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From January 19th to the 24th, 2015, the University of Tsukuba held its annual “Molecular Biology Course” in cooperation with Institute of Tropical Biology (ITB) in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

The course was attended by 24 participants who came from 8 different institutions including: the Institute of Tropical Biology, the University of Medicine and Pharmacy HCMC, the University of Science HCMC, the BioTechnology Center of HCMC, International University, Pham Ngoc Thach University of Medicine, Hanoi Medical University, and the Research Center of Ginsengs and Medicinal Materials. The course was taught by 8 professors and 10 graduate students from the University of Tsukuba’s Doctoral Program in Biomedical Sciences, and the PhD Program in Human Biology of the Graduate School of Comprehensive Human Sciences.

During the course, professors from the University of Tsukuba delivered lectures about molecular biology, infection disease, environmental biology, and cancer biology. Through experimental practice, participants learned how to classify the subtypes of influenza virus by immunochromatography and PCR methods. They also examined the response of influenza virus-infected cells and analyzed the medicinal effects of anti-influenza agents by RNA extraction, reverse transcription, and quantitative PCR. Following experiment sessions, students discussed their results with faculty members.

Alongside molecular biology topics, participants also received lectures in how to give a good presentation in English from native speaker professors from the University of Tsukuba. At the end of the course, participants gave group presentations to share the results of their experiments for discussion.

On completion of the course participants received certificates from the University of Tsukuba. At the final award ceremony, “Best Discussion” and “Best Presentation” awards were given to students who had performed excellently during the course. The “Young Scientist Award” was awarded to one outstanding participant who is currently a student of University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Ho Chi Minh City. The Young Scientist Award winner will receive scholarship to join the Summer Research Program 2015 held at the University of Tsukuba.