Key information

Next planned course: Spring 2022
Location: UiO
Course responsible: Nikolina Sekulic

Grading: 2 short oral presentations and a written exam (pass/fail)
Credits: 5 ECTS
UiO course code: KJM 5320/9320

Registration

Students must register to BioCat.

Content

This course offers an introduction to experimental methods for structure determination and structure prediction. The course content is up-to-date and taught by experts in the field. The course will cover the main high-resolution methods for X-ray crystallography and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, as well as electron cryo-microscopy (Cryo-EM), scattering techniques (SAXS and SANS), structural mass spectrometry, structure prediction and molecular modelling. The methods will be studied in theory and practice, giving students a good overview of methods applicable to their Masters or PhD projects in the subject. The course will also enable participants to read and judge modern literature in the field.

Teaching

The course comprises of 16 hours of lectures and 17 hours of compulsory exercises, 3 hours of student presentations, a mini-symposium (4 hours) and an excursion (8 hours). All teaching is mandatory. Teaching takes place during a compact 1-week period. As the teaching involves laboratory and/or field work, you should consider taking out separate travel and personal risk insurance. Read about your insurance cover as a student. 

Access to teaching

A student who has completed compulsory instruction and coursework and has had these approved, is not entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework. A student who has been admitted to a course, but who has not yet completed compulsory instruction and coursework or had these approved, is entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework, depending on available capacity.

Work requirement

Exam and evaluation

Prepared participation at all teaching sessions. Two short oral presentations, including an elevator speech. Written home examination on protein/topic of choice. Exam for Master students is based on exploration of the existing literature and online sources. Students at PhD level are expected, in addition, to identify gaps in existing knowledge and propose experiments using knowledge gained during the course.

Access to all material is allowed. The students are further allowed to consult with their fellow students (but not with their teachers or other experts). The exam must be written and handed in individually.

Language of examination
The exam text will be in English, and your response must be in English.

Grading scale: pass/fail grade.

Syllabus

Learning outcome

After completing the course, you should have the following competence:

  • Fundamental understanding of the main experimental structural biology techniques protein crystallography, NMR and cryo-EM. 
  • Knowledge of complementary experimental techniques, such as scattering techniques and structural mass spectrometry.
  • Knowledge of complementary theoretical techniques (molecular modelling) and bioinformatics.
  • Insight into when to apply which technique, and their advantages and limitations.
  • Some practical experience
  • The ability to present your work and important scientific concepts
  • Be able to read, understand and judge structural biology publications