Biomarkers, Discovery and Validation

7.5 credits

Syllabus, Master's level, 3MG028

Education cycle
Second cycle
Main field(s) of study and in-depth level
Medical Science A1N, Molecular Medicine A1N
Grading system
Fail (U), Pass (G), Pass with distinction (VG)
Finalised by
The Master Programmes Board of the Faculty of Medicine, 22 August 2018
Responsible department
Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology

Entry requirements

180 credits in biology, bio-/medicine, biotechnology, pharmaceutical biosciences, medical science or equivalent education giving relevant knowledge in cell biology, genetics biochemistry and molecular biology. Proficiency in English equivalent to the Swedish upper secondary course English 6.

Learning outcomes

The course aims to provide an in-depth knowledge of the discovery, validation and technical as well as medical application of biomarkers.

After completing the course, the student should be able to

  • describe the process and methods of biomarker discovery and validation
  • describe different types of biomarkers and methods of applications
  • account for known biomarkers for important human diseases
  • theoretically formulate and process scientific questions and laboratory techniques
  • account for and evaluate current theories, methods and techniques within the research field, their practical execution and application
  • compile, critically analyse and evaluate research results and present these both orally and in writing.


The course aim to provide an insight into the current knowledge, future potential use and development of biomarkers as both prognostic and diagnostic tools in health care. Different types of biomarkers will be discussed as well as the methods for discovery and validation of protein biomarkers in serum. Biomarkers for different diseases will be treated, such as biomarkers for cancers, neurological and cardiovascular diseases. Biomarkers in disease epidemiology and pathology will be covered. Biobanking and ethical considerations will be discussed and current clinical methods and diagnostics will be illustrated. Current opinions and research findings of molecular biomarkers, as well as development of novel methods and technologies, will be discussed. The Human Proteome Atlas will be described and used in practical exercises, illustrating discovery of biomarkers for different cancers and other diseases.


Instruction is provided in English in the form of lectures and mandatory seminars, laboratory exercises, computer

practicals and other theoretical and practical exercises such as problem-oriented exercises and presentations related to current research fields.


Modules: Theory and seminars 4.5 credits; Laboratory session 3 credits

The module laboratory sessions require completed laboratory practicals and related literature assignments. The theoretical module and seminars require active participation. A written examination is given at the end of the course. To pass the requirements of the curriculum, all assigned tasks must be completed.

If there are special reasons for doing so, an examiner may make an exception from the method of assessment indicated and allow a student to be assessed by another method. An example of special reasons might be a certificate regarding special pedagogical support from the University's disability coordinator.