Course Syllabus


Medical Diagnostics

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Semester & Location:

Spring 2022 - DIS Stockholm


3 credits

Major Disciplines:

Biomedicine / Biotechnology, Engineering, Pre-Medicine / Health Science


One year of chemistry and one year of either biology or bioengineering, all at university level

Faculty Member:

Natalia Landázuri, Ph.D.  

Program Director:

Susana Dietrich, Ph.D.  

Academic support: 

Time & Place:

Tuesdays and Fridays, 1:15-2:35 pm Room: 1D-410

If you need to isolate, you can join via zoom

Course Description

This course provides a unique opportunity to study how doctors reach conclusions regarding disease prediction, prevention, diagnosis, and optimal treatment regimens. You will learn about multiple diagnostics tools doctors use in their practices. The emphasis is on how to select the appropriate analysis methods and technologies to conduct analyses, understand the results and their implications in selected patient diagnoses. The focus areas are biometrics diagnostics, clinical chemistry, hematology, diagnostic microbiology, histopathology, molecular diagnostics and diagnostic medical imaging. As part of the course, you will perform hands-on analyses at Clinical Training Centers used by medical professionals at Swedish university hospitals.


Course Modules

  • Introduction to Medical Diagnostics. This module will introduce physiological concepts important for understanding the choice of diagnostics tools, the clinical utility of common biometrics and patient examination, and the need for standardization and quality control in diagnostic technologies.

  • Bodily fluids in Medical Diagnostics. This module will address the utility of assessing the composition of various body fluids for diagnostic purposes. You will learn, in particular, how blood cells and other components from blood samples are analyzed and the type of diagnostic information blood-based analyses can provide.

  • Diagnostic Microbiology. This module will cover methods to detect, identify and isolate infectious agents from body tissues and fluids.

  • Molecular Diagnostics. This module will cover techniques to analyze specific traits from patients based on their genes or gene expression profile (genomics, proteomics), and the implications of identifying these traits on the development of personalized medicine.

  • Medical Imaging in Diagnostics. This module will provide an overview of common radiological methods used in a clinical setting to visualize internal structures for diagnostic purposes.

  • Project in Medical Diagnostics. This module will have a project-based learning format, where you will have the opportunity to increase your understanding of how a combination of various diagnostic technologies can assist in the prevention and diagnosis of disease, and in the precise treatment of patients suffering from a particular disease.


Learning Objectives

Upon successful completion of the course, you will be able to

  • Describe disciplines and specimen types within the field of medical diagnostics
  • Select appropriate diagnostics tools for specific scenarios
  • Present biometrics basics and how these can be utilized to help predict and prevent certain diseases
  • Name the most common clinical chemistry and hematology analyses and understand the science behind the analyses
  • Give examples of how to diagnose common infections
  • Understand the use of histology for clinical diagnostics
  • Describe molecular diagnostics tools and their relation to precision medicine
  • Describe the most common imaging technologies and their utility in the clinic



  • Holes Essentials of Human anatomy & Physiology, Chapters1-5, 12-14, 17, 18
  • Janeway’s Immunobiology, Chapter 1 and Appendix I (The Immunologist’s Toolbox)
  • Manual of Diagnostics and Laboratory Tests, 6th Edition, Kathleen Pagana and Timothy Pagana
  • Improving diagnosis in Health Care, Chapter 2 (The Diagnostic Process).
  • Introduction to Clinical Examination, Mike Ford
  • Tietz Textbook of Clinical Chemistry and Molecular Diagnostics, selected sections
  • Scientific articles that will be posted on Canvas



Natalia Landázuri

Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, USA (2005). Associate Professor, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden. Research background in genetic engineering, cardiovascular disease, regenerative medicine, and cancer. With DIS since 2017.

Field Studies

We will have field studies to visit clinical and research laboratories, get hands-on experience on diagnostic methods and analyze selected patient cases.

Planned field studies (subject to change)

  • Clinical microbiology
  • Clinical physiology


Guest Lecturer

Magnus Bäcklund, M.D., Ph.D.


Approach to Teaching

You will work both individually and in teams. We will use various teaching methods, including interactive lectures, class discussions, critical analysis of reading material, and field studies, hands-on experiences including diagnostics analysis, and student presentations.

The pace and specific activities planned for certain days may change depending on the interest of the students.


Expectations of the Students

  • Students should participate during lectures, peer-led oral presentations, discussions, group work and exercises.
  • Laptops may be used for note‐taking, fact‐checking, or assignments in the classroom, but only when indicated by the instructor. At all other times laptops and electronic devices should be put away during class time.
  • Reading must be done prior to the class session. A considerable part of the class depends on class discussions.
  • Students need to be present, arrive on time and participate o receive full credit. The final grade will be affected by unexcused absences and lack of participation. The participation grade will be reduced by 10 points (over 100) for every unexcused absence. Remember to be in class on time!
  • Classroom etiquette includes being respectful of other opinions, listening to others and entering a dialogue in a constructive manner.
  • Students are expected to ask relevant questions in regards to the material covered.



To be eligible for a passing grade in this class, all of the assigned work must be completed.

Students are expected to turn in all the assignments on the due date. If an assignment is turned in after the due date, the grade of the assignment will be reduced by 10 points (over 100) for each day the submission is late.

The factors influencing the final grade and the proportional importance of each factor is shown below:



Active participation






Final project



  • Class attendance
  • Level of preparation and ability to answer questions asked in class
  • Involvement in class and group discussions
  • Level of individual research and contribution to fruitful discussions


  • Reading assignments-short quizzes
  • Preparation and presentation of group work related to the material covered in class


  • In class, closed-book tests to evaluate the students' knowledge and understanding of material covered in class.

Final Project:

  • Research, oral presentation and written submission of an individual project. Each student will focus on a specific disease and explore various diagnostic technologies that can assist in the prevention and diagnosis and treatment of the disease.


Academic Regulations  

Please make sure to read the Academic Regulations on the DIS website. There you will find regulations on: 


 DIS - Study Abroad in Scandinavia -

Course Summary:

Date Details Due