Amsterdam, Netherlands

Applications of Fluorescence in the Life Sciences

when 14 July 2018 - 28 July 2018
language English
duration 2 weeks
credits 3 EC
fee EUR 1150

Fluorescence spectroscopy and microscopy have become common techniques in cell biology and biophysics. This is due to the incredibly high sensitivity and selectivity of fluorescence, combined with its non-invasive nature. In particular, the development of super-resolution microscopy (Nobel Prize for Chemistry, 2014) and the introduction of fluorescent proteins (Nobel Prize for Chemistry, 2008) have brought about a leap forward in the study of intracellular processes. It is now possible to localize a single fluorescently labelled protein molecule inside a living cell with nanometric accuracy.

This course begins by discussing the theoretical basis of these phenomena, but its main focus is their practical application. We explain and give you hands-on experience with a broad range of techniques in this field, including absorption spectroscopy, various types of fluorescence spectroscopy (polarization, FRET, etc.) and fluorescence microscopy (confocal, TIRF, lifetime imaging, etc.). Their use in modern biophysics and cell biology research is further illustrated with the help of case studies from our own lab and from recent literature.

Course leader

Dr Y. J. M. Bollen, Prof. Dr H. Lill

Target group

Students and professionals in the field of life sciences wanting to learn more about fluorescence techniques. For example for later use in research. Our courses are multi-disciplinary and therefore are open to students and professionals with a wide variety of backgrounds.

Course aim

At the end of this course you:
•Understand how electromagnetic waves interact with matter.
•Are familiar with various fluorescence-based experimentation techniques in the life sciences, and know which to use for a particular kind of research question.
•Can evaluate results obtained using such techniques.
•Can interpret and judge current literature describing related experimental work in cell biology or biophysics.

Credits info

3 EC
Contact Hours: 45
If you want to earn more credits you can take courses in our other sessions to create a 4 or 6 week programme.

Fee info

EUR 1150: The tuition fee includes:
• Airport pick-up service
• Welcome goodie bag
• Orientation programme
• Course excursions
• On-site support
• Emergency assistance
• Transcript of records after completion of the course

An early bird discount of €150 is available for students who apply and pay before 15 March, and students from VU Amsterdam as well as from exchange partner universities will receive a €250 discount. You apply for the discount simply by indicating that you are currently a student at VU Amsterdam or at a partner university in the online application.

There are also discounts for students who attend multiple sessions, combine 2 courses and receive a €200 discount and combine 3 to receive a €300 discount. All courses include excursions. We will also organize trips and excursions as part of our social programme, which is a great way to get to know your fellow students and learn more about Amsterdam and the Netherlands. The social programme is not included in the tuition fee.

Furnished accommodation is available. Various housing options will be offered


The VU Amsterdam Summer School offers ten scholarships that cover the full tuition and housing fees of one course. Information about how to apply for the scholarship will be posted on the VU Amsterdam Summer School website.

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