Tracks

Track description: 

Every MCLS student is required to choose a track.  A track consists of ≥63 EC (European Credit points):

  • 51 EC major internship
  • 3 EC general track course
  • 9 EC advanced track courses

When you apply for the programme, you have to specify your preferred track. However, at the start of your MCLS programme your choice for a track might change. At the start of the academic year we offer the course Concepts in Science 4 Life (2 EC, elective) to facilitate you in choosing the right MCLS track and making an informed decision on the research direction of your major (51 EC) internship.

Within MCLS you can choose one of three tracks:

Track title: 
Genes to Organisms

Track description: 

This track is particularly suited for students who are interested in how organisms function, develop, and interact with their environment, and how genetic differences influence the molecular mechanisms underlying a broad range of biological processes.

You will learn how molecules function in an organized and coordinated manner in cells, in tissues, and ultimately, in the entire organism. You will expand your knowledge through theoretical courses and during internships working on how diverse biological processes, e.g. development, immunity, and responses to the environment, function from the level of genes to the level of the whole organism. Research is performed on a wide variety of model organisms, from bacteria to fungi, and from plants to Metazoan animals (C. elegans), using genetic, genomic, bioinformatic, molecular biological, cell biological, and physiological approaches. You will learn and understand how fundamental scientific knowledge is translated to applications in Medicine and Biotechnology.

Some of the track-affiliated research groups are:

Developmental Biology, Microbiology, Molecular Plant Physiology, Plant-Microbe Interactions, Plant Ecophysiology, Bacterial Infections & Immunity (University Medical Centre Utrecht), Experimental Microbiology (UMCU)

Mandatory general track course:

  • Genes to Organisms (3 EC)

General track courses (choose at least one extra, 3 EC):

  • Molecules & cells (3 EC)
  • Biophysics & Molecular Imaging (3 EC)

Advanced courses (choose ≥ 9 EC):

  • Virology (3 EC)
  • Biotechnology (5 EC)
  • Plant-Environment interactions (3 EC)
  • Plant-Microbe interactions (3 EC)
  • Bioinformatics and evolutionary genomics (3 EC)
  • Model organism genetics (1,5 EC)
  • Developmental genetics (1,5 EC)
  • Light microscopy (3 EC)
  • Microbial genomics (4,5 EC)
  • Introduction biomolecular mass spectrometry (1,5 EC)
  • Applied plant biology (4,5 EC)
  • Analytics and algorithms for omics data (3 EC)
  • Gene Expression, Epigenetics & Disease (3 EC)

Students should have sufficient knowledge, at a bachelor level or higher, in the field of genetics, physiology and microbiology or developmental biology.

For inquiries, please contact track coordinator Prof. dr. Guido van den Ackerveken

Track title: 
Molecules & Cells

Track description: 

This track is for students with a keen interest in understanding and advancing our knowledge of cellular processes at the molecular level.

You will acquire an advanced theoretical framework in order to understand how different biomolecules, such as proteins, nucleic acids or lipids, work inside living cells, and how molecular processes can be affected by drugs to treat diseases. You will perform research focusing on important biological questions at the frontiers of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, gain in depth experimental expertise and learn to critically evaluate relevant datasets. This will allow you to address a broad range of biological problems by selecting and applying appropriate experimental or computational methods available in the fields of Biochemistry, Cell Biology, Biophysics, Bioinformatics and (Computational) Structural Biology.

Some of the track-affiliated research groups are:

Membrane Biochemistry & Biophysics, Crystal and Structural Chemistry, NMR Spectroscopy, Biomolecular Mass Spectrometry, Cryo-Electron Microscopy, Cellular Protein Chemistry, Chemical Biology & Drug Discovery, Cell Biology, Neurobiology and Biophysics Utrecht University and Cell Biology University Medical Centre Utrecht, Biochemistry and Cell Biology (Veterinary Medicine), Virology (Veterinary Medicine).

Mandatory general track course:

  • Molecules & Cells (3 EC)

General track courses (choose at least one extra, 3 EC):

  • Genes to Organisms (3 EC)
  • Biophysics & Molecular Imaging (3 EC)

Advanced courses (choose ≥ 9 EC):

  • Virology (3 EC)
  • Applied protein crystallography (3 EC)
  • Applied Cryo-Electron Microscopy (3 EC)
  • Research in intracellular processes and cell organization (3 EC)
  • Biotechnology (5 EC)
  • Structural bioinformatics & modelling (4,5 EC)
  • Chemical biology (7,5 EC)
  • Light microscopy (3 EC)
  • Introduction biomolecular mass spectrometry (1,5 EC)
  • Design of anti-infective drugs (6 EC)

Students should have sufficient knowledge, at a bachelor level or higher, in the field of Biochemistry and Cell Biology.

For inquiries contact track coordinator dr. Markus Weingarth or Prof. dr. Anna Akhmanova. 

Track title: 
Biophysics & Molecular Imaging

Track description: 

This track is for students with a keen interest in in-depth understanding, application, and development of advanced experimental and computational methods to study biomolecules and/or biological processes.

After having finished the 'Biophysics and Molecular Imaging' track successfully, students have acquired an advanced theoretical framework, allowing them to understand the fundamentals of advanced biophysical methods such as mass spectrometry, NMR, X-ray crystallography, electron microscopy, and various optical microscopy methods. Students will have gained in-depth expertise allowing them to apply one (or more) of these methods and contribute to their development.

Some of the track-affiliated research groups are:

Cell Biology, Neurobiology and Biophysics Utrecht UniversityCrystal and Structural Chemistry, NMR Spectroscopy, Biomolecular Mass Spectrometry, Cryo-Electron Microscopy, Molecular Biophysics.

Mandatory general track course:

  • Biophysics & Molecular Imaging (3 EC)

General track courses (choose at least one extra, 3 EC):

  • Genes to organisms (3 EC)
  • Molecules & cells (3 EC)

Advanced courses (choose ≥ 9 EC):

  • Advanced biomolecular mass spectrometry (3 EC)
  • Applied Cryo-Electron Microscopy (3 EC)
  • Applied protein crystallography (3 EC)
  • Advanced microscopy (7,5 EC)
  • Structural bioinformatics & modelling (4,5 EC)
  • Advanced protein crystallography (3 EC)
  • Light microscopy (3 EC) 
  • Advanced biomolecular NMR (4,5 EC)

Students should have sufficient background knowledge at a bachelor level in the basics of Mathematics or Physics. For students who do not fulfill the entry requirements for the general track course Biophysics and Molecular Imaging, there is a possibility to take the course Introduction to Biophysics & Molecular Imaging at the start of the academic year (1 EC).

For inquiries contact track coordinator dr. Harold MacGillavry or Dr. Eric Huizinga