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27004 Health, Diseases and Technology

Danish title:

Sundhed, sygdom og teknologi


Point( ECTS )


Course type:



E5A (Wed 8-12) and January


Campus Lyngby

Scope and form:

Lectures and projects

Duration of Course:

13 weeks + 3 weeks

Date of examination:

The last day of the 3 week period

Type of assessment:

Exam duration:



General course objectives:

The main objectives are: I) To give the students a basic understanding of the biological background of life-style related diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, as well as the strategy for treatment of these diseases. II) To give the students a basic understanding of the background for genetic diseases, such as cystic fibrosis. III) To introduce the students to the steps involved in the development of medicine or functional foods products for treatment of diseases of affluence. IV) To introduce the students to the importance of the microbiota for the individuals health, and how this knowledge can be applied in developing innovative treatments strategies, and how microbial organisms can be identified and characterized V) To introduce the students to process-development of enzymatically catalysed processes for production of active components for functional food. During the course, techniques used to initiate and mediate creative processes, as well as how to find and read scientific literature, will be introduced.

Learning objectives:

A student who has met the objectives of the course will be able to:
  • In general terms describe the processes in development of atherosclerosis and type-2 diabetes, list the most important risk-factors and describe potential strategies for prevention of the disease.
  • Describe the content and purpose of the different steps in development of a new pharmaceutical product.
  • Describe the meaning of the term “functional food” and the main groups of functional foods that are available on the international markets, as well as formulate health-claims in accordance with scientific evidence and applicable law.
  • Compare the development of a functional food product with a pharmaceutical product, focusing on the requirements on documentation required by the public authorities.
  • In general terms, explain the importance of the microbiota for a person's health, hereunder explain the terms prebiotics, probiotics and bacterophage therapy.
  • Exemplify how microbial organisms can be identified and characterized.
  • Apply knowledge on gene-transcritpion to interpretation how specific point-mutations will affect gene-transcription, and how this can lead to inherited diseases.
  • Write a report based on scientific references.
  • To construct a typical flow-sheet for an enzyme-catalyzed production process of a plant-based food component with prebiotic effect.
  • Use basic techniques for mediating creative processes.
  • Search for and use the scientific literature.


The course concerns diseases of affluence with special emphasis on cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. The teaching is based on three products used in the treatment of these diseases, two pharmaceutical products and one functional food product. Using these three cases the following areas will be discussed: Diseases of affluence and their importance for public health and economy, factors affecting the risk of developing diseases of affluence, the biology and treatment of atherosclerosis, strategies in the development of medicine or functional food products for the treatment of atherosclerosis. Based on these cases will the processes in functional food - and drug-development be introduced and discussed. The role of the microbiota in maintaining health is especially emphasized. as well as how this knowledge can be used to develop new therapeutic strategies.


The course is compulsory for students on the bachelor program in Human Life Science Engineering, and is only offered to students accepted for this program.

Green challenge participation:

This course gives the student an opportunity to prepare a project that may participate in DTU's Study Conference on sustainability, climate technology, and the environment (GRØN DYST). More information http://www.groendyst.dtu.dk/english


Mette Voldby Larsen , Lyngby Campus, Building 208, Ph. (+45) 4525 2425 , metteb@cbs.dtu.dk


27 Department of Systems Biology

Department involved:

28 Department of Chemical Engineering

Registration Sign up:

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Last updated: 24. november, 2015