Netherlands, Utrecht

Exploring Nature's Molecular Machines

when 20 August 2012 - 31 August 2012
duration 2 weeks
credits 3 ECTS
fee EUR 890

This course focuses on the chemical principles underlying protein structure and function and how proteins form an assembly of “molecular machines” that work together to sustain the living state. We will explore how proteins “know” what shape they should fold up into following their synthesis, how they cluster into dynamic macromolecular complexes, and how these complexes communicate to form “social” networks that enable cells to move, replicate, signal, and execute other vital processes. The students will be introduced to advanced methods in structural and molecular biology for decoding the cellular protein machinery at atomic resolution, and examine how malfunction of specific components can lead to systemic failure and disease. The school will combine theory (lectures, tutorials) with experiment, laboratory tours and a visit to a leading Biotech company.

Course leader

Dr. S.G.D. Rudiger & Dr. J.C.M. Holthuis

Target group

Advanced bachelors / beginning masters in the early stage of their study with a background in chemistry, molecular biology or biophysics as well as proficiency in English.

Course aim

To introduce the student to technology for decoding nature’s molecular machines, and how the acquired knowledge provides a rationale for novel therapeutic interventions and applications in nano- and synthetic biology.

Credits info

Certificate of Attendance

Fee info

EUR 890: Course + course materials + housing + deposit


A limited number of scholarships in the form of (partial) fee waivers and/or accommodation intended for talented students from developing countries is available. Talented students from other countries can also apply. There are no travel grants. If you see

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