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From March 1 to March 8, 2014, The University of Tsukuba, in cooperation with Institute of Tropical Biology (ITB), organized the “Molecular Biology Course 2014”, an annual event at ITB in Ho Chi Minh City.

From Vietnam, 27 participants who are currently students or staff of the Institute of Tropical Biology, BioTechnology Center of HCMC, University of Medicine and Pharmacy HCMC, University of Science-VNU HCMC, International University-VNU HCMC and the Institute of Oceanography attended the course. From the University of Tsukuba, 6 professors and 11 graduate students of the Doctoral Program in Life System Medical Sciences, Graduate School of Comprehensive Human Sciences came to teach the course.

Lectures about “Molecular Biology”, “Signal transduction of TGF-Beta”, “Principal of the experiment (RT-PCR/RNAi)”, “Groundwater arsenic contamination and a cellular defense system against arsenic”, and “In vivo generation of insulin-producing cells from mouse liver” were delivered to participants by professors of the University of Tsukuba. Through experimental practice, participants also learned how to extract mRNA from cells, perform reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), analyze the data obtained, and design additional experiments to elucidate the effects of TGF-beta. In addition to molecular biology topics, participants were also trained in how to prepare and give a good presentation in English.

At the end of the course, groups of participants gave presentations to share the results of their experiments.

Participants were issued certificates from the University of Tsukuba for attending the “Molecular Biology Course 2014”. In the closing ceremony, “Best Discussion Award” and “Best Presentation Award” were given to students who had performed excellently during the course. The “Young Scientist Award” was awarded to an outstanding student, this time from the University of Medicine and Pharmacy HCMC. The student who won the Young Scientist Award will also get a scholarship to join Summer School Course 2014 held at the University of Tsukuba in Japan.