The Molecular Life Sciences programme focuses on the molecular aspects of the fields of nutrition, health, nature and the living environment and works in close coordination with colleagues from different disciplines.
The Molecular Life Sciences programme focuses on molecules and their properties. It seeks to discover relationships between the physical and chemical properties of molecules, particularly the role of complex molecules in living systems. It is an interdisciplinary programme that combines chemistry, physics and biology. The aim of the programme is to enable students to conduct independent research at the interface of chemistry, biology and physics, or in an applied field such as medicine, the environment, food sciences or (bio) nanotechnology. The programme is tailormade and thesis-oriented, with the thesis being the culmination of the study.
Biological Chemistry By combining the principles of chemistry, biochemistry, molecular biology, cell biology, microbiology, genetics and bioinformatics, this specialisation enables students to contribute new insights to the life sciences. Increasingly complex areas are studied, such as the molecular regulation of growth and cell differentiation, gene control during development and disease, and the transfer of genetic traits. Another important field is enzymology where enzyme mechanisms are studied with the aim of understanding and modifying their properties to make new compounds or biological membranes.
Physical Chemistry This specialisation uses the most advanced technologies to focus on the chemical and physical properties of molecules and their behaviour in chemical and biochemical processes. The processes in nature are used as models for studying and synthesising new compounds with interesting chemical or physical properties for applications such as LCDs, biosensors or food science. Students can major in the fields of biophysics, organic chemistry or physical chemistry and colloid science.
Biomedical Research This specialisation equips graduates with key skills in the natural sciences and enables them to use these skills as part of an integrated approach. Many recent breakthroughs in biomedical research have taken place at the interface between chemistry, biology and physics, so it is logical that many of our graduates enter careers in biomedical research. The explicit aim of this specialisation is to prepare students for careers at a medical research institute, academic hospital or a company in the pharmaceutical industry. As a result, students also complete their internships at such locations.
Physical Biology Students in this specialisation learn to view biomolecules from a physical point of view. They use techniques in biophysics, physical chemistry, microspectroscopy and magnetic resonance (MRI) to contribute to areas such as cell-cell communication, transformation of light into chemical energy, and protein interactions. Students can major in fields such as biochemistry, biophysics, microbiology, molecular biology, plant physiology, physical chemistry and colloid science.
Your future career
By combining the power of chemistry, physics and biology, graduates are able to make a significant contribution to fundamental and/or applied research in fields such as (bio) nanotechnology, biotechnology, environmental research, biomedical research, nutrition and the food sciences. Our graduates enter careers at universities, research institutes and industrial laboratories. The first job for many of our graduates is a four year PhD project at a university or research institute. This is not only an excellent preparation for a research career, but it also prepares you for management positions. Others become science journalists, teachers or consultants in government or industry.
Project Flu Vaccination for bacteria. Together with his colleagues of the Laboratory of Microbiology, professor John van der Oost unravelled part of the working of the immune systems of bacteria that had been infected by a virus. Theoretically, this knowledge allows for other bacteria to be protected against specific viruses and, thus, may be considered to be a flu vaccination for bacteria. Understanding this process in simple organisms on a molecular level, is the first step in revealing the mechanism of viral infection in the human body. This can be the starting point for a whole new line of medicines.
Related programmes: MSc Biotechnology MSc Food Technology MSc Bioinformatics MSc Nutrition and Health MSc Plant Biotechnology MSc Biology