Postgraduate course

Biomedical Nutrition Physiology

  • ECTS credits6
  • Teaching semesterSpring
  • Course codeELMED224
  • Number of semesters1
  • LanguageEnglish
  • Resources

Teaching semester


Objectives and Content

The physiology of cell and organism is determined by heredity and the environment. Human nutrition (i.e. what we eat), constitutes a major form of environmental exposure, and the individual nutrients and their overall composition induce different mechanisms at the cellular and organism level, influencing physiology. In addition, food is the main exposure route to persistent environmental contaminants concentrated up in the food chain.

Recent research has demonstrated that the environment can affect gene regulation through several other mechanisms than described with traditional genetics. Nutrition therefore has a great impact for the development of life style diseases such as obesity, diabetes and atherosclerosis. The progression of pathological conditions can be observed through changes in cellular signaling and function, with consequences for several physiological properties.

This course will give students a research based introduction to biomedical subjects (biochemistry, molecular biology, cell biology, physiology) in connection with human nutritional physiology. Focusing on areas like metabolism, signaling pathways and gene regulation, one can explain basic mechanisms that involve and are affected by nutrients and their composition in the diet. Students will also learn about the background of lifestyle diseases, genetic diseases, and the effects of contaminants.

The aim of the course is to train the students to independently evaluate the effects of nutrients at a cell biological and physiological level and evaluate this in a broader scientific context relating to health and disease.

The independent assignment, comprising a written essay and a poster presentation, should address new relevant issues with regard to nutrition and lifestyle diseases rooted in a research environment at UiB, preferably the group where the student will perform his/her master project. If the master student has not yet found a supervisor for the master project, any research group at the Department of Biomedicine can be contacted. The project proposal should not be directly linked to the future master's thesis, but can be thematically close and will be defined by the group leader together with the course coordinator.

Learning Outcomes


  • The student has an overview over how physiological properties are affected by nutrients and nutrient composition.

Specific competence

  • The student can discuss the relationship between nutrition and physiological responses in relation to biomedical mechanisms.
  • The student can critically interpret relevant physiological, cell biological and molecular biological research literature in the field of nutrition and life style diseases.

General competence

  • The student can present such topics in the form of a poster presentation and essay, including referencing.

Required Previous Knowledge

Biology, biochemistry, molecular biology, cell biology, nutrition physiology or equivalent on bachelor level, preferably completed with a degree.

Teaching Methods and Extent of Organized Teaching

Seminars (approx. 12 of 2 h). Three of those teach general competences: how to read articles, statistics, how to write review articles and how to present the elevator pitch and poster presentation. Nine of those are lectures with focus on relevant topics within biomedical nutrition physiology, followed by a student presentation of a research article given by the lecturer and discussion.

Student lead colloquia as preparation for the lectures.

Independent assignment to write an essay (review article style) based on research literature according to guidelines. The work will then also be presented for the other participants in the form of a poster. This is the final exam.

Teaching will be given at the Department of Biomedicine.

Compulsory Assignments and Attendance

Attendance at seminars and some of the colloquia, approved essay and poster presentation. Student-peer review of essays.

Forms of Assessment

Oral exam - a poster presentation of submitted materials (home exam)

Grading Scale


Subject Overlap


Course Evaluation

Written evaluation on My UiB/Mitt UiB.


Contact Information

Department of Biomedicine


Course coordinator:

Tanja Kögel, http://www.uib.no/en/persons/Tanja.Køgel