First cycle
degree courses
Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Medicine
Course unit
MEP9085821, 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 11.0
Type of assessment Mark
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

Other lecturers PAOLO BONALDO BIO/13

ECTS: details
Type Scientific-Disciplinary Sector Credits allocated
Basic courses BIO/13 Applied Biology 5.0
Basic courses BIO/09 Physiology 1.0
Basic courses BIO/17 Histology 5.0

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

Type of hours Credits Teaching
Hours of
Individual study
Lecture 11.0 110 165.0 No turn

Start of activities 30/09/2019
End of activities 18/01/2020
Show course schedule 2019/20 Reg.2019 course timetable

Prerequisites: Basic knowledge of chemistry, physics and biology.
Target skills and knowledge: At the end of the course, the students should acquire the following knowledge:
- The structure of the cell, and the main functions of its constituents, plasma membrane, nucleus, organelles and cytoskeleton.
- An overview on the flux of information in the cell, and how cells are preserved, multiply and eventually die.
- The structure of the main tissue types (epithelial, connective, nervous and muscular tissues, and the structure and properties of cells and the ECM composing them.
- Mechanisms of the membrane potential, the action potential, synaptic transmission and muscular contraction.
- The process behind of gametogenesis, embryogenesis, and development of the main organs in humans.
Examination methods: The end-of-course exam will be based on written examination, including multiple choice tests.
The course is divided in three modules, and the exam will reflect this division.
Assessment criteria: Each student should demonstrate to have acquired all the concepts exposed during the lessons, and be able to elaborate them, making connections between information acquired in the different modules of the course.
To obtain a positive score at the exam as a whole, each student must obtain a positive score in each module.
Course unit contents: General Biology
1) Living organisms, generality and systematics
2) Evolution

Cell Biology 1
1) Cells: basic organization, prokaryotes and eukaryotes
2) Molecular components of the cell: macromolecules (lipids, carbohydrates, proteins, nucleic acids);
3) Proteins: basic notions
4) Nucleic acids: DNA and RNA, informational flux in the cell
5) Biological membranes: the lipid bilayer and membrane proteins

Physiology 1
1.1 Transport of substances through the cell membrane
The lipid barrier of the cell membrane and cell membrane transport proteins
Active transport of substances through membranes

Cell Biology 2
1) The nucleus: structure of nuclear envelope and nuclear lamina; nuclear import and export
2) Chromatin and gene transcription
3) Gene transcription: RNA polymerase and promoters, post-transcriptional modifications
4) Ribosomes and translation
5) Mitochondria: structure, overview of their functions, mitochondrial DNA, and protein import in mitochondria
6) Peroxisomes: structure, functions, and protein import
7) Endoplasmic Reticulum: structure and general features, functions of smooth ER
8) The secretory pathway 1: protein import in the Rough ER, glycosylation and quality control
9) The secretory pathway 2: the Golgi apparatus, its structure and functions
10) The secretory pathway 3: vesicle trafficking and secretion
11) Endocytosis, endosomes and lysosomes
12) The Cytoskeleton: microtubules, microfilaments, intermediate filaments, and associated proteins
13) The plasma membrane and its specializations: microvilli, cilia, primary cilium
14) DNA replication, repair and recombination
15) Cell cycle and mitosis
16) Meiosis
17) Cell death
18) Autophagy

1) How tissues are studied: general overview of histological methods
2) Tethering cells: cell adhesion and cellular junction
3) The Extracellular Matrix (ECM)
4) How tissues are made and maintained: cell death and renewal, the concept of stem cells
5) Epithelial tissues: structure, properties, location; some examples
6) Glandular tissues 1: exocrine glands, their structure and workings
7) Glandular tissues 2: endocrine glands, production and delivery of hormones
8) Connective tissue proper: structure, varieties, properties and locations
9) Adipose tissue: structure and properties
10) Cartilage: structure, varieties, properties and locations
11) Bone tissues: structure, properties and development
12) Blood: composition and properties of plasma; blood cells: structure, properties, and origin (hematopoiesis)
13) Lymphoid tissues: overviews of the lymphatic system and of the immune system
14) Nervous tissue: introduction to the anatomy of the nervous system; neurons and glial cells: structure and properties
15) Muscle tissues: structure and properties of skeletal, cardiac and smooth muscle tissues

Physiology 2
2.1 Membrane potentials and Action potentials (AP)
2.2 Contraction of Skeletal Muscle
2.3 Excitation of Skeletal Muscle
2.4 Contraction and Excitation of Smooth Muscle

1) Male gametogenesis
2) Female gametogenesis
3) Fertilization and development of the zygote till implantation (first week)
4) The embryo proper after implantation: gastrulation and the three germ layers
5) Development of the nervous system
6) Development of the definitive endoderm
7) Development of the mesoderm (lateral, paraxial, intermediate)
8) Development of gonads and reproductive tracts in males and females
9) Development of blood and circulatory system
10) Development of the pharyngeal region
11) Development of extraembryonic tissues (yolk sac, trophoblast), development of placenta
Planned learning activities and teaching methods: The course will take place in 100 hours of frontal lecture, and 10 hours of laboratory (microscopy) teaching.
Additional notes about suggested reading: The material used during the lessons will be made available by login at the Platform for teaching support service (moodle) of the DiMED.
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)
  • Alberts, Bruce; Wilson, John Howard; Hunt, Tim, Molecular biology of the cell. New York: GS Garland Science, 2015. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Ross, Michael H.; Pawlina, Wojciech, Histology: A Text and Atlas. --: Wolters Kluver, 2019.
  • Sadler, T.H., Langman's Medical Embryology. --: Wolters Kluver, 2018. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Plopper, George; Sharp, David; Sikorski, Eric, Lewin's Cells. --: Jones & Barlett Learning, 2013.