NBIK15014U Human Genetics

Volume 2023/2024

MSc Programme in Biochemistry
MSc Programme in Biology
MSc Programme in Molecular Biomedicine


The aim of the course is to give students a thorough understanding of pioneering and contemporary research in human genetics with emphasis on human genetic diseases.

The course is organised into the following topics:

  • Approaches to the analysis of human monogenic disease
  • Polygenic diseases
  • Quantitative genetics
  • Low penetrance alleles
  • Genetic variation in humans
  • Patterns of inheritance in humans
  • Cytogenetics
  • Clinical genetics and genetic counselling
  • Genome stability: fragile sites, translocations, chromosome fusions
  • Strategies for constructing gene editing: Zinc finger nucleases (ZFNs), Transcription Activator-Like Effector Nucleases (TALENs), the CRISPR/Cas system, and engineered meganuclease re-engineered homing endonucleases.
  • Strategies for performing transient gene knockdown: shRNA, RNAi, and morpholino oligonucleotides.
  • Animal models and transgenesis
  • Gene therapy
  • Design of research projects and writing of research proposals
  • Cancer Genomics
  • Genome-wide association studies
  • Personalized medicine based on genetic profiling

The organization and content of a research grant proposal will be taught, including typical evaluation criteria of funding agencies such as relevance and impact, originality and novelty, experimental design and contingency plans, and achievability (management plans, milestones, workplan).

Learning Outcome


  • An in-depth understanding of the above topics and the experimental procedures required to study those topics
  • Understanding of the organization and typical content of a research grant proposal


The student will be able to:

  • read, understand and convey the reasoning and logic of scientific experiments that deals with human genetics
  • design gene editing or knockdown constructs for manipulation of human cells
  • identify unanswered questions within the field of human genetics
  • write a research grant proposal to experimentally address unanswered questions within the field of human genetics.


  • To be able to understand, evaluate and convey human genetic research.
  • To design a research project
  • To understand the essential elements of a research project proposal and to write a research grant proposal on a topic related to the topics covered by the course.

Primary literature. See Absalon.

Theoretical Molecular Genetics or equivalent. Open to Biology, Biochemistry, Biomedicine and Nanotechnology master students and to students at the third-year Bachelor level who have passed their first and second year courses.

Academic qualifications equivalent to a BSc degree is recommended.
Lectures, group discussions of research papers, grant proposal writing café and guest seminars.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 14
  • Preparation
  • 127
  • Theory exercises
  • 28
  • Exam
  • 37
  • Total
  • 206
Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written assignment, 5 pages during the course
Type of assessment details
The exam consists of a written assignment to produce a 5 page research grant proposal (max. 20.000 characters including spaces). The written assignment has to be handed in the last week of the course.
Exam registration requirements

It is a requirement for participation in the exam that the student has passed 4 out of 5 quizzes given during the course.

All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Several internal examiners

A new written assignment must be handed in - see type of assessment.

If the requirement of 4 out of 5 passed quizzes given during the course, is not fulfilled it can be fulfilled 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.