Electives

To complement the focus areas and provide you with knowledge and skills you can use well in medical research, you choose electives. They are very different from and yet equivalent to each other when it comes to relevance for a career in medical research. At the same time, you can follow the course that interests you most:

 

aDNA work in labTracing disease through time - biomolecular paleopathology

Have humans always suffered from the same diseases? Can we trace the factors contributing to people falling ill? How can this information help us in disease research today? Molecular science is essential, but with a twist: Sequencing a 21st-century genome may be routine by now, but how do you sequence DNA that is centuries or even millennia old? Take infectious diseases that were - and still have the potential to be - pandemics: A few years ago, the 1918 Spanish flu genome could finally be sequenced after decades of research. This makes all the difference to WHO influenza vaccine development, which is a race against time with every newly mutated flu virus that could kill great numbers of people.
Investigating where, when and how diseases first emerged, why people were susceptible to them, why this is the same today or why it has changed, you look back in time to move forward in research: Putting things into a broader perspective is one of the most important abilities in a researcher, here you can exercise this first-hand.

 

 

 

Imagingtibia imaged

Visualising biochemical and physical properties of the human body along with the function of cells and organs provides insights into disease and treatment effects. With severe conditions such as malignant or chronic inflammatory diseases, imaging delivers a huge advantage in prevention, diagnosis and individualised treatment. X-rays and computed tomography are well known imaging techniques, but to investigate tumours, disperse inflammatory processes, the accumulation of specific cell types, or to visualize drugs as they are distributed in the body you need to descend into the molecular realm using sophisticated technology. Molecular and functional imaging, using optical or magnetic resonance approaches, takes imaging technologies to another level. You will learn the basics of clinical imaging and specialise on molecular imaging which is used today in animal models and on its way to application in patients.

 

 

blood samplesCardiovascular epidemiology 

Epidemiology investigates how diseases are distributed in a population, what the risk factors for disease development and spreading are. It analyses the factors that influence disease manifestation including environmental factors, genetic predisposition, physical condition, age of onset. Epidemiological studies usually include clinical and molecular phenotyping. Therefore, standardized examination protocols and large-scale biobanking are important cornerstones. The epidemiology of cardiovascular diseases is in the spotlight because cardiovascular diseases are one of the leading causes of death worldwide. To better understand the complex structure of factors that lead to cardiovascular diseases in epidemiological terms offers important insights into the role epidemiology plays in general when investigating diseases in order to prevent, diagnose and cure them.