MEDFL5215 – Life science, cell and animal research

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

The course will give an overview of selected cell and animal models relevant for research in the field of experimental medicine. Various animal models will be described with focus on their potential use in biomedical research, including their strengths and weaknesses. Furthermore, cell culture conditions with relevance to treatment of humans and animal research will be discussed including the use of extracellular matrices for 3D culture condition and printing of cells in 3D. Additionally, recently developed genetic and epigenetic editing techniques will be covered. The students will be presented a broad perspective on specific preclinical models and brief introductions to techniques applied in animal experimentation. Students learn about possibilities, limitations and strengths of cell and animal models. The course will not cover regulatory issues regarding animal research. It is recommended that this course is taken early in the PhD program.

Learning outcome


The purpose of this course is to give students insight into the use, potential and limitations of the following animal models:

  • Mus musculus (mouse)
  • Rattus Norwegicus (rats)
  • Caenorhabditis elegans (worm)
  • Drosophila melanogaster (fruit fly)
  • Danio rerio (zebra fish)
  • Sus scrofa domesticus (pigs)
  • Canis domesticus (dogs)
  • Genetic modification of rodents

The following aspects of cell biology will be covered:

  • Cell culture in 2D and 3D, role of extracellular matrices
  • Printing of cells in 3D
  • Stem cells and induced cell pluripotency
  • Genetic and epigenetic editing with CRISPR/CAS and TALEN technology

Acquired skills:

Ability to consider use of the presented models in their own projects.


The course is restricted to students at the Medical Student Research Programme at the Faculty of Medicine and the Faculty of Dentistry, UiO.

Students apply in StudentWeb


Formal prerequisite knowledge

The student should hold an MSc, MD or equivalent and be enrolled in a PhD programme, or be students at the Medical Student Research Programme at UiO

Recommended previous knowledge

Good understanding of physiology, cell and molecular biology.


The course will consist of lectures, video presentations, group work and a guided tour of IMB’s animal care facility at Department of Comparative Medicine. This is a 4-day course starting at 9 a.m. and finishing 3 p.m.

All required literature and resources will be provided at the beginning of the course.

The tour of the animal care facility requires an overnight quarantine for persons who have been in other animal care facilities or farms with animals. Persons with rodents as pets cannot enter the facility. 

You have to participate in at least 80 % of the teaching to be allowed to take the exam. Attendance will be registered.


Examination will be in the form of an individually written report with a summary of each topic covered in the course. This is to be delivered to the course leader immediately after the course. Examination language is English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a pass/fail scale. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.


The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.

Facts about this course






It is currently not decided when this course will be offered again

Teaching language