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Course objectives

The objective of the course is to provide the students with an overview of the different tools available to analyze metabolism and enable them to propose strategies to meet a metabolic design objective. In this course, the students will be presented with several models of microbial metabolism and the advantages and disadvantages of each kind of model will be discussed extensively. Broadly, two kinds of metabolic models will be addressed in this course – steady-state models (stoichiometric models, etc) and dynamic models (kinetic models). The students will also get a hands-on experience working with each of the models as part of their assignments, which will be used to design metabolism for selected applications. The assignments are geared to help the student understand metabolism, rather than on model development. Consequently, there will be a strong emphasis on interpreting the results obtained from the models. The overall aim of the course is to train the students such that they will be capable of working independently in the area of metabolic engineering.

Learning objectives

At the end of the course, the students should be able to:

Course prerequisites

Students interested in taking this course are expected to have basic knowledge of biology and algebra. Programming skills in any language are not required, but will be useful.


The medium of instruction, assignments and examination will be in English. The course will be held every Monday (13:00–17:00, room KS101) and Thursday (08:00–12:00, room KS11).


The final grade will depend on a project that is worth 20% and an examination, 80%. Some voluntary assignments can help to improve the final grade. The project will consist in a written report about one of the research topics that will be presented in class.

Teaching material

The main course literature is the textbook Metabolic Engineering: Principles and Methodologies (1998), by G.N. Stephanopoulos, A.A. Aristidou and, J. Nielsen. This book is available as PDFs via the Chalmers library here. Additionally, relevant papers for different lectures and excercises will be posted on the course website and these also forms part of the exam material. The slides used during the lecture will also be made available on PingPong.


Eduard Kerkhoven:

Jens Nielsen: