Today I will review the course Target organ toxicology, which is a 2-month course where we learn the effects of toxic compounds on different organs. The structure of the course has been renewed since last year, so I would like to highlight some new aspects!
The course starts with a week of diehard toxicokinetics where we learn to work with computer models using Berkley Madonna™. If you don’t have any background in programming, then ready yourself.
After that, the course tries to cover several areas in the field of toxicology. It is an intensive course where diverse learning methods are applied. The topics covered are:
- Liver toxicity
- Cancer and genetic toxicity
- Lung toxicity/heart toxicity
- Catastrophy and acute toxicity
- Skin toxicity and immunotoxicology
- Reproductive toxicology
On average, we study one target organ supported by lectures and weekly group work where we had to write a report and present. The group works were based on PBL (problem-based learning), which means that we received a scenario where we had to find out how people could have been poisoned or affected by the different exposures. It kind of feels like you are one of the investigators in CSI! At the end of the week there was a written exam which made the course really challenging.
Personally, this course has been the course where you get a good insight of the different organs and you can already tell which one you like or not. It has completely changed my view on toxicology. Before starting the course, neurotoxicity was the area I was most interested in. However, after taking this course my preference goes to skin toxicity and liver toxicity!
The upside of the whole course is that it allows you to develop useful skills such as presenting, working under high pressure and short time. I am someone who needs quite some preparation for presentations, but by the end of this course I managed to improvise and present without any fears. In the beginning, I had quite some struggles adjusting to the many group works but you learn to work with various people which I believe is a characteristic you will need in the future when you start working. On top of that, it’s incredible that you get lectures from professors and researchers from different institutes and people who have lots of working experience in companies like Astra Zeneca. It’s always a pleasure to listen to their careers.
In conclusions, this course makes me realize that the master’s programme is indeed a full-time study and it’s a lot of work but at the end definitely worth it.
This is it for today! Hej då and don’t hesitate to contact me if you have questions about the coursework.