The only Master’s specialisation in the Netherlands covering the function of our epigenome, a key factor in regulating gene expression and in a wide range of diseases.
Our skin cells, liver cells and blood cells all contain the same genetic information. Yet these are different types of cells, each performing their own specific tasks. How is this possible? The explanation lies in the epigenome: a heritable, cell-type specific set of chromosomal modifications, which regulates gene expression. Radboud University is specialised in studying the epigenome and is the only university in the Netherlands to offer a Master’s programme in this field of research.
The epigenome consists of small and reversible chemical modifications of the DNA or histone proteins, such as methylation, acetylation and phosphorylation. It changes the spatial structure of DNA, resulting in gene activation or repression. These processes are crucial for our health and also play a role in many diseases, like autoimmune diseases, cancer and neurological disorders. As opposed to modifications of the genome sequence itself, epigenetic modifications are reversible. You can therefore imagine the great potential of drugs that target epigenetic enzymes, so-called epi-drugs.
In this specialisation, you’ll look at a cell as one big and complex system. You’ll study epigenetic mechanisms during development and disease from different angles. This includes studying DNA and RNA by next-generation sequencing (epigenomics) and analysing proteins by mass spectrometry (proteomics). In addition, you‘ll be trained to design computational strategies that allow the integration of these multifaceted, high-throughput data sets into one system.
- Radboud University combines various state-of-the-art technologies – such as quantitative mass spectrometry and next-generation DNA sequencing – with downstream bioinformatics analyses in one department. This is unique in Europe.
- This programme allows you to work with researchers from the Radboud Institute for Molecular Life sciences (RIMLS), one of the leading multidisciplinary research institutes within this field of study worldwide.
- We have close contacts with high-profile medically oriented groups on the Radboud campus and with international institutes (EMBL, Max-Planck, Marie Curie, Cambridge, US-based labs, etc). As a Master’s student, you can choose to perform an internship in one of these related departments.
- Radboud University coordinates BLUEPRINT, a 30 million Euro European project focusing on the epigenomics of leukaemia. Master’s students have the opportunity to participate in this project.
As a Master’s student of Medical Epigenomics you’re trained in using state-of-the art technology in combination with biological software tools to study complete networks in cells in an unbiased manner. For example, you’ll know how to study the effects of drugs in the human body.
When you enter the job market, you’ll have:
- A thorough background of epigenetic mechanisms in health and disease, which is highly relevant in strongly rising field of epi-drug development
- Extensive and partly hands-on experience in state-of-the-art ‘omics’ technologies: next-generation sequencing, quantitative mass spectrometry and single cell technologies;
- Extensive expertise in designing, executing and interpreting scientific experiments in data-driven research;
- The computational skills needed to analyse large ‘omics’ datasets.
With this background, you can become a researcher at a:
- University or research institute;
- Pharmaceutical company, such as Synthon or Johnson & Johnson;
- Food company, like Danone or Unilever;
- Start-up company making use of -omics technology.
Apart from research into genomics and epigenomics, you could also work on topics such as miniaturising workflows, improving experimental devices, the interface between biology and informatics, medicine from a systems approach.
Or you can become a:
- Biological or medical consultant;
- Biology teacher;
- Policy coordinator, regarding genetic or medical issues;
- Patent attorney;
- Clinical research associate;
Each year, the Molecular Biology department (Prof. Henk Stunnenberg, Prof. Michiel Vermeulen) and the Molecular Developmental Biology department (Prof. Gert-Jan Veenstra) at the RIMLS offer between five and ten PhD positions. Of course, many graduates also apply for a PhD position at related departments in the Netherlands, or abroad.
- Systems biology
In the Medical Epigenomics specialisation you won’t zoom in on only one particular gene, protein or signalling pathway. Instead, you’ll regard the cell as one complete system. This comprehensive view allows you to, for example, model the impact of one particular epigenetic mutation on various parts and functions of the cell, or study the effects of a drug in an unbiased manner. One of the challenges of this systems biology approach is the processing and integration of large amounts of data. That’s why you’ll also be trained in computational biology. Once graduated, this will be a great advantage: you’ll be able to bridge the gap between biology, technology and informatics , and thus have a profile that is desperately needed in modern, data-driven biology.
- Multiple OMICS approaches
Studying cells in a systems biology approach means connecting processes at the level of the genome (genomics), epigenome (epigenomics), transcriptome (transcriptomics), proteome (proteomics), etc. In the Medical Epigenomics specialisation, you’ll get acquainted with all these different fields of study.
