Human Embryology and Developmental Biology
Course infoSchedule
Course moduleNWI-BB047C
Credits (ECTS)6
Language of instructionEnglish
Offered byRadboud University; Faculty of Science; BioWetenschappen;
PreviousNext 2
dr. S.M. Kolk
Other course modules lecturer
dr. S.M. Kolk
Other course modules lecturer
Contactperson for the course
dr. S.M. Kolk
Other course modules lecturer
dr. S.M. Kolk
Other course modules lecturer
drs. P.R. Matthijsse
Other course modules lecturer
Academic year2018
KW3  (28/01/2019 to 07/04/2019)
Starting block
Course mode
Registration using OSIRISYes
Course open to students from other facultiesYes
Waiting listNo
Placement procedure-

At the end of the course having followed the (response) lectures and the practical study assignments (obligatory) including Versatest, the student is able to:

  1. understand the basic principles of development and organogenesis in the various animal models including the differentiation of the nervous system, the cardio-vascular system, digestive system and the urogenital system.
  2. recognize and name parts of developing different organ systems.
  3. to set a timing in the consecutive embryonic and fetal developmental stages and recognize the different organ systems in random transversal, sagittal and horizontal sections of the mouse embryo in the different phases of development.
  4. indicate how embryonic appendices will be formed, including the molecules and concepts involved.

The development of a fertilized ovum to a multicellular organism is a remarkable triumph of evolution. During the human embryonic development one cell will divide to millions of cells that together will form complex organ systems. In the last century, the descriptive embryology has given us an overview of the formational changes that an organism needs to go through from its existence till its adulthood. In this century, the human embryology encounters an exciting new era as molecular underpinnings of developmental processes are getting clearer.

This course initially deals with the basal aspects of developmental biology such as the development of the major animal models, description of developmental stages and the fundamental molecular processes in development. Later in the course, the lectures will discuss the early embryonic development of human (formation of the three germ layers, neurulation, and organogenesis), the fetus-mother relationship and the molecular-physiological mechanisms that drive the development of an embryo. Animal models and human organogenesis will be studied by live observations accompanied by assignments in which microscopical slides and illustrations are central. A digital learning environment is created to interactively rehearse and test the course material. In the teratological part of the course disorders are discussed that can appear during embryonic and fetal (mal)development. The demonstrations will be held in the Pathological Museum of the UMC St Radboud, where specimens of human embryos can be studied that have a certain form of misdevelopment.

Additional comments
This course will be given in English.This course will be scheduled on Thursdays and Fridays. Several guest lecturers from the hospital will complement the course.

• Developmental Biology
• Human Embryology
• Teratology

Test information
The exam consists of a) a Versatest exam (about topics from the practicals), counting for 15% of the final grade and b) a digital exam (a combination of multiple choice and open questions) based on the topics dealt with in the lectures, the interactive lectures and the laboratory course.

Basic knowledge on Developmental Biology is needed. In the beginning of the course suggestions will be given how to enhance this knowledge. The student has to acquire this knowledge independently and under his/her own responsibility.

Contact information
Dr. Sharon M. Kolk, assistant professor
Department of Molecular Neurobiology
Donders Centre for Neuroscience (DCN)
Radboud University
Geert Grooteplein Zuid 28
6525 GA Nijmegen
Email: S.Kolk@donder.ru.nl
Tel: +31-(0)24-3610565/52580

Required materials
Bruce M. Carlson, Human Embryology and Developmental Biology (with student consult online access), 5th Revised edition - 2014, Elsevier Health Sciences Division, English- Soft cover.

Recommended materials
Gary C. Schoenwolf & Steven B Bleyl & Philip R. Brauer, Larsen's Human Embryology (with student consult online access), 4th Revised edition, Elsevier Health Sciences, June 2011, English- Hardcover
Scott F. Gilbert, Developmental Biology, Revised Edition, Sinauer Associates Inc, april 2010, English- Hardcover

Instructional modes
Course occurrence

Lab course
Attendance MandatoryYes


Practical computer training
Attendance MandatoryYes

Response course


Exam - practial skills
Test weight3
Test typeDigital exam with Versatest
OpportunitiesBlock KW3, Block KW4

Exam - theory
Test weight17
Test typeDigital exam with CIRRUS
OpportunitiesBlock KW3, Block KW4