Techniques, model systems and current research topics in molecular biology

Undergraduate course

Course description

Objectives and Content


This course introduces research areas in modern molecular biology with a focus on research conducted at the Molecular Biology Unit at the Department for Biological Sciences. The students will acquire an understanding of the conceptual background, the experimental approaches and the model systems used in research on molecular and gene tic interactions, the differentiation, physiology and homeostasis of cells and how these processes affect animals during regular development and in pathological conditions. The course should enable students to identify knowledge gaps in a broad range of research areas within molecular biology and to match scientific questions with experimental approaches to tackle them.


The course covers some of the following subjects: the role of lipids and lipid protein interactions and how they contribute to disease, the use of animal model organisms for studying cancer formation, nervous system development and neurodegenerative diseases, the regulation of protein homeostasis, as well as immunology and vaccinology of fish.

The general concepts and major open questions of these research topics are introduced and methodology for addressing these questions is explained.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge -The student can explain

  • Key concepts in the research topics described above
  • Traits of the model organisms that make them suitable for these research topics
  • Advanced methods for manipulating gene function


Skills-The student can

  • Extract relevant information from original articles and reviews and present it to other scientists
  • Discuss ethical aspects of the use of model organisms and gene manipulation

ECTS Credits


Level of Study


Semester of Instruction


Place of Instruction

Required Previous Knowledge
MOL100 and MOL201/BIO103. The course is best suited for master studies, or at the 5th or 6th semester of the bachelor program.
Recommended Previous Knowledge
Credit Reduction due to Course Overlap
Access to the Course
Access to the course requires admission to a programme of study at The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences. Students in the bachelor and master programme in molecular biology and biology are prioritized.
Teaching and learning methods

8 double lectures

Attendance of min. 5 MOL-seminars or other scientifically relevant seminars (must be pre-approved by course-in-charge).

Compulsory Assignments and Attendance

Orientation meeting is compulsory.

Compulsory  attendance of all lectures.

Documented attendance of min. 5 MOL- seminars (or other scientifically relevant seminars, which must be pre-approved by course-in-charge). 

The compulsory activity is valid for two semesters (the current and the following semester).

Forms of Assessment
Written assignment of a given lecture topic.
Grading Scale
Assessment Semester
Reading List
The reading list will be available within July 1st for the autumn semester and December 1st for the spring semester
Course Evaluation
The course will be evaluated by the students in accordance with the quality assurance system at UiB and the department.
Examination Support Material
Programme Committee
The Programme Committee is responsible for the content, structure and quality of the study programme and courses.
Course Coordinator
Information about course-in-charge and administrative contact person can be found at Mitt UiB, or contact:
Course Administrator
The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Department of Biological Sciences, has the administrative responsibility for the course and program.