Coursebooks 2017-2018

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Selected topics in biotechnology

BIOENG-430

Lecturer(s) :

Lashuel Hilal

Language:

English

Summary

The course presents an overview on how recent advances in biotechnology are shaping the landscape of biomedical research and contributing to improving the quality of life and addressing global health challenges today. Special emphasis is given to interdisciplinary topics.

Content

The lectures will highlight some of the latest breakthroughs in biotechnology and how they are being applied today to advance our understanding of living systems and to develop novel tools and therapies for early diagnosis and treatment of human disease, respectively. The impact on the biotechnology and biomedical industry and ethical implication of each technology will also be discussed. The topics will include, but not limited to, genome sequencing technologies, genetic editing (CRISPR), personalized medicine and personalized genomics, induced pluripotent stem cells and regenerative medicine, organoids, phage display technologies and antibody and protein engineering in drug discovery, vaccines, synthetic biology, nucleic acid based therapies, manufacturing of biologic medicine, the microbiome and the gut-brain axis. 

 

 

Keywords

Biotechnology, gene sequencing, genetic engineering, synthetic biology, stem cells, microbiome, CRISPR, antibodies, proteins, regenerative medicine, molecular diagnostics.

 

 

Learning Prerequisites

Recommended courses

Biochemistry, Biological Chemistry, Organic Chemistry,

Learning Outcomes

Transversal skills

Teaching methods

The course instructor and/or experts in the relevant topics will give the lectures. Each lecture will be followed by an in class discussion on the ethical implications and economic and societal impact of the specific technology or scientific advances covered in the lecture.  

Expected student activities

In addition to attending the lectures, students are expected to dedicated two weekly hours of personal time to preparing for the lectures and to complete homework assignments.  

 

Assessment methods

Homework assignment (50%): Students will be asked to provide a brief biweekly report (2-4 slides) highlighting two breakthroughs in biotechnology or innovations based on previously advances in biotechnology that were reported on in the scientific and general media during this period.

 

Written Exams:

Midterm Exam (25%): Four scientific papers will be assigned during the second week of the semester: The midterm exam will consist of questions covering the contents of these papers.

Final Exam (25%): A written exam based on the concepts and materials covered in the lecture notes only.  

 

Supervision

Office hours Yes
Assistants No
Forum No

Resources

Bibliography

Chapters from books available at the EPFL Library and selected articles from scientific journals and the general media will be provided to prepare for the lectures and for in class discussions and debates on specific relevant topics.  Additional recommended reading and reference materials will be made available for motivated students.

 

Notes/Handbook

The lectures slides will be available on the Moodle site. 

 

Moodle Link

In the programs

Reference week

 MoTuWeThFr
8-9     
9-10     
10-11     
11-12     
12-13     
13-14 MED 2 1522   
14-15    
15-16     
16-17     
17-18     
18-19     
19-20     
20-21     
21-22     
 
      Lecture
      Exercise, TP
      Project, other

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  • Autumn semester
  • Winter sessions
  • Spring semester
  • Summer sessions
  • Lecture in French
  • Lecture in English
  • Lecture in German