First cycle
degree courses
Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Medicine
Course unit
MEP8085601, A.A. 2019/20

Information concerning the students who enrolled in A.Y. 2019/20

Information on the course unit
Degree course 6 years single cycle degree in
ME2491, Degree course structure A.Y. 2019/20, A.Y. 2019/20
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Number of ECTS credits allocated 12.0
Type of assessment Mark
Course unit English denomination BIOLOGICAL MOLECULES 1
Department of reference Department of Medicine
Mandatory attendance
Language of instruction English
Single Course unit The Course unit CANNOT be attended under the option Single Course unit attendance
Optional Course unit The Course unit is available ONLY for students enrolled in MEDICINE AND SURGERY

Teacher in charge STEFANO PICCOLO BIO/11
Other lecturers MARCO MONTAGNER BIO/11

ECTS: details
Type Scientific-Disciplinary Sector Credits allocated
Basic courses MED/03 Medical Genetics 4.0
Basic courses BIO/11 Molecular Biology 8.0

Course unit organization
Period Second semester
Year 1st Year
Teaching method frontal

Type of hours Credits Teaching
Hours of
Individual study
Lecture 12.0 120 180.0 No turn

Start of activities 02/03/2020
End of activities 12/06/2020
Show course schedule 2019/20 Reg.2019 course timetable

Examination board
Board From To Members of the board
1 Commissione d'esame a.a. 2019/20 01/10/2019 30/09/2020 PICCOLO STEFANO (Presidente)
MONTAGNER MARCO (Membro Effettivo)
SALVIATI LEONARDO (Membro Effettivo)

Target skills and knowledge: Molecular biology module:
At the end of the course, students must be able to:
- Know how prokaryotic and eukaryotic genes are organized;
- Know the general mechanisms of transcription and the different layers of regulation of gene expression in prokaryotes and eukaryotes;
- Know the techniques for the analysis of gene expression and epigenetic regulation in cells and tissues;
- Solve genetic problems on the interpretation of prokaryotes and eukaryotes genotypes starting from their phenotypes;
- Address and solve simple simulations of common problems in scientific research;
- Understand logic and mechanisms of the most important signaling pathways and provide examples of their role in tissue homeostasis, embryology and pathology.
Examination methods: Molecular biology module: the exam is made up of two parts (unless stated otherwise): multiple choices and open questions.
Medical genetics module: written, multiple choice test.
Assessment criteria: Molecular biology module: students must achieve a sufficient grade in both parts in order to pass the exam. Students will be evaluated on their knowledge about the different topics presented as well as on their capacity to solve simple theoretical scientific problems and simulations.
Course unit contents: The extended version of the course contents is available at the following link:


General concepts and definitions.
Control of gene expression: stages of transcription, promoters, enhancers, prokaryotic sigma factors, eukaryotic transcription factors.
Eukaryotic polymerases: basal transcription, regulation of transcription by transcription factors and chromatin topology.
Combinatorial control of gene expression: Hox genes.
Epigenetics: definitions, DNA and histone epigenetic codes, epigenetic memory and inheritance, techniques, epigenetics and cancer.
Cell differentiation: plasticity, robustness, cell reprogramming with transcription factors and nuclear transplantation.
Non-coding RNA in biology and medicine: microRNA, long non-coding RNA, RNA interference.
Methods in molecular biology with recombinant DNA: basic concepts and techniques, development of cellular and animal models for specific diseases.
Genome Editing: basic and advanced techniques for precise genome editing in vitro and in vivo, bioethical problems associated with genome editing.
Signaling pathways and regulation of gene transcription related to biomedicine: general strategies of cell-cell communication, how growth factors and cytokines regulate gene transcription and cell behavior, description of selected pathways, cellular sensing of biophysical properties.
Principles of genome and transcriptome analysis.
Molecular biology of cancer.


General Aspects and definitions: organization of the human genome, databases and browsers for genomes storage and visualization.
Cytogenetics and chromosomal disorders: structure of chromosomes, chromosomal abnormalities and their molecular bases (NAHR, NHEJ).
Population genetics: Hardy-Weinberg Law, allelic frequencies, genetic drift, founder effect, selection. Haldaneā€™s Law.
Mendelian Disorders: classification of mutations and their nomenclature, Molecular bases of dominance and recessivity, Genetic linkage.
Non-Mendelian Monogenic Disorders: mitochondrial genetics, triplet expansion disorders, genomic imprinting disorders, diagnostic techniques.
Basic concepts of genetic diagnosis: standard cytogenetic and molecular techniques, estimation of genetic risk.
Multifactorial disorders: genes and environment, polygenic inheritance, quantitative traits, hereditability, twin studies, redictive tests.
Genetics of Tumors: proto-oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes.
Pharmacogenetics and Pharmacogenomics.
Clinical epigenetics.
Therapy for genetic diseases. Gene therapy, stem cells, and pharmacological approaches.
Selected examples of genetic diseases. Facioscapulohumeral Dystrophy Type I and II. miRNA mutations Spinal muscular atrophy. Cystic fibrosis
Planned learning activities and teaching methods: Molecular biology module: all the course programme will be carried out during the lectures with slides and written informations. For topics related to methods in molecular biology, videos will be implemented as supporting material aimed at helping the students with visualization of the different techniques. For topics with more social and ethical relevance, time will be dedicated to discussion among students within the classroom. Few lessons will be also dedicated to review difficult topics as highlighted by the students.
Additional notes about suggested reading: Molecular biology module: all the course programme will be carried out during the lectures with slides and written informations.

Medical genetics module: Specific articles and reviews (which will be provided directly to students) and indicated textbooks.
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)
  • Lewin, Benjamin; Krebs, Jocelyn E.; Kilpatrick, Stephen T.; Goldstein, Elliott S., Lewin's genes 12.edited by Jocelyn E. Krebs, Elliott S. Goldstein, Stephen T. Kilpatrick. Burlington (MA): Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2017. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Strachan, Tom; Read, Andrew P., Human molecular geneticsTom Strachan and Andrew Read. New York: Garland Science, 2011. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Read, Andrew; Donnai, Dian, New Clinical Genetics. --: Scion Pub Ltd, 2015. Cerca nel catalogo

Innovative teaching methods: Teaching and learning strategies
  • Lecturing
  • Problem based learning
  • Interactive lecturing
  • Questioning
  • Problem solving
  • Use of online videos

Innovative teaching methods: Software or applications used
  • Moodle (files, quizzes, workshops, ...)

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Good Health and Well-Being