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Lessons from the Eye

How to Translate Your Basic Research into Clinical Applications

From August 10-14 Radboud University in Nijmegen is organizing a Summer School highlighting our translational research on retinal diseases. Our target audience are Bachelor’s, Master’s and PhD students with a background in molecular biology. 

Do you want your research to make a difference, and develop new treatments for devastating diseases? During this intensive one‐week course you will be guided through all phases of translational research, based on lessons we have learned from the eye. You will learn how to design studies to understand disease mechanisms, and how to develop diagnostic tests and new treatments. You will learn about exciting new developments, such as gene therapy trials that have restored vision in blind children.

The course is hosted by the Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences (RIMLS). You will be taught by world‐leading experts who are specialised in translational research of diseases affecting the eye. During the course you will follow lectures by researchers specialised in the different phases of translational research. You will also do hands‐on experimental designs in the lab, and will learn how to identify the genetic causes of inherited and multifactorial diseases, which require different study designs. This will be illustrated by our research on retinal dystrophies, the most important cause of vision loss in children, and age‐related macular degeneration, the most common cause of vision loss in the elderly. You will learn how to model the molecular disease mechanisms using cellular models system, including induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technology, and animal models such as zebrafish, mouse and dog. You will but taught how diagnostic and predictive tests can be developed for clinical applications, and the challenges that are faced will be addressed. During the course you will learn how knowledge of the molecular disease mechanisms can be translated towards the development of new treatments. Exciting new developments in the field of retinal dystrophies, such as gene therapy trials that have restored vision in blind children, will be highlighted during the course. Preclinical study designs, as well as challenges that are faced in the next step towards clinical translation of new treatments will be discussed.

The course is aimed at Bachelor’s and Master’s students, who are fascinated by human disease and want to learn how to translate their basic research into clinical applications. The course will focus on diseases of the eye, but the research methods that will be taught have a broad application to many different diseases. This course will provide you with a solid basis in choosing the next step of your research career. 

Learning outcomes

After this course you are able to:

  • Design studies to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying monogenic and multifactorial
  • diseases.
  • Develop diagnostic/predictive tests for monogenic and multifactorial diseases.
  • Select suitable model systems to study disease mechanisms and test new treatment.
  • Design preclinical studies for developing new treatments.

Entry level

  • Bachelor
  • Advanced Bachelor
  • Master

For whom is this course designed

This course is suitable for Bachelor’s and Master’s students with a basic background in genetics and molecular biology, i.e. Biology, Biotechnology, Biomedical Sciences, Medicine, Biochemistry, Medical Biology, or Molecular Life Sciences.

Admission requirements

Students need a basic background in genetics and molecular biology.

Admission documents

  • Motivation letter (max. 1 A4) containing the following elements: Introduction (tell us who you are); Motivation (why are you interested in this course?); Purpose (what do you hope to gain from this course?)
  • A copy of your CV


Monday 10 August – Friday 14 August 2015

Course leaders

  • Prof. Dr. A.I. (Anneke) den Hollander
  • Prof. Dr. F.P.M. (Frans) Cremer
    Radboud University Medical Centre

Course fee

€550 - The course fee includes the registration fee, course materials, access to library and IT facilities, coffee/tea, lunch, and a number of social activities.


  • 10% discount for early bird applicants. The early bird deadline is 1 April 2015.
  • 15% discount for students and PhD candidates from Radboud University and partner universities

Number of ECTS credits

2 EC

Download course brochure (pdf, 1.4 MB) | more information: Radboud Summer School Courses