Advanced Imaging Technologies for Systems Biology and Biomedical Research

Module aims

In this module you will be introduced to advanced imaging technologies as a powerful toolbox in systems biology with an emphasis on addressing developmental and disease processes in various animal models. The overall goal of the module is to enable you to critically evaluate and carefully design imaging experiments in order to analyse dynamic processes in complex biological systems.

Learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of this module you will be able to:

•             Explain and compare various optical imaging techniques

•             Discuss the advantages of various model organisms for biomedical imaging

•             Evaluate the use of advanced imaging technologies to visualise and/or quantify complex biological events

•             Test hypotheses of development and disease progression by designing imaging experiments

Module syllabus

Imaging offers the unique advantage of observing biological processes with high spatiotemporal resolution in whole organisms, offering a path to more refined, quantitative dynamic models. The recent introduction of advanced imaging tools and automated instrumentation will enable researchers to apply imaging for both hypothesis-driven research and high-throughput analysis 

To achieve such biosystems imaging expertise, you will need to acquire following competences:  

a) identify and compare various imaging techniques. This competence will be accomplished by giving you an in-depth view of modern microscopy techniques such as confocal, non-linear, and fast volumetric microscopy. Further, the student will be introduced into quantitative fluorescence microscopy techniques that have been successfully conducted in the laboratory (e.g. FRAP, FDAP).  

b) discuss the advantages of various model organisms for systems biology studies. The emphasis here will be on the relevance and quality of the data whilst conducting animal experiments with the highest ethical standards.  

c) Explain developmental principles during animal development such as emergence of asymmetry, pattern formation and regeneration. 

With these competences at hand, you will appreciate how to exploit advanced imaging technologies as a particularly valuable toolbox capable of elucidating dynamic processes in complex biological systems. You will be able to evaluate different experimental approaches to interrogate development and disease, and test hypotheses by designing imaging experiments to analyse dynamic biological processes. 

Assessments

 Written exam, 100%