Jörn Piel: Catalogue data in Spring Semester 2021

Name Prof. Dr. Jörn Piel
FieldMicrobial Interactions
Institut für Mikrobiologie
ETH Zürich, HCI G 431
Vladimir-Prelog-Weg 1-5/10
8093 Zürich
Telephone+41 44 633 07 55
RelationshipFull Professor

551-0110-00LFundamentals of Biology II: Microbiology2 credits2VJ. Vorholt-Zambelli, W.‑D. Hardt, J. Piel
AbstractBacterial cell biology, molecular genetics, gene regulation, growth physiology, metabolism (Bacteria and Archaea), natural products, microbial interactions
ObjectiveBasic principles of cell structure, growth physiology, energy metabolism, gene expression and regulation. Biodiversity of Bacteria and Archaea. Phylogeny and evolution.
ContentBacterial cell biology, molecular genetics, gene regulation, growth physiology, metabolism (Bacteria and Archaea), natural products, microbial interactions
LiteratureBrock, Biology of Microorganisms (Madigan, M.T. and Martinko, J.M., eds.), 14th ed., Pearson Prentice Hall, 2015
551-0314-00LMicrobiology (Part II)3 credits2VW.‑D. Hardt, L. Eberl, J. Piel, J. Vorholt-Zambelli
AbstractAdvanced lecture class providing a broad overview on bacterial cell structure, genetics, metabolism, symbiosis and pathogenesis.
ObjectiveThis concept class will be based on common concepts and introduce to the enormous diversity among bacteria and archaea. It will cover the current research on bacterial cell structure, genetics, metabolism, symbiosis and pathogenesis.
ContentAdvanced class covering the state of the research in bacterial cell structure, genetics, metabolism, symbiosis and pathogenesis.
Lecture notesUpdated handouts will be provided during the class.
LiteratureCurrent literature references will be provided during the lectures.
Prerequisites / NoticeEnglish
551-1103-00LMicrobial Biochemistry Information 4 credits2VJ. Vorholt-Zambelli, J. Piel
AbstractThe lecture course aims at providing an advanced understanding of the physiology and metabolism of microorganisms. Emphasis is on processes that are specific to bacteria and archaea and that contribute to the widespread occurrence of prokaryotes. Applied aspects of microbial biochemistry will be pointed out as well as research fields of current scientific interest.
ObjectiveThe lecture course aims at providing an advanced understanding of the physiology and metabolism of microorganisms.
ContentImportant biochemical processes specific to bacteria and archaea will be presented that contribute to the widespread occurrence of prokaryotes. Applied aspects of microbial biochemistry will be pointed out as well as research fields of current scientific interest. Emphasis is on concepts of energy generation and assimilation.

List of topics:
Microbial Biochemistry and origin of life
Methanogenesis and methylotrophy
Anaerobic oxidation of methane
Microbial autotrophy
Complex: (Ligno-)Cellulose and in demand for bioenergy
Challenging: Aromatics and hydrocarbons
Living on a diet and the anaplerotic provocation
20 amino acids: the making of
Extending the genetic code
The 21st and 22nd amino acid
Some exotic biochemistry: nucleotides, cofactors
Ancient biochemistry? Iron-sulfur clusters, polymers
Secondary metabolites: playground of evolution
LiteratureWill be provided during the course.
551-1106-00LProgress Reports in Microbiology and Immunology
Students must sign up via secr.micro.biol.ethz.ch
0 credits5SJ. Piel, W.‑D. Hardt, A. Oxenius, J. Vorholt-Zambelli
AbstractPresentation and discussion of current research results in the field of Microbiology and Infection Immunology
ObjectivePrecise and transparent presentation of research findings in relation to the current literature, critical discussion of experimental data and their interpretation, development and presentation of future research aims
551-1109-00LSeminars in Microbiology Information 0 credits2KW.‑D. Hardt, M. Künzler, J. Piel, S. Sunagawa, J. Vorholt-Zambelli
AbstractSeminars by invited speakers covering selected microbiology themes.
ObjectiveDiscussion of selected microbiology themes presented by invited speakers.
551-1147-00LBioactive Natural Products from Bacteria Restricted registration - show details
Number of participants limited to 7.

The enrolment is done by the D-BIOL study administration.

