The spring term has just started, and everyone is trying to get back into study mode after the holidays. Our holidays are actually called “individual study time” on the schedule which means you either have a final exam to study for or an assignment (so not really a proper holiday 😝). Anyhow, our last written exam of Frontiers in Translational Medicine course was last week, so now it’s course review time. There are plenty of good previous blog posts about this course that you should definitely read. I will briefly talk about what I enjoyed the most in this course. The central themes were cancer, cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), neuroscience, and infectious medicine. Inflammation is implemented in each field, and we had two big written exams: 1) Tools in Molecular Medicine, Immunology, and CVDs 2) Neuroscience and Oncology. There were also several labs and project works where you design your lab protocol for an experiment, as well as prepare a presentation about a specific disease. Here are some of the highlights my classmates and I genuinely enjoyed during this course.
We had the opportunity to meet a patient who was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Patient demonstrations provided us with a different experience where you actually learn about the realities of the disease. Unfortunately, I had to miss the demo, but my friends told me it was an interesting discussion. They had the chance to ask the patients about their condition, the healthcare system, and which treatments they are currently taking.
In the neuroscience module, we had different mandatory workshops such as confocal microscopy and neuroimaging. It was the first time I learned how to visualize MRI brain images of dementia or multiple sclerosis patients using a specific program. We got to play around with the 3D images and identify the differences between the brains of healthy individuals and patients.
CVDs and Oncology lectures
You can tell by now that I am really into neuroscience, but I also want to mention that there were some excellent lectures in the oncology module and CVD/Immunology module such as learning about how CRISPR-CAS9 technology is implemented in Rheumatoid Arthritis, as well as how bioelectric medicine is used in understanding the neuronal contribution to inflammation. Last but not least, we learned about the hallmarks of cancer in detail and the current and promising personalized therapies for cancer.
These assignments were integrated for the first time in this course. In previous years, they had Journal Clubs, but now they shifted them to another course. The assignments consisted of summarizing 2-3 week lectures, as well as brainstorming our own exam questions. These assignments helped in revising for the written exams.
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LinkedIn: Sara Abu Ajamieh