ECTS credits: 3


Course parameters:
Language: English
Level of course: PhD course
Time of year: June 6-10, 2016
No. of contact hours/hours in total incl. preparation, assignment(s) or the like: 40/60
Capacity limits: 20 participants


Objectives of the course:
The purpose of the course is to provide insight into theory and technical requirements for delivery of nucleic acid-based gene silencing therapeutics in established cell lines, primary cells and animals. The course will specifically cover the delivery of small interfering RNAs by retroviral vectors, DNA transfection, and various polymeric nanocarriers. Lecture-based theory will include the intracellular function, specificity, and therapeutic design of the small interfering RNAs; an introduction to viral vectors and polymeric nanocarriers and basic delivery requirements to overcome barriers to in vivo efficacy. Laboratory work will cover the production methods and physicochemical as well as functional characterization of delivery vehicles, targeted gene silencing in established cell lines. Functional readout will include gene silencing efficacy in vitro. Hands-on and demonstration methodologies include particle formulation, dynamic light scattering, atomic force microscopy, culture of primary and established cells, retroviral gene transfer, fluorescence, flow cytometry, and live bioimaging of florescent particle tracking in animals.

The course will be a blend of lectures, laboratory experiments, demonstrations and discussions.


Learning outcomes and competences:
At the end of the course, the student should:

  • Have a theoretical understanding of the field of RNA interference and delivery of siRNA
  • Understand the barriers to siRNA delivery and viral and non-viral delivery solutions
  • Have the practical ability to produce and characterize polymeric nanoparticles
  • Have the practical ability to perform gene silencing experiments in vitro


Compulsory programme:
Active participation  


Biology, Molecular Biology or Pharmaceutical Science background would be an advantage but not a requirement. Suitability can be discussed with course leader Ken Howard


Name of lecturers:
Ken Howard, Jørgen Kjems, Finn Skou Pedersen (Aarhus University, Denmark)

Allan Hoffman (Washington State University, USA)

Dan Peer (Tel Aviv University, Israel)

Moein Moghimi (Durham University, UK)


Course homepage:


Course assessment:
Each student will be required to prepare a laboratory report that covers both experimental details, results and a brief discussion. The deadline for report submission will be 17th June 2016. Please send reports to Dr. Ken Howard.


The course is co-sponsored by the iNANOSchool.


Special comments on this course:


Monday, 6 June - Friday, 10 June 2016



Aarhus University, Denmark


Deadline for registration is May 25, 2016.

For registration: auws.au.dk/default.aspx

If you have any questions, please contact Ken Howard, e-mail: kenh@inano.au.dk



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Revised 05.11.2018