Genomic Awareness

Tanja Gesell
Arts and Society, Cross-Disciplinary Strategies
2018W, Lecture and Discussion (VOD), 2.0 semester hours, course number S02565


Today, thanks to the advances in DNA sequencing technology, we can acquire information about our genome within days at low costs. While the digital revolution is recognised at every level of our society, the bio-molecular revolution however, including their current paradigm shifts, draws only a small number of groups in our society.

Facing this bio-molecular revolution an understanding of DNA and genomics is important. Based on the introductory courses, Biomolecular Strategies by Renee Schroeder and Tanja Gesell, the course Genomic Awareness aims to gain deeper knowledge about projects, topics and technologies in Genomics.

The focus of this semester will be on the next-generation sequencing (NGS) practice and applications. NGS has revolutionised genomic research. In the corresponding course Statistics and Next Generation Sequencing by Tanja Gesell and Elin Axelsson-Ekker of the science and technology module, students will be able to process an authentic NGS-dataset of a human neuronal cell culture differentiation experiment.

The corresponding course Genomic Awareness offers additional theoretical and experimental background information through access to the current literature in Genomics, scientific talks and a symposium, as well as the opportunity to visit different labs and facilities at the Vienna Biocenter with practical hints and inspiring examples from human cell-cultures to cerebral organoids and different model organism and, last but not least, discussions with guest lectures from different fields engaging in open research topics. The course aims to acquire knowledge about a basic understanding of genomic research in order to open up cross-disciplinary discussions and approaches regarding genomic awareness in science, art, and society today.

Examination Modalities

The grade will depend on the quality and clarity of presentations and the contributions to the discussions during the semester.


The following dates of winter term will be developed after the first meetings.


12 October 2018, 10:15–11:45 (preliminary discussion)
25 October 2018, 09:15–11:00 Cross-Disciplinary Strategies – Lecture Room
25 October 2018, 11:00–12:45, "Vienna Biocenter - MFPL - Marco Sealey - Disease models in vitro"
08 November 2018, 08:30–18:00, "optional: Vienna Biocenter PhD Symposium - Transforming Science"
09 November 2018, 08:30–19:00, "optional: Vienna Biocenter PhD Symposium - Transforming Science"
16 November 2018, 15:00–18:30 , "Vienna Biocenter - IMBA - Veronica Krenn - 3D organoid models for human brain development and diseases"
23 November 2018, 14:30–18:00, "Vienna Biocenter - IMP - Julia Riedl - Neuronal networks in model organism"
05 December 2018, 12:00–13:30 Cross-Disciplinary Strategies – Lecture Room , "RNA and the identity of the cell" (guest lecture: Renée Schroeder)
07 December 2018, 09:30–12:30, "Vienna Biocenter - Open Science - Brigitte Gschmeidler and Simone Schumann- Science communication: Public engagement with whole genome sequencing as an example"
07 December 2018, 13:45–15:15, "Vienna Biocenter Facilities Next Generation Sequencing"
11 January 2019, 13:00–15:00 Cross-Disciplinary Strategies – Lecture Room
12 January 2019, 09:00–19:00, "OPTIONAL: Brno Excursion - Mendel Museum "
17 January 2019, 16:00–19:00, "Personal Genome Sequencing and CRISPR Gene Editing: The Future of Medicine?" (guest lecture: Christoph Bock)
18 January 2019, 13:00–18:00 Cross-Disciplinary Strategies – Lecture Room , "Final presentations"
01 February 2019, 13:00–16:00 Cross-Disciplinary Strategies – Lecture Room (guest lecture: Oswald Wiener)

Course Enrolment

From 01 October 2018, 10:00 to 31 January 2019, 18:00
Via online registration

co-registration: possible (3.0 ECTS)

Individual courses: possible (3.0 ECTS)