how human life style may influence the microbiome
  • describe the pros and cons of using specific animal models to study the links between microbiomes and human health


Skills:

  • present orally and in writing key aspects of the human microbiome and its effects on human health
  • propose studies for investigating the human microbiome and its interactions with the human host


Competences:

  • evaluate the effects of the human microbiome on human health
  • evaluate methods used to investigate the human microbiome and the interactions between the human microbiome and the human host
  • evaluate the use of animal models in the study of interactions between microbiomes and human health
  • independently retrieve and critically evaluate information from the primary scientific literature on the human microbiome and relationships between the human microbiome and human health
  • discuss original scientific articles and reviews on the human microbiome
  • submit a coherent brief research project proposal on a specific microbiome-related topic

Textbook: “The Human Microbiota in Health and Disease” by Michael Wilson, CRC Press + articles uploaded on Absalon.

Academic qualifications equivalent to a BSc degree is recommended.
All teaching will be online
In general, three hours of lectures and six hours of seminars per week for the first five weeks. The lectures will introduce the microbiome(s) forming the theme of the week. The seminars are based on discussions of scientific papers and involve student presentations of original research papers, lectures by invited guests, and, importantly, discussions between students and guests (and teachers). Over the duration of the course, the students will prepare individual brief research project proposal on a microbiome topic of their liking (within the course scope). This will allow students to utilize and incorporate the knowledge they will learn over the course into their research proposal.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 15
  • Preparation
  • 119
  • Project work
  • 40
  • Seminar
  • 30
  • Exam
  • 2
  • Total
  • 206
Written
Oral
Collective
Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Credit
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written examination, 2 hours under invigilation
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Exam registration requirements

To participate in the exam, the student must perform all satisfactory assignments including handing in a coherent research project proposal on a microbiome-related topic and a presentation of a scientific paper. 

Aid
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Several internal examiners/co-examiners
Re-exam

Oral examination 25 minutes, no preparation, no aids allowed.

If the requirements of performing all satisfactory assignments including handing in a coherent research project proposal on a microbiome-related topic is not fulfilled, the student must hand in a two page essay presenting a relevant scientific paper no later than three weeks before the reeexam.

If the requirements of presentation of a scientific paper is not fulfilled the student must hand in a satisfactory essay no later than three weeks before the reexam.

Criteria for exam assesment

In order to obtain the grade 12 the student should convincingly and accurately demonstrate the knowledge, skills and competences described under Learning Outcome.