Neuromuscular Development and Disease

Course content

This module will introduce students to neuromuscular development, function and disease, and these processes’ interactions with metabolism and metabolic disease. Students will also be introduced to the challenges and realities of drug development as seen by the biomedical industry.

Major topics to be covered include development and differentiation of skeletal muscle, muscle stem cells in regeneration, muscle interplay with metabolism; muscle degenerative diseases and stem cell based therapies.

Students will also gain insight into general principles of embryonic nervous system development, neurodegeneration and neuroregeneration, as well as animal models for neurodegenerative diseases.

Additional topics to be covered include the ionic basis of neuronal signalling; the molecular biology of ion channels and their function in physiology and disorders; the development of the neuromuscular junction; and couplings between brain function and metabolism.

1. Muscle Biology
a. Development of skeletal muscle
b. Differentiation of muscle stem cells
c. Muscle stem cells in regeneration
d. Muscle and metabolism, molecular and cellular effects of exercise
e. Muscle disorders and therapies

2. Development of the nervous system
a. Neural induction and patterning
b. Differentiation in central and peripheral nervous system
c. Neuroregeneration and neural stem cells
d. Animal models for human neurodegenerative diseases

3. Neurobiology
a. Ionic basis of neuronal signalling
b. Molecular biology of ion channels & ion channelopathies
c. Development of neuromuscular junction
d. Interplay between brain and metabolism


MSc Programme in Molecular Biomedicine

Learning outcome


At the end of the module, students will have detailed knowledge of the following:

  • Developmental processes involved in making muscle and nerve cells.
  • Ionic basis of neuronal signalling
  • Mechanisms underlying skeletal muscle pathologies, neurodegenerative disorders, ion channelopathies and regenerative processes, and the couplings between muscle and neural function and glucose metabolism
  • Several animal models for neuromuscular deseases.


At the end of the module, students will be able to:

  • Read and discuss on a professional level recent original molecular biomedical literature in the fields of neural and muscular development, function and pathologies.


At the end of the module, students will be able to:

  • Propose a minor original project within neuromuscular development and disease after a study of the original literature, detailing recent observations and theories, the student’s hypothesis and experimental approach to examine this hypothesis
  • Work in a small international group of peers and jointly with this group present a comprehensive, professional overview of a particular problem within the taught subjects.

Lectures, presentations/​discussion, group work.
The course will mainly be based on key scientific papers and review articles.

Students will be given a list of selected materials, compiled by the lecturers, to read before the start of the programme as part of the preparation for the summer school.

7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Continuous assessment
1 written test 3 hours; 1 essay (project proposal); group presentation 1 hour.
Each partexamination is weighted and assessed individually, and the final grade is established on the basis of the set weighting of the part-examinations.
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Several internal examiners
Criteria for exam assessment

In order to obtain the grade 12 the student should convincingly and accurately demonstrate the knowledge, skills and competences described under Learning Outcome.

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 30
  • Seminar
  • 12
  • Project work
  • 75
  • Preparation
  • 85
  • Exam
  • 4
  • English
  • 206