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Reminder: NOVA PhD Course "Molecular Methods for Detection of Food- and Waterborne Pathogens" - Open for Applications

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The course will take place on 5-8 Mar. 2018, in Helsinki, Finland.
Application deadline: 15 January 2018.

The course is of 3 ECTS and is organised by Leena Maunula, University lecturer, University of Helsinki - Faculty of Veterinary Medicine.

NOVA course information web page

Apply here

Course Description
During the course the students will get acquainted with molecular methods used for detection of pathogenic bacteria, viruses and parasites in food. The main method is polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and the focus is especially in quantitative real-time and digital PCR as well as sample preparation. The students learn how to establish the methods, design primers, include adequate controls and interpret results. They learn how to identify the critical points in PCR, and troubleshooting lectures give help for challenges in PCR. An introduction to alternative methods, such as microfluidics and MALDI-TOF, is given. Nordic experts in the field of bacteriology, virology and parasitology, will share their experience about applying the techniques in food, water and environmental matrices. The lectures together with hands-on work and demonstrations both in the laboratory and at the computer will give the students valuable tools and know-how for their research.


  • Basics of PCR theory
  • Principles of real-time PCR (SYBRgreenI, Taqman chemistry)
  • Real-time PCR method applications in detection of pathogens in food, water and environmental surfaces
  • Multiplex and nested PCR, reverse transcription PCR, digital PCR
  • Primer design
  • Quantitative PCR, PCR methods in gene expression analysis
  • Some basics of alternative detection methods, such as microfluidics and MALDI-TOF

Programme Outline
As a pre-task, the students will update their knowledge of the basic structure of nucleic acids and basics of gene amplification. The course consists mainly of lectures and laboratory practice. In addition, the students will work in groups and give presentations as an interactive element. Each student will write an individual course report.

Main Teachers:

  • Peter Rådström, Professor, University of Lund, Sweden
  • Gro Johannessen, Senior Researcher, Norwegian Veterinary Institute
  • Lucy Robertson, Professor, Norwegian University of Life Sciences
  • Leena Maunula, University lecturer, University of Helsinki - Faculty of Veterinary Medicine

Please find more information on the course and on how to apply here:

Published 11. January 2018 - 15:55 - Updated 11. January 2018 - 15:55