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Signalling and techniques in I&I

Monday 26 May 2014


Week 24, 25, 26 (& exam on monday of week 27)
ECís: 4.5

Course description
Cell signalling is part of a complex system of communication that governs basic cellular activities and coordinates cell actions. The ability of cells to perceive and correctly respond to their microenvironment is the basis of development, tissue repair, and immunity as well as normal tissue homeostasis. Errors in cellular information processing are responsible for diseases such as cancer, autoimmunity, and diabetes. By understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying cell signalling, it is possible to develop novel therapies for a wide variety of diseases. Cells receive information from their environment through a class of proteins known as receptors. The information is then processed through signalling pathways and decoded in the nucleus. Cell signalling research involves studying the spatial and temporal dynamics of both receptors and the components of signalling pathways to determine what parts are actually present in a given cell, where the parts are located, and what the parts are doing. Regulation of immune system functioning is extremely complex and involves communication between multiple cell types through a plethora of cellular receptors. This can be mediated by cell-cell contact or release of soluble factors, such as cytokines, but ultimately results in changes in immune cell production and function. This course aims to develop a molecular understanding of the fundamental intracellular signalling process regulated through diverse cell surface immune receptors. Furthermore, state-of-the-art techniques will be discussed as well as how they can be applied to studying these processes in immune cells.

Course coordinator
Prof.dr. Paul J. Coffer, dept. of Cell Biology, UMC Utrecht

Literature / study material used
Useful books for self-study (not mandatory)
Alberts, Molecular Biology of the Cell