Single-Cell Technologies in Life Sciences
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Area of Study
Taught In English
Course Level Recommendations
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Recommended U.S. Semester Credits1
Recommended U.S. Quarter Units2
Hours & Credits
Life Sciences research at the level of individual cells is a rapidly developing research area. Traditional single-cell technologies such as cytometry and microscopy are being used in combination with the emerging field of single-cell genomics.
Life Sciences research at the level of individual cells is a rapidly developing research area. Traditional single-cell technologies such as cytometry and microscopy are being used in combination with the emerging field of single-cell genomics. These single-cell technologies have important implications for our understanding of cellular behaviour, including cellular development, differentiation and decision-making. Cellular processes can now be studied at an unprecedented resolution, and with astounding results: new light can now be shed on immunity and immune-related disorders, infectious diseases, and cancer. Understanding the technology behind these new applications is crucial to the processing and interpretation of data.
This intensive course combines theory with practice and will provide participants with in-depth and up-to-date expertise on advanced cytometry and microscopic imaging techniques. It is sure to be invaluable to everyone who is planning to complete a research internship. The course is divided into two parts: cytometry and microscopy. The cytometry lectures will teach students the principles of fluorescence cytometry analysis and sorting, imaging flow cytometry, and mass cytometry. Students will also be required to attend a demonstration session on cytometry and will learn all about essential data analysis methods (from multicolour cytometry to multidimensional data analysis) through tutorials and work group sessions. This part of the course will include an exciting lecture on the emerging field of single-cell genomics. The second part of the course will focus on light microscopy on live and fixed specimens, confocal laser scanning microscopy, electron microscopy, and light-sheet microscopy. Special attention will be given to image analysis in a tutorial on ImageJ and other commonly used software applications.
After completing the course, students will:
• Have in-depth knowledge of the applications of advanced cytometry and microscopic imaging techniques;
• Be familiar with the principles of fluorescence cytometry analysis and sorting, imaging flow cytometry and mass cytometry;
• Understand essential analysis data methods for multicolour cytometry;
• Know the basics of multidimensional data analysis;
• Be able to distinguish applications of single-cell genomics methods;
• Grasp the principles of light microscopy on live and fixed specimens, confocal laser scanning microscopy, electron microscopy, and light sheet microscopy;
• Know more about essential data analysis methods and ImageJ;
• Be familiar with advanced imaging methods, such as SIM, TIRF, and super resolution modalities.
The course includes site visits to the microscopy and flow cytometry facility at VU University Medical Center.
A guest speaker from a leading biotech firm will be invited to share their own personal and professional experiences in the field of single-cell technologies, as well as their views on the development of the field.
Lectures, site visits, demos
FORM OF ASSESSMENT
Small paper on a research project that incorporates the technology studied during this course (<1000 words).
Final year Bachelor's and Master’s students taking a Life Sciences programme, but the course is also open to Medical Engineering, Computational Biology, and Medical Sciences students