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Course content

Radboud University’s Master’s specialisation in Microbiology deals with the interface between fundamental biological and medical sciences. It focuses on molecular, medical and environmental microbiology to improve our health and environment and provides in-depth insight into present-day microbial research in general and clinical microbiology.

The major topics of the Microbiology specialisation are:

Environmental microbiology and Biotechnology

Microorganisms can be used to break down environmental pollutants and toxic chemicals. Therefore microbiology has the potential to replace common energy-intensive chemical processes with more sustainable solutions. Radboud University collaborates closely with environmental scientists and industrial partners to create energy-efficient and environmentally friendly solutions for societal waste problems.

Immunology

Unfortunately some microorganisms make us ill. A better understanding of battle between our immune system and these microorganisms will lead to the development of improved vaccines.

Molecular Microbiology

The genome of a microorganism is a key factor in research, because it determines how the organisms interact with the host cell and how they cause diseases. Molecular Microbiology acts on the interface between microbiology, molecular biology and genetics and is fundamental for the development of novel antibiotics and improvement of vaccines against microorganisms.

Top research

The department of Microbiology at Radboud University has been bestowed with the most prestigious science prizes, including two ERC Advanced Grants, a Spinoza Prize, and two Gravitation Grants. Additionally, many of out students have been awarded prizes for best thesis, poster and paper. The department works at the forefront of environmental microbiology and is specialised in the discovery of ‘impossible’, new anaerobic micro-organisms. The laboratory is equipped with state-of-the-art bioreactors, electron microscopy, GC-MS, metagenomics, and metaproteomics facilities to grow and study micro-organisms that contribute to a better environment by consuming greenhouse gasses and nitrogenous pollutants.

Our approach to this field

- Research themes
The Master's specialisation Microbiology is mainly focused on research. You can choose one of the following themes as the subject of your research internship:

- Environmental Microbiology & Biotechnology
For students who are intrigued by questions like: How does life without oxygen work? How do global biogeochemical (nutrient) cycles govern the functioning of the Earth? Can we use microorganisms to create a more sustainable wastewater industry? How do microorganisms break down environmental pollutants and toxic chemicals?
You will do research at the interface between Microbiology, environmental sciences and biochemistry. The research questions cover several levels, from gaining fundamental understanding of energy metabolism of bacteria to their applications in wastewater treatment.
Societal relevance: Microbiology has the potential to replace common energy-intensive chemical processes by more sustainable solutions. Radboud University collaborates closely with environmental scientists, animal ecologists and industrial partners to create energy-efficient and environmentally friendly solutions for societal waste problems.

- Immunology
For students who are intrigued by questions like: Why do some bacteria make us ill whereas others do not? How do bacteria outsmart our immune system? What are the mechanisms of human defence against microorganisms?
You will do research at the interface between Microbiology, Immunology and Cell Biology, and can, for example, work on how microorganisms are recognised by the host defence system
Societal relevance: A better understanding of host defence will lead to the development of improved vaccines against microorganisms.

- Molecular Microbiology
For students who are intrigued by questions like: How are microorganisms able to persist inside the human body and how do they cause diseases? What does gene regulation tell us about their pathogenic capabilities? Can microbial genomes help us determine how microorganisms interact with human host cells?
You will do research at the interface between Microbiology, molecular biology and genetics, and can, for example, work on functional gene analyses by mutagenesis studies and on the interaction between epithelial cells and pathogenic bacteria.
Societal relevance: Understanding host-pathogen interactions is fundamental for the development of novel antibiotics and improvement of vaccines. Radboudumc collaborates with public health institutes – such as the RIVM (National Institute of Public Health) – and with industrial partners.

- Personal tutor
Our top scientists are looking forward to guiding you during a challenging and inspiring scientific journey. This programme offers you many opportunities to follow your own interests under the excellent supervision of a personal tutor. This allows you to specialise in a field of personal interest.

- The Nijmegen approach
The first thing you will notice as you enter our Faculty of Science is the open atmosphere. This is reflected by the light and transparent building and the open minded spirit of the people working, exploring and studying there. It is no wonder students from all over the world have been attracted to Nijmegen. You study in small groups, with direct and open contact with members of the staff. In addition, Nijmegen has excellent student facilities, such as high-tech laboratories, libraries and study ‘landscapes'.

Studying by the ‘Nijmegen approach' is a way of living. We will equip you with tools which are valuable for the rest of your life. You will be challenged to become aware of your intrinsic motivation. In other words, what is your passion in life? With this question in mind we will guide you to translate your passion into a personalised Master's in Biology.

See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/microbiology

Visit the MSc in Microbiology page on the Radboud University website for more details!

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