- Patient and animal samples
Numerous genetic diseases are not caused by genetic mutations, but by epigenetic mutations that influence the structure and function of chromatin. Think of:
- Autoimmune diseases, like rheumatoid arthritis and lupus
- Cancer, in the forms of leukaemia, colon cancer, prostate cancer and cervical cancer
- Neurological disorders, like Rett Syndrome, Alzheimer, Parkinson, Multiple Sclerosis, schizophrenia and autism
We investigate these diseases on a cellular level, focusing on the epigenetic mutations and the impact on various pathways in the cell. You’ll get the chance to participate in that research, and work with embryonic stem cell, patient, Xenopus or zebra fish samples.
See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/medicalbiology/epigenomics
We invite postgraduate research proposals in a number of disease areas that impact significantly on patient care. We focus on exploring the mechanisms of disease, understanding the ways disease impacts patients’ lives, utilising new diagnostic and therapeutic techniques and developing new treatments.
As a student you will be registered with a University research institute, for many this is the Institute for Cellular Medicine (ICM). You will be supported in your studies through a structured programme of supervision and training via our Faculty of Medical Sciences Graduate School.
We undertake the following areas of research and offer MPhil, PhD and MD supervision in:
Newcastle hosts one of the most comprehensive organ transplant programmes in the world. This clinical expertise has developed in parallel with the applied immunobiology and transplantation research group. We are investigating aspects of the immunology of autoimmune diseases and cancer therapy, in addition to transplant rejection. We have themes to understand the interplay of the inflammatory and anti-inflammatory responses by a variety of pathways, and how these can be manipulated for therapeutic purposes. Further research theme focusses on primary immunodeficiency diseases.
There is strong emphasis on the integration of clinical investigation with basic science. Our research include:
We also research the effects of UVR on the skin including mitochondrial DNA damage as a UV biomarker.
This area emphasises on translational research, linking clinical- and laboratory-based science. Key research include:
Focus is on applied research and aims to underpin future clinical applications. Technology-oriented and demand-driven research is conducted which relates directly to health priority areas such as:
This research is sustained through extensive internal and external collaborations with leading UK and European academic and industrial groups, and has the ultimate goal of deploying next-generation diagnostic and therapeutic systems in the hospital and health-care environment.
There is a number of research programmes into the genetics, immunology and physiology of kidney disease and kidney transplantation. We maintain close links between basic scientists and clinicians with many translational programmes of work, from the laboratory to first-in-man and phase III clinical trials. Specific areas:
We have particular interests in:
Novel non-invasive methodologies using magnetic resonance are developed and applied to clinical research. Our research falls into two categories:
Our studies cover a broad range of topics (including diabetes, dementia, neuroscience, hepatology, cardiovascular, neuromuscular disease, metabolism, and respiratory research projects), but have a common theme of MR technical development and its application to clinical research.
We focus on connective tissue diseases in three, overlapping research programmes. These programmes aim to understand:
This research theme links with other local, national and international centres of excellence and has close integration of basic and clinical researchers and hosts the only immunotherapy centre in the UK.
Genetic approaches to the individualisation of drug therapy, including anticoagulants and anti-cancer drugs, and in the genetics of diverse non-Mendelian diseases, from diabetes to periodontal disease, are a focus. A wide range of knowledge and experience in both genetics and clinical sciences is utilised, with access to high-throughput genotyping platforms.
Our scientists and clinicians use in situ cellular technologies and large-scale gene expression profiling to study the normal and pathophysiological remodelling of vascular and uteroplacental tissues. Novel approaches to cellular interactions have been developed using a unique human tissue resource. Our research themes include:
We also have preclinical molecular biology projects in breast cancer research.
We conduct a broad range of research activities into acute and chronic lung diseases. As well as scientific studies into disease mechanisms, there is particular interest in translational medicine approaches to lung disease, studying human lung tissue and cells to explore potential for new treatments. Our current areas of research include:
Our research projects are concerned with the harmful effects of chemicals, including prescribed drugs, and finding ways to prevent and minimise these effects. We are attempting to measure the effects of fairly small amounts of chemicals, to provide ways of giving early warning of the start of harmful effects. We also study the adverse side-effects of medicines, including how conditions such as liver disease and heart disease can develop in people taking medicines for completely different medical conditions. Our current interests include: environmental chemicals and organophosphate pesticides, warfarin, psychiatric drugs and anti-cancer drugs.
Our new School of Pharmacy has scientists and clinicians working together on all aspects of pharmaceutical sciences and clinical pharmacy.