General safety regulations for all block courses:
-Whenever possible the distance rules have to be respected
-All students have to wear masks throughout the course. Please keep reserve masks ready. Surgical masks (IIR) or medical grade masks (FFP2) without a valve are permitted. Community masks (fabric masks) are not allowed.
-The installation and activation of the Swiss Covid-App is highly encouraged
-Any additional rules for individual courses have to be respected
-Students showing any COVID-19 symptoms are not allowed to enter ETH buildings and have to inform the course responsible
6 credits7PJ. Piel
AbstractLab course. In small groups projects of relevance to current research questions in the field of bacterial natural product biosynthesis are addressed.
ObjectiveIntroduction to relevant subjects of the secondary metabolism of bacteria. Training in practical work in a research laboratory. Scientific writing in form of a research report.
ContentResearch project on bacteria that produce bioactive natural products (e.g., Streptomycetes, Cyanobacteria, uncultivated bacteria). The techniques used will depend on the project, e.g. PCR, cloning, natural product analysis, precursor feeding studies, enzyme expression and analysis.
Lecture notesnone.
LiteratureWill be provided for each of the projects at the beginning of the course.
551-1298-00LGenetics, Genomics, Bioinformatics Information 4 credits2V + 2UE. Hafen, C. Beyer, B. Christen, U. K. Genick, J. Piel, R. Schlapbach, G. Schwank, S. Sunagawa, K. Weis, A. Wutz
AbstractThe course provides the basis of modern genetics, genomics and bioinformatics. A special focus is placed on the use of these tools for the understanding of biological processes in bacteria, model organisms and humans. The unit uses the principle of blended learning consisting of self-study modules in Moodle, tasks and input lectures by experts from the department.
ObjectiveAt the end of this course you know the most important genetic tools in different organisms. You can use the essential methods in bioinformatics by using online tools. You know the advantages and disadvantages of various model organisms to understand biological processes. You know the various mutagenesis methods and other tools to disrupt gene function and can discuss their merits and drawbacks. You are aware of the difficulties in choosing a phenotype for selection in a mutagenesis experiment. Finally, you can describe how you would study a specific biological process by choosing a model organism and the appropriate genetic or genomic tools.
ContentThe appearance and function of an organism (phenotype) is determined by the interplay between its genome (genotype) and the environment: Genotype + environment = phenotype. Understanding these interactions to the point where we can ultimately predict the phenotype from knowledge of the genotype and environmental factors is one oft the great challenges of biology.

In the course Bio IA you learnt about the composition and function of the genome and how it is inherited. The goal of this course is that you learn how genetic, genomic and bioinformatics methods are used to understand biological processes (the connection between genotype and phenotype).

You will start by refreshing and deepening your knowledge of the basic principles of genetics and genomics in an interactive learning modules on the Moodle platform. This is followed by an introduction of the basic tools of bioinformatics and genomic analysis.

After you have mastered the basic principles you will learn how to study biological processes either by inactivating specific genes or by randomly mutagenizing the entire genome. You will be introduced to different model organisms (bacteria, yeast, Drosophila) and humans.

At the end of this first part of the course, you will test your knowledge by working with a group of fellow students to design your own genetic study.

Conventional genetic methods rely on the alteration of the function of single genes and on the observation of the effect on the organism (phenotype). Based on the observed phenotype one deduces the normal function of the gene. However, this is a strong simplification. Even if environmental factors are controlled, phenotypes are very rarely controlled by a single gene. It is therefore important to understand the influence of the entire genome in conjunction with environmental factors on a given phenotype (e.g. human disease). Modern methods in genomics now permit first approaches in this direction. Therefore, the focus of the second part of the unit is on genomics methods. You learn, how the influence of the entire genome on a specific phenotype is detected and what challenges are involved in the analysis and the interpretation of the results. We will examine these methods in model organisms and humans. You will also learn how the genome of cancer cells changes under the constant selection for these cells to survive and how this genome analysis provides new insights into diagnosis and therapy.

This course is based on active learning. Each week consists of a learning unit with clearly defined learning goals. In the first two hours you will learn the basics from texts, videos and questionnaires on the Moodle platform. In the third lecture an expert on the topic of the week (e.g. genetic screens in yeast) from the department will give an input lecture that builds on the basic knowledge that you acquired. In the fourth lecture you will discuss the tests and topics of the week with the expert. During the semester you will have access to assistants and lecturers via the Moodle online forum.
Lecture notesThe learning material and slides of the input lectures are available on Moodle. There you will also find further information (articles, links, videos).
LiteratureAll texts and references will be available on Moodle. To follow the most recent developments in this rapidly evolving field follow the following experts on Twitter:
und/oder @ehafen
Prerequisites / NoticeThe course builds on the course Bio IA, in particular on that course's content regarding genetics and genomics. The course is based on self-learning units on Moodle, input lectures by experts from D-BIOL and exercises.