The Human Microbiome

Course content

Humans harbour ten times more bacterial cells than human cells. Different parts of the human body are inhabited by specific microbial communities forming the human microbiome. Within recent years it has become clear that the human microbiome interacts extensively with their human host and is important for human health.

Education

MSc Programme in Biology
MSc Programme in Biochemistry
MSc Programme in Molecular Biomedicine

MSc Programme in Biology with a minor subject

Learning outcome

This course will give students a thorough understanding of the microbial communities in and on humans. This includes the different roles of the communities in the well-being of humans and links to important human diseases like allergies, obesity, inflammatory bowel diseases, and diabetes. Students will obtain detailed knowledge on the different microorganisms shaping the microbiome of key human habitats, i.e. the colon, skin, oral cavity, vagina and lungs.

Knowledge:

By completing the course the student will be able to:

  • describe the main members of the microbiome of the human colon, skin, oral cavity, vagina, and lungs
  • describe key physiological aspects of the main members of the human microbiome
  • describe how the main members of the microbiome interact with their human host
  • describe how the human microbiome may be linked to human disease, i.e. obesity, allergies, inflammatory bowel diseases, and diabetes
  • describe how the human microbiome may affect the behaviour of humans
  • describe how human life style may influence the microbiome
  • describe the pros and cons of using specific animal models to study the links between microbiomes and human health


Skills:

  • present orally and in writing key aspects of the human microbiome and its effects on human health
  • propose studies for investigating the human microbiome and its interactions with the human host


Competences:

  • evaluate the effects of the human microbiome on human health
  • evaluate methods used to investigate the human microbiome and the interactions between the human microbiome and the human host
  • evaluate the use of animal models in the study of interactions between microbiomes and human health
  • independently retrieve and critically evaluate information from the primary scientific literature on the human microbioime and relationshiops between the human microbiome and human health
  • discuss original scientific articles and reviews on the human microbiome
  • present a coherent essay on a specific topic on the human microbiome

In general, three hours of lectures and six hours of seminars per week for the first five weeks. The lectures will introduce the microbiome(s) forming the theme of the week. The seminars are based on discussions of scientific papers and involve student presentations of original research papers, lectures by invited guests, and, importantly, discussions between students and guests (and teachers). In weeks six and seven, students will prepare an individual essay based on a microbiome topic defined and allocated by the teachers.

Scientific papers. See Absalon.

Written
Oral
Collective
Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
ECTS
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written examination, 2 hours under invigilation
The course has been selected for ITX exam at Peter Bangs Vej.
Aid
All aids allowed

NB: If the exam is held at the ITX, the ITX will provide computers. Private computers, tablets or mobile phones CANNOT be brought along to the exam. Books and notes should be brought on paper or saved on a USB key.

Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Several internal examiners/co-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.

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Exam
  • 2
  • Preparation
  • 119
  • Lectures
  • 15
  • Seminar
  • 30
  • Project work
  • 40
  • English
  • 206