Bsc Dissertation Titles

Major subjects

Biochemistry

What is quorum sensing and how can it be targeted for antimicrobial infections?

Are tumours addicted to oncogene activity?

An insight into cation-pi interactions involved in structure and signalling in the plasma membrane.

Manipulating pre-mrna splicing as a theraputic strategy

The role of cation-pi interactions in transmembrane signalling proteins

Genetics

How can genomic data be used to understand cancer evolution and to assist with cancer therapy?

Telomeropathies: consider the contribution of telomere maintenance mechanisms to inherited genetic disease

Discuss the origin and biological significance of horizontal gene transfer in higher plants

Can we assign a function to 80% of the DNA in the human genome?

Why do endosymbiotic bacteria have small genomes?

Pathology

The pathogenesis of Guillain-Barré syndrome: What is the evidence for molecular mimicry?

The role of T suppressor cells in inflammatory Rheumatoid Arthritis

New insights into the molecular basis of hereditary haemochromatosis

T -cells in the pathogenesis of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Does repeated exposure to malaria infection influence subsequent risk of morbidity?

What is the role of EBV in the pathogenesis of endemic Burkitt's Lymphoma?

Role of endothelial damage in diabetic nephropathy

Stem Cell Niches

The influence of sex hormones on the pathogenesis of SLE

Helicobacter pylori and gastric cancer

The role of the A-beta protein in the pathogenesis of Alzheimers Disease

Why might 'Dracunculus medinesis' become the first human parasite to be eradicated

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome - What is its pathophysiology

Does molecular mimicy account for the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis

Immunological memory : T Cell subsets and their functions

Pharmacology

The phosphoinositide pathway and cancer

Discuss the uses and mechanisms of action of SSRIs

Mechanisms underlying cocaine abuse and addiction

Corticotrophin-releasing factor system as a potential target to treat affective disorders

Ion channel pathophysiology

Pharmacological advances in the treatment of chronic wounds

Psychology

Tics in Tourette Synrome: Investigating the role of cognition and volition

Pharmacotherapy versus cognitive therapy in depression

Are animals capable of mental time travel?

The nature and treatment of cognitive deficits in schizophrenia

Is evil innate?

Psychopharmacology versus cognitive therapy in depression

The concept of core cognitive deficit in schizophrenia

Physiology, Development and Neuroscience

Metabolic and circulatory adaptations enabling enhanced muscle growth in body builders

Glucocorticoids and the treatment of infant respiratory distress syndrome

The role of NGF in CNS injury

The neurobiology of placebo analgesia

Prenatal and postnatal consequences of nephron deficit

The relation of Guyton's model of the circulation to our understanding of cardiac failure

The role of thyroid hormones in fetal maturation of the CNS

The role of maternal diet in determining future susceptibility to type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome

Tympanic hearing in terrestrial vertebrates

Hypothyroidism: its long and short term effects on the fetus

The physiological risks of ultra-endurance events

Astrocytes in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis - friend or foe?

Targeting sleep for cognitive enhancement: a dream or reality?

How close are we to a treatment for spinal cord injury?

Zoology

Does reciprocal altruism really occur in animals?

Mother infant relationships form the bedrock of all mammalian social behaviour

Are there genes for behaviour?

Hardwired or not? The role of neural activity in nervous system development.

What evidence indicates a co-evolution of insectivore bats and moths?

Is diversity the spice of life? Exploring the relationship between nature, biodiversity and psychological well-being

Minor subjects

Bioinformatics

Transcriptional signature matching strategies in computational drug discovery and repositioning

History and Philosophy of Science

The ethics of enhancing human traits

Woman and medicine in early modern Europe

The history of the localisation of brain function, including the use of Fmri

Prenatal screening for spina bifida: ethical considerations

The ethics of global research funding

Human, Social and Political Sciences

Investigating the Validity of the Endurance Running Hypothesis

The Dual Perspectives of Service Users and Staff of Health & Social Care Provision to Homeless People with Problematic Substance Use in Manchester

Medicine, Ethics and Law

The ethics of saviour siblings

The withdrawal or witholding of life-prolonging treatment

Voluntary euthanasia: the ethical arguments

The ethical problems associated with stem cell research

Psychological and Behavioural Sciences

A Biopsychosocial Model of Gender Identity and Dysphoria

The PAP group offers a wide variety of interesting BSc and MSc thesis topics. The overview below gives an impression of what the different researchers of PAP have to offer to students. If your interest is with one of the themes and topics listed below, please feel free to directly approach the contact person of the respective topic. If you have a general interest in doing your thesis at the PAP group, please first contact the education coordinator, Dr Otto Hospes.

For opportunities to collaborate in concrete (ongoing) projects, please go to the regularly updated Wageningen University website: www.tip.wur.nl. You can find examples of completed theses here.

Theme 1: Governance of wicked problems: theories, concepts and methods

Sustainability, climate change, food security, human rights and social injustice are just a few examples of so-called “wicked problems”: societal problems that are not only characterized by sheer complexity but also by controversy on what is the problem and by disagreement on what is the legitimate authority and best governance arrangement to effectively with the problem.

Theme 2: Water governance

Many of today’s water issues, such as drought, availability, flooding, salinization or pollution are not only technical issues but demanding matters of governance. Most water  challenges transcend administrative borders of states and include a wide variety of actors in decision making: citizens, NGO’s, scientists, business, governments, transnational organisations all have a say when it comes to water resource management.

Theme 3: Governance at the boundaries of climate, energy, agriculture, food and water

Food security, obesity or climate change are examples of highly fragmented societal issues. Sectoral policies and instruments only address part of the problem. A popular way of thinking about these fragmented problems is in forms of nexus: different sectors that are linked to the problem or that can contribute to finding a solution to the problem come together in search for ways to collectively solve the challenge.

Theme 4: Food system governance and the right to food

Sustainable production of food and the (right of) access to food are key principles in food system governance. Governance of food is seen as both a challenge and solution to food security. Current (inter)national institutional architectures have failed in producing equitable and just access to food and have been unable to democratise values in food security governance.

Theme 5: Global Governance for sustainability

Sustainability is high on the agenda of global public, business and civil society actors: the expected adoption of the Millennium Development Goals (2015-2030), the increased commitment of multinational agribusiness companies to zero-deforestation, and the call for new forms of public-private governance of sustainability, all signal this.

Theme 6: Informational governance

 Governance of information has become one of the most relevant, complicated, multi-scale and controversial issues in today’s world as a result of  increased capacities to collect, store and share information. A major challenge is to identify governance arrangments that can foster knowledge creation, learning and innovation and social networking but at the same time be responsive to societal concerns on totally free or fully controlled flows of information.

Theme 7: Public administration and policy: theories, methods, concepts

The study of public administration has a long and tradition. Over the years many theories, methods and concepts have been developed to analyse how governments steer around societal issues. This work is often explaining how governments work or ought to work in addressing societal issues,and how they collaborate or should collaborate with business and civil society actors.

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