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Medical Life Sciences is an English-taught two-year Master’s programme in molecular disease research and bridges the gap between the sciences and medical studies. You will get to know clinical research from scratch; you will learn how to investigate diseases both in ancient and contemporary populations, how to translate research results into prevention, diagnosis and therapies of diseases.

From the basics of medical science to lab experiments for the Master’s thesis, scientific training takes first priority. Experimental work in state-of-the-art research labs is essential in Medical Life Sciences; clinical internships, data analysis, lectures, seminars and electives complement the Medical Life Sciences curriculum.

Evolutionary biology will train you in thinking from cause to consequence. Molecular paleopathology and ancient DNA research tell you a lot about disease through human history. These insights help to fight disease today, which is why evolutionary medicine has evolved into a cutting-edge research field. Whether you want to focus on ancient populations and paleopathology or on specific disease indications nowadays, here you get the tools and skills to do both.

To lay the foundations for working in medical research, Medical Life Sciences includes courses on clinical manifestations of diseases, molecular pathology and immunology. Hands-on courses in molecular biology, bioinformatics, clinical cell biology, medical statistics, and human genetics broaden your knowledge. You will learn how to acquire knowledge, verify and use it. That biomedicine has many facets to discover is the great thing that keeps students fascinated and well-equipped for finding a job in academia and industry alike.

From the second semester, you specialise in one of the following focus areas:

INFLAMMATION takes you deep into the molecular mechanisms of chronic inflammatory diseases, the causal network between inflammatory processes and disease, genetics and environment. New research results for prevention, diagnosis and therapy will be presented and discussed. An internship in specialised clinics helps to see how “from bed to bench side”, i.e. translational medicine, works.

EVOLUTIONARY MEDICINE looks at how interrelations between humans and their environment have led to current disease susceptibility. Why do we suffer from chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and obesity? Is our lifestyle making us sick? Why are certain genetic variants maintained in populations despite their disease risk? Evolutionary medicine focuses on bridging the gap between evolutionary biology and medicine by considering the evolutionary origins of common diseases.

ONCOLOGY delves into molecular research on malignant diseases, the interplay of genetics and environment, cell biology of tumours, and many other aspects. You will achieve a better understanding of unresolved problems and opportunities of current research approaches.

Scientists and clinicians will make you familiar with research topics in lectures and seminars. You will discuss different research approaches, perspectives and the latest developments in medical research. Lab practicals in specialised research labs, your lab project, and the experimental Master's thesis will provide ample opportunity to be involved in real research projects.

To widen your perspective, you choose an additional elective: Tracing Disease through Time looks at disease etiology by analysing biomolecules, diets and pathogens in archaeological specimens. You may opt for Cardiovascular Epidemiology to immerse yourself in epidemiology with a special emphasis on cardiovascular diseases. Another option is Molecular Imaging, which provides insight into the world of high-tech imaging in medical research.

Additional electives such as Neurology, Tissue Engineering, Inflammation and Degeneration of the Eye or Epithelial Barrier Functions and classes inProject Management or English Scientific Writing are integrated into the curriculum.


Visit the Medical Life Sciences page on the Christian-Albrechts-University Kiel website for more details!

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