Aspiring to contribute to the development of new therapies for metabolic, infectious and immunological diseases or cancer? Radboud University's internationally acclaimed Research Master's programme in Molecular Mechanisms of Disease provides an excellent foundation for a career in academic or commercial research.
Only by dissecting the molecular mechanisms that trigger and advance diseases and dysfunctions can we design effective treatments and medicines. The Research Master's in Molecular Mechanisms of Disease (MMD) offers you an intensive two-year programme that provides you with in-depth knowledge and research experience of disease-related molecular mechanisms. In addition, you will acquire skills such as academic writing and presentation skills and learn how to successfully apply for grants and market yourself.
As an MMD student you will be part of the unique research community that is found within the Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences (RIMLS). Like you, RIMLS researchers have a strong passion for research. They will assist you throughout the programme with guidance and expertise, supporting you in acquiring knowledge and developing excellent research skills. The RIMLS is one of the research institutes of the Radboud university medical center, so their research is closely linked to the clinic and thus aimed at translating results into treatments for patients. Examples include the translation of insights into the biology of antigen-presenting cells into new immunological cancer therapies and understanding the mutations underlying blindness into the development of gene therapies for patients with inherited blindness.
See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/mmd
- You will follow a broad biomedical programme that allows you to specialise in your specific field-of-interest.
- You will have intense daily contact with established researchers.
- You will participate in group-oriented education and be part of a small group of highly motivated national and international students.
- A personal mentor will help you to reflect on your study programme and career perspective.
- You will do two 6-months research internships one of which will be abroad.
- There is a 92% pass rate of MMD students within the two years.
- International MMD students can apply for scholarships from the Radboudumc Study Fund.
There is considerable demand for experts in the molecular biomedical sciences as well as in their application to the development of treatments for diseases such as cancer, autoimmune and inflammatory disorders, and metabolic diseases.
Graduates in MMD are equipped with cutting-edge knowledge of multidisciplinary research in the mechanisms of disease and in state-of-the-art diagnostic methods and technologies. During the programme, you will develop a highly critical, independent approach to problem-solving. You will also acquire the basic management skills needed to lead R&D projects in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries.
Most of our graduates will enter an international PhD programme to continue with research in academia or industry.
The MSc Molecular Mechanisms of Disease aims to provide all skills and knowledge necessary to rapidly enter an international PhD programme. In the Netherlands and many places in Europe, it is impossible to start a PhD programme directly after obtaining a Bachelor's degree. This research Master’s programme seriously increases your chances for obtaining an excellent PhD training position by giving you a mature perspective and a broad range of experimental approaches. In fact, over 90% of our graduates has started a (funded) PhD project.
The Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences (RIMLS) recruits about fifty PhD students a year. MMD graduates are excellent candidates for these positions. Furthermore, the Radboud university medical centre offers the opportunity for its research-oriented Master's students to write their own research project. The best candidates are awarded a fully funded four-year PhD studentship at the department of their choice.
The molecular regulation of cellular processes is crucial for human development, and maintenance of health throughout life. It's evident that cellular malfunction is the cause of common multi-factorial diseases such as diabetes, immune and inflammatory disorders, renal disease, cardiovascular, metabolic and neurodegenerative diseases as well as obesity and cancer.
The Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences (RIMLS) Graduate School plays a key role in developing new therapies for the fight against such diseases. RIMLS aims to improve diagnostics and develop new treatments by generating basic knowledge in the molecular biomedical life sciences and translating it into clinical application and experimental research in patients.
The RIMLS – which is part of Radboud university medical center – offers an exclusive Master's programme in Molecular Mechanisms of Disease. Top researchers and clinicians teach the programme.
The MMD programme is organised along three major educational themes which reflect the main research areas present in the RIMLS and which each include both a fundamental and a disease-related aspect:
- Theme 1 Infection, Immunity and Regenerative Medicine / Immunity-related Disorders and Immunotherapy
- Theme 2 Metabolism, Transport and Motion / Metabolic Disorders
- Theme 3 Cell Growth and Differentiation / Developmental Disorders and Malignancies
See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/mmd
We need well-trained and creative minds to help us solve public health problems of the future. Do you see yourself tackling the increasing incidences of allergies and autoimmune disease, working on emerging infections such as Ebola and MRSA?
