Please note! Course description is confirmed for two academic years, which means that in general, e.g. Learning outcomes, assessment methods and key content stays unchanged. However, via course syllabus, it is possible to specify or change the course execution in each realization of the course, such as how the contact sessions are organized, assessment methods weighted or materials used.


Learning outcomes: After the course the students

1. can use methods used in molecular biology laboratories

2. can genetically modify pro- and eukaryotic expression hosts

3. know and can apply methods for screening and selection

4. will be able to plan and conduct basic experimental work by themselves.

Credits: 5

Schedule: 01.03.2021 - 20.04.2021

Teacher in charge (valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022): Heli Viskari

Teacher in charge (applies in this implementation): Heli Viskari

Contact information for the course (valid 29.01.2021-21.12.2112):

Throughout the course the students will primarily contact responsible teacher Heli Viskari,

CEFR level (applies in this implementation):

Language of instruction and studies (valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022):

Teaching language: English

Languages of study attainment: English


  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    The course builds on a sound knowledge of cellular components and pathways and aims at how these components and pathways can be genetically engineered in order to create new or improved versions. Targeted and random approaches for creating modifications at the DNA level and strategies for identification and selection of improved biocatalysts and cellular systems are covered. The course provides the theoretical background and practical skills.


  • Applies in this implementation:

    Part I: Yeast as an expression

    You will analyze if and how Saccharomyces
    can be genetically modified to enable production of recombinant proteins and how productivity might be improved. Course work will be done according to a pre-designed daily schedule that you can find in MyCourses before the course starts. Possibly not
    all the dates and hours marked in Oodi are going to be used. Working hours are also dependent on success in laboratory work and individual working pace. This year,
    the students will most probably be divided to two working groups that will
    follow their own lab schedule during the three to four first weeks.

    Part II: BioBricks for
    assembling genetic constructs

    You will plan and execute a
    cloning and protein production project by using BioBricks system to learn what standardization in molecular biology means and how standardized genetic parts can be utilized to assemble new functional units. In this part, you can more freely plan your working hours still using the pre-determined laboratory days and times. Execution of especially this part will might be modified according to current space and time restrictions on campus.

Assessment Methods and Criteria
  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    Experimentation, planning, practical implementation, reporting and assignments

  • Applies in this implementation:

    Preliminary grading scale: Max
    100 points distributed as follows:

    Activity and attendance in the
    laboratory, completion of experimental work (25)

    -Make sure that you have time
    to read the instructions in the manual before

    each laboratory session

    -Be prepared to discuss the
    work in the lectures

    -For part II, use sufficient
    amount of time to plan the experiment beforehand

    -Missed laboratory days, if
    any, might be needed to be compensated with extra work (case sensitive).
    Extensive absence from the sessions can lead to point reductions.


    Part I reporting and discussion
    of outcome (25)

    - Missing the deadline in
    reporting might lead to point reductions.


    Part II reporting and discussion
    of outcome (25)


    Assignments (20)

    - Missing the deadlines in
    assignments might lead to point reductions.


    Self and group assessment at
    the end of the course (5)

  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    Total 135h = 5 cr

    Laboratory work and other experimentation


    Reporting (written and/or oral)


  • Applies in this implementation:

    Please note that these hours
    are estimations, depending on each experimental success and working pace of each student.

    Lectures (in lecture rooms and
    in-between laboratory work) 10-12 h

    Laboratory work and other
    experimentation 70 h

    Reporting (written and oral)
    40 h

    Assignments and self-study 13


Study Material
  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    To be announced later

  • Applies in this implementation:

    The course manual will be available to students in MyCourses as the course starts. Be sure to read it through before the laboratory work starts.

  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    CHEM-E3110, CHEM-E8120 and CHEM-E8115

    Laboratory safety course CHEM-A1010 or CHEM-E0140 (or alternatively, laboratory safety as part of courses CHEM-A1000 or CHEM-E0100 taught before Academic Year 2017-2018) must have been passed before performing any laboratory works in this course.

SDG: Sustainable Development Goals

    4 Quality Education


Details on the schedule
  • Applies in this implementation:

    Detailed preliminary schedule
    can be found in MyCourses before the course starts. First four weeks of the course are mostly pre-scheduled, on the latter two to three weeks the working groups can more freely plan their own timetable if possible with current Aalto level restrictions. The final discussion/presentation day (course part II) is 20.4.