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Biophysics and structural bioinformatics II

academic year

Course teacher(s)

Dimitri GILIS (Coordinator), Marianne ROOMAN and Wim VRANKEN

ECTS credits


Language(s) of instruction


Course content

This course is divided into six topics:

  • Molecular dynamics

  • Protein-protein docking

  • Intrinsically disordered proteins

  • NMR to study protein structures and dynamics

  • Trade-offs in protein structures

  • Quantum mechanics applied to biological macromolecules

The practical courses consist in a project.

Objectives (and/or specific learning outcomes)

At the end of the course, the student will be able:

  • To extract relevant information from scientific papers.

  • To examine thoroughly some topics in the field of structural bioinformatics.

  • To choose and use various bioinformatics tools to solve problems.


Required courses

Teaching methods and learning activities

Theoretical course (3 ECTS): scientific papers reading, presentations of the papers and discussion of these papers.

For each topic the students will have to read scientific papers or book chapters that the teacher will introduce through a presentation or via email.

The students will be divided into six groups. Each group will present the papers of one of the six topics. During this presentation, the students will summarize the important elements of the papers. The other students will read the papers of the topic.

During the same course as the presentation, the papers will be discussed. The students that prepared the presentation will also answer to the questions of the other students and of the teacher.

Practical courses (2 ECTS): execution of a project.

Contribution to the teaching profile

MA Bioinformatics and modeling

  • A more thorough examination of the topics in the field of structural bioinformatics.

MA Chemistry and bioindustries (Bioengineers)

  • Bioinformatique

  • Choisir des méthodes d’analyse statistique pertinentes, élaborer des modèles, interpréter les résultats et évaluer leur fiabilité́ de manière critique.

  • Appliquer les principes et techniques de la bioingénierie dans le cadre de projets de recherche et de développement dans le secteur des bio-industries, de l’échelle du laboratoire à celle de l’application industrielle.

  • Synthétiser, vulgariser et communiquer ses résultats de manière adaptée à ses interlocuteurs, oralement et par écrit, tant en français qu’en anglais.

Course notes

  • Université virtuelle

Other information


Email: dgilis@ulb.ac.be

Office localization: Solbosch, UD3.203

Postal address: Genomic and structural bioinformatics Group, Université Libre de Bruxelles, av. Roosevelt, 50, CP 165/61, 1050 Bruxelles

Phone: 02 650 36 15




Method(s) of evaluation

  • Other

  • The oral presentation of one of the topics of the course is evaluated according these criteria:
    • Quality of the presentation: identification of the important elements of the papers and summary of these elements.
    • Quality of the answer to the questions.
    • Understanding of the paper.
  • Evaluation of the reports of the project.
  • The "theoretical part" of the course will be evaluate during an oral exam. For this exam, each student will pick randomly one of five topics, with the topic that the student presented during the course excluded. The student will have about 20 minutes to prepare a short summary of the important elements of the papers of the chosen topic. The student may have the papers and his personal notes for this preparation. The topic will be discussed with the teachers.

Any student who did not deliver the practical courses reports and/or did not present one of the topic will not be allowed to present its oral exam.

Mark calculation method (including weighting of intermediary marks)

Let n_p be the mark of the presentation, n_pc be the mark of the report for the practical course and n_o be the mark of the oral exam. The final mark, n_f, is equal to: n_f = 0,3 • n_p + 0,2 • n_pc + 0,5 • n_o.

For the "presentation" and the "practical course", only one evaluation is organized par academic year. If the final mark is lower than 10/20 and if the mark of the practical course is larger than or equal to 10/20, the student may ask to the teachers to keep his practical course mark. The "presentation" is not evaluated during the second session.

Language(s) of evaluation

  • french
  • english