This Master’s programme gives you the knowledge and research expertise needed to solve the public health problems of the future. Emerging infectious are a threat to human and animal well-being and an increasing number of allergies and chronic inflammatory diseases have a major impact on individuals and society as a whole. Knowledge of the immune system provides us with potential health care solutions for cancer, transplantation and downregulation of a hyperactive immune system as for example in rheumatoid arthritis. By training students in the field of Infection and Immunity, this programme contributes to accumulation of knowledge that is directly or indirectly leading to faster diagnosis of diseases and better treatment options.
This Master’s programme will give you a firm foundation in the field of infection and immunity and covers a variety of topics such as fundamental and clinical immunology, vaccines, immunotherapy, mechanisms of infectious diseases, molecular epidemiology of infections, virulence factors of microorganisms, and resistance to treatment.
Infection, immunity, and the role of microflora in human and animal welfare is one of Utrecht University’s core research areas and the Graduate School of Life Sciences is home to a large number of world-leading research groups working in this field. Utrecht’s life science campus comprises over 50 Infection and Immunity groups in the field of human and animal health covering the whole range from molecular biology to population level. This two-year research Master's offers an unique combination of studying Immunology and infectious diseases in one comprehensive Master’s programme including extensive training in laboratory research skills. As a student you will have the opportunity to carry out two hands-on research projects at renowned research groups.
Infection and Immunity has intensive collaboration with international research institutes, allowing students to do their minor internship abroad at prestigious partner universities all around the world.
As a Master’s student of Infection and Immunity, you will take theory courses and seminars, as well as master classes led by specialists in the field. You will study molecular, cellular, and clinical aspects of pathogens and immune responses. During your six to nine month internships you work in a lively research environment during which you will gain hands-on experience of biomedical research in Infection and Immunity. We believe that understanding both pathogens and host reactions provides deeper insight into the mechanisms of illness, so you will complete internships in both infection and immunity.
The annual scientific symposium is a particular highlight. This symposium is organised by Master’s students and features talks by international experts and poster presentations by second year Master’s Infection and Immunity students on their own areas of research.
As a graduate of this programme, you will have the multidisciplinary skills and knowledge needed to undertake research that will help prevent, diagnose, and treat infectious diseases and immune disorders. The majority of our alumni continues their career as a PhD-student in the field.
The MSc in Molecular Medicine gives you the opportunity to develop as a scientist or scientifically-literate clinician through an advanced understanding of the molecular basis of many diseases and their treatments.
You’ll study how to apply molecular approaches to the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of a range of cancers, chronic, autoimmune and genetic diseases. You’ll also carry out a research project in one of these areas within a research group at the forefront of the field. Project supervision is assured by outstanding academics and clinicians working on cutting-edge research.
This flexible programme allows you to develop core scientific skills and follow your professional interests with a choice of optional modules. You'll be part of a world-renowned School and will be taught by internationally recognised scholars.
The MSc programme comprises 180 credits. You may choose to exit the programme at an earlier stage, with either a PG Certificate (60 credits) or a PG Diploma (120 credits).
You’ll build core scientific skills through four compulsory modules studied over two terms. Alongside these, your optional modules (two each term) allow you to tailor your study to your interests. Modules typically last 11 weeks.
Throughout the programme you will:
You’ll spend approximately half of the programme on your individual research project, which usually runs from April to August. The research project allows you to work as part of a research team in a cutting edge discipline.
You will have a wide choice of research opportunities in Applied Health Research, Cancer and Pathology, Cardiovascular, Genes and Development and Musculoskeletal Research. You select your project from a range of research projects offered to MSc Molecular Medicine students.
The research project is based in one of the research laboratories at the St James’s University Hospital campus.
The taught components of the programme provide a perfect knowledge background and research training to get the best out of your research project.
You’ll be taught by active scientists and clinicians who are world-leading in their research fields, through lectures, workshops, laboratory practicals, seminars and tutorials. All our students judged the programme as “intellectually stimulating” in 2014 student survey.
Teaching is mainly at St James's University Hospital, a busy research facility with research laboratories and a teaching laboratory, computer cluster, library and meeting rooms. You can easily get to and from the University campus with the free NHS shuttlebus.
We encourage you to participate in the School of Medicine Institutes’ activities, such as the invited speaker seminar series. You also have access to all the wider University of Leeds facilities.
A major objective of the programme is to train you to formulate your own ideas and express them logically, and this will be tested in every module assessment.
A typical module will be assessed by two assignments. Assessments include written assignments, as well as delivering presentations and posters, and leading discussions.
The MSc programme comprises 180 credits. You may choose to exit the programme at an earlier stage, with either a PG Certificate (60 credits) or a PG Diploma (120 credits).
This exciting programme provides excellent training for: