UE Strategies in experimental biology

Diplômes intégrant cet élément pédagogique :


Course outline

This course is a practical initiation to develop and manage a scientific project. Developing this skill is a major goal of the master’s degree training program. Indeed, during the following 3 internships scheduled in the PLANT-Int program, students will join different teams, with the opportunity, in a working environment, to apply and develop the skills they acquired during this course. Overall, students will learn to carry out an integrative experimental project, from conception to realisation, and to analyse and bounce back on results. Groups of 2 students will first address a question in the field of oxidative stress biology, rising at least 3 hypotheses they want to test. They will then design an experimental plan to test the different hypotheses. Three different approaches/biological models will be available: yeast physiology, enzymatic and analytic biochemistry and eukaryotic cell biology. Every group of 2 will develop 2 approaches on their own, while collaborating with another group for the third approach. Every group of 2 students will work in a collaborative and shared manner, working as a team on all 3 approaches. Results of the 2 groups will be integrated for the final analysis to be presented in written and oral reports.



Using their knowledge in biology as well as bibliographic resources, the students design, implement and interpret their own experiments. Supervised by teachers, they develop two different approaches among:

  • yeast physiology (phenotypic characterization of yeast mutants for oxidative stress response)
  • cell biology (expression of key components of oxidative stress response in fibroblast cell lines for subcellular reorganization, expression and functional analysis).
  • biochemistry (purification and characterization of an enzyme isoform involved in oxidative stress response).

In addition, the students need to collaborate in order to cover the 3 topics, either experimentally on their own or by sharing results with another group. For that purpose, a mid-term progress meeting will be organized and evaluated between the groups that collaborate together, under teachers’ supervision.



The students will spend 10 full days (9 hours/day) of experimental work during two weeks, which they will organise according to their own specific experimental plans. Labs specifically equipped for the three different approaches are available at the CUBE ( @ ) experimental platform to perform the experimental work. A mid-term progress report meeting will be organized among co-working group of students belonging to PLANT-Int program under teachers’ supervision. Every group of 2 students will present a report (by a short oral defence) to their pair group on the first obtained results. The strategy employed to integrate the collaborative work between partners will also be evaluated. Evaluation of the practical objectives will be performed during practical session using an evaluation grid.

Final integrative results will be presented in a written report (1 report/group of 2 students) and defended individually by students in front of a teachers’ jury.


- Language used for the teaching and evaluation:  English

- what kind of program can you apply to when taking this course?

This course is designed only for students of the PLANT-Int major of the Master’s in Biology degree.

- Pre-requisites:

  • Basic knowledge in molecular and cellular methods for cell biology, molecular biology, genetics and biochemistry (microbiologic and eukaryotic cell culture in sterile synthetic media; sampling and biochemical analysis of macromolecules, including DNA and proteins; protein purification and enzymology; photonic microscopy).
  • Presentation and analysis of scientific data in a concise and precise manner; critical analysis of the techniques employed in a project; comparison of obtained data with a theoretical model.

- Is the number of students limited in this course?

No, but restricted to students from PLANT-Int program

Compétences visées

- Targeted skills:

  • Initiation to scientific project management:

­  Synthesis on the state-of-the-art from bibliographic analyses

­  Design of experiments within an integrative and pluridisciplinary approach

­  Training in co-working (collaborative groups, networking, self-organization)

­  Preparation of progress and final reports, building-up an experimental model

  • Technical abilities

­  Improving basic knowledge of laboratory techniques

­  Developing experimental skills in various fields (fluorescence microscopy, flow cytometry, RT-PCR, immunohistochemistry, spectro-fluorimetry,..)

Informations complémentaires

Lieu(x) : Grenoble - Saint-Martin d'Hères
Langue(s) : Francais