CAU - Universität Kiel
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Nr. 82, 18.10.2014  voriger  Übersicht  weiter  REIHEN  SUCHE 

Studying Medical Life Sciences

From lab research to clinical application

The Master’s programme Medical Life Sciences (MedLife) at Kiel University started in 2012. This Englishtaught biomedical Master programme trains students for a career in translational medicine: What is researched in cuttingedge “omics” sciences such as proteomics or genomics is often ground-breaking (e.g. high-throughput genome sequencing of microbial organisms that populate our gut), but it needs to be translated into medical applications for preventing, treating or curing disease: You need to know what clinicians, biochemists and molecular biologists are talking about to find solutions for clinical problems.

Many B.Sc. graduates are interested in biomedical research career. In Medical Life Sciences they can concentrate on one focus area introducing them to Oncology, Inflammation, Longevity or Evolutionary Medicine. Students involve themselves deeply in those fields, conduct lab work in research projects and write their theses in the lab of their choice. They are also trained in project management, English scientific writing, bioinformatics and epidemiology. Biobanks are a great epidemiological tool for translating research into clinical applications, but a scientist needs to know how to handle the data, which is why it is in MedLife’s curriculum. Students are also included in scientific events such as symposia or summer schools: “The symposium of the Cluster of Excellence Inflammation at Interfaces was a great platform to catch up on the latest findings of scientific research in the field of inflammation, establish scientific contacts and expand your professional network”, says Maren Pein, who graduated in June. The concept works well, since the first graduated students will continue in research with their PhD positions already secured.

As MedLife only takes a maximum of 25 students per year, groups are small and students are individually supervised. Currently, most students of the 2012 group are finishing their Master’s theses. Some carried out additional internships at companies or academic research labs first, to get a feeling for the career path they want to choose. It will be interesting to see where their choices will lead them.

Edna Hütten

The author has coordinated the MedLife programme from the beginning with scientific coordinator Professor Almut Nebel. Edna Hütten sees to the daily management of the programme, provides administrative support to students and teaching staff, acts as point of contact for interested candidates and is involved in the continuous development of the programme.
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