Functional Genomics

15 credits

Syllabus, Master's level, 1BG322

Education cycle
Second cycle
Main field(s) of study and in-depth level
Biology A1F, Technology A1F
Grading system
Fail (U), Pass (3), Pass with credit (4), Pass with distinction (5)
Finalised by
The Faculty Board of Science and Technology, 15 April 2010
Responsible department
Biology Education Centre

Entry requirements

150 credits complete courses including alternative 1) 60 credits biology and 30 credits chemistry; alternative 2) chemistry 40 credit points/60 credits including Biochemistry 15 credits and biology 30 credits including Molecular Genetics 15 credits, and in both cases Microbial Genetics or Molecular Cell Biology or Evolutionary Genomics.

Learning outcomes

The overall aim of the course is to provide in-depth knowledge about the structure, organisation and expression of the genome in bacteria, archaea and eukaryotic organisms.

After completion the course, the student should be able to

  • account for how all stages in a genome sequencing project are carried out and describe current large-scale DNA-sequencing technologies
  • describe the overall structure and organisation of the genome in microorganisms, plants and animals
  • differentiate between genomic, and other large-scale analyses, at different levels, including genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics, metagenomics and systems biology
  • describe and explain a broad spectrum of large-scale functional genomics methods, as well as current technical developments within the genomics and functional genomics fields
  • suggest and outline solutions to theoretical and experimental problems within the genomics and functional genomics fields
  • plan and carry out a small functional genomics project, both theoretically and experimentally
  • handle and analyse large-scale experimental datasets, and present results and interpretations in a scientifically stringent manner
  • critically examine research reports and publications dealing with genomics and functional genomics, and be able to suggest alternative interpretations and salient follow-up experiments.


The theoretical part of the course concerns analyses at the whole-genome level of bacteria, archaea and eukaryotes. Large-scale techniques for sequencing and analysis at the whole-genome level (genomics) of prokaryotic and eukaryotic model organisms are presented in detail, including different DNA-sequencing technologies and strategies, genome structure and organisation, as well as comparative genomics and evolutionary aspects. Functional Genomics constitutes another main theme, including microarray-based technologies for studies of RNA expression (transcriptomics), different methods for global protein measurements (proteomics), and current attempts at developing similar approaches and techniques for studies at the metabolite level (metabolomics). The course also covers large-scale techniques for studies of protein-protein and protein-DNA interactions, metagenomics and systems biology, global gene regulation, transgenic organisms, reverse genetics and gene ethics.

The experimental part covers practical use of up-to-date functional genomics and recombinant DNA techniques, including DNA isolation, PCR, T-vector cloning, automated DNA sequencing, OLA-based genotyping, RNA isolation, real-time RT-PCR and reporter gene analysis in transgenic organisms. Two of the exercises are carried out as small research projects, in which planning, data analysis and interpretation to a large extent are carried out by student teams. The results are presented both as written laboratory reports and as seminars together with the rest of the student group. A theoretical analysis of microarray data also is carried out, followed by discussions about data treatment, analysis, and interpretation of the results.

The course participants also carry out individual literature projects about current subjects related to the genomics or functional genomics fields. The student chooses a subject to focus on, gathers relevant information and literature, and then presents the project as a power point presentation.

The course includes site visits to local biotechnology companies and/or functional genomics laboratories, to provide current examples of the application and development of functional genomics technology within biotech industry.


The teaching is provided as lectures, literature project, experimental work and site visits. Participation in literature project and experimental work is compulsory. Integrated communication training with feedback and self evaluation are integral parts of the course.


Modules: Theory 8 credits; Laboratory session 5 credits; Literature project 2 credits

The theory part is examined through a written examination. The module experimental work requires implemented laboratory sessions and written laboratory reports followed up with oral presentations. The module literature project is presented orally as a PowerPoint exercise.