Curricular Unit:Code:
Molecular and Cellular Biology1080BMC
1UndergraduateNutrition Sciences6 ects
Learning Period:Language of Instruction:Total Hours:
Spring SemesterPortuguese/English78
Learning Outcomes of the Curricular Unit:
Molecular and cellular biology combines the knowledge of several fields, as genetics, biochemistry and immunology, to understand living organisms from a unifying perspective, the cell. Within this syllabus, the learning process aims at the acquisition of deep knowledge to enable the relation between the molecular and structural complexity with the cell physiology, and the acquisition of general scientific skills – (i) collection, selection, analyse, interpretation and validation of technical and scientific data, (ii) communication of scientific information, and (ii) a continued and autonomous update of knowledge. At the level of competences, the learning process provides the ability to understand and recognize the role of the cell in health and disease.
Both at the level of learning and at the level of competences this curricular unit is fundamental as a basis for a professional in Nutrition Sciences.
I. Theoretical Classes: History of Cell Biology; Structural model of biological systems: the cell and the water; Structure and function of biomolecules: nucleic acids, proteins, carbohydrates and lipids; Biomembranes: structure, function and transmembrane transport; Cell organelles: ultra-structure, Biogenesis, physiology and pathology; Proteolyis and Proteostasis, Biosignaling, Cell proliferation (control of cell cycle) and cell death (necrosis, apoptosis, autophagy and necroptosis).
II. Practical Classes: Characterization of aminoacids and proteins; Isolation of proteins; Functional studies of the peroxisomal enzyme catalase; Basic principles of optic microscopy and micrometry; Preparation and observation of extemporaneous samples of vegetal and animal tissues; Morphological and structural study of prokaryotic cells; Isolation of cell organelles and study of organellar and cell membrane permeability
Demonstration of the Syllabus Coherence with the Curricular Unit's Objectives:
The theoretical component analyses the cell from a molecular perspective with description of diseases caused by loss or gain function of proteins, promoting a broad and integrated understanding of cellular physiopathology, including a research bibliographic review. The practical component is focused on problem solving, allowing the student to contact with basic experimental techniques, apply the scientific method and apply theoretical concepts. The interconnection and complementarity between these components promotes and improves the: (i) Knowledge of the cell role in the dynamics of multicellular organisms, in health and disease; (ii) Ability to implement basic techniques and interpret experimental data; (iii) Analysis and comprehension of scientific literature; (iv) Development of scientific reasoning; (v) Apprehension and communication of technical-scientific information. Thus, the execution of the syllabus will generate the intended learning outcomes.
Teaching Methodologies (Including Evaluation):
I. Theoretical component (T): Comprises theoretical classes and the approval is certified through the completion of 2 written tests. Didactic material as well as scientific papers will be available on the Canvas platform. The approval implies the achievement of at least 10/20 marks. Failure to pass in the continuous assessment will require the student to take an exam at the end of the semester. The exam has a duration of 2 hours and covers the whole theoretical programme.
II. Practical Component (PL): includes laboratory classes, with execution of protocols, discussion and interpretation of results. The approval is certified through two written tests (final mark weighting 80%) and the evaluation of the student's performance in the laboratory (final mark weighting 20%). The approval implies the achievement of at least 10/20 marks. There is no final exam for this component.
Final mark = 75%*T+25%*PL
Demonstration of the Coherence between the Teaching Methodologies and the Learning Outcomes:
This syllabus aims at providing the student the knowledge on the cell as the fundamental structural and functional unit of living organisms. The theoretical part is divided into two sections. The first describes the chemical basis of life, with highlights to the biomolecules involved in celular and metabolic processes. The second section covers the ultra-structure and function of cell’s organelles and compartments in cell physiology and pathology, with highlight of organelle pathologies, implied in metabolic enzymatic deficiencies, of particular relevance to Nutrition professionals. The component is developed from a descriptive and integrated exposition of the concepts, theories and mechanisms underlying the theoretical program. Its progression occurs in articulated way with the didactic material and the bibliography, and includes the joint reflection on key aspects of the programme content. The development of a bibliographic research work by groups of 2-3 students included in this component of the curricular unit aims to improve: (i) Self learning, (iii) Oral and written communication of scientific information, and (iv) Ability to independently update knowledge. The theme is selected by the from a list of topics elaborated by the students and aims to deepening the knowledge on molecular and cellular etiopathogenesis of several diseases related with nutrition. After work review, its oral presentation is followed by discussion having in account its structure and technical-scientific content, and the student performance as well. The active participation of the student in these seminars represents an additional opportunity to better understand the relevance of cell biology knowledge for the clinical practice. Scientific articles or articles of free use will be available through e-learning. II. Practical component: Learning is based on practical problem solving, using an experimental approach, and aims to improve: (i) Conceptual integration, (ii) Operationalization in a laboratory environment (organization, reasoning and execution), (iii) Collection, selection, analysis, systematization, critical interpretation and validation of technical-scientific information, (iv) Oral and written communication of scientific information In addition to the contact hours of the academic periods of the course, the learning process can be complemented during the office hours of the teacher, or using the digital institutional communication tools (e-mail and e-learning). The simultaneous use of these institutional computing resources for the dissemination of either didactic material or scientific literature also represents an important contribution to the promotion and stimulation of the student self-learning process.
1. ALBERTS B, BRAY D, HOPKIN K, JOHNSON D, LEWIS J, RAFF M, ROBERTS K, WALTER P. Fundamentos da Biologia Celular. Artmed Editora, 4ª Edição, 2017. ISBN: 9788582714058 (existe 2ªedição de 2006)
2. SUNKEL CE, AZEVEDO C. Biologia Molecular e Celular, Lidel eds. Técnicas, 5ª Edição, 2012 ISBN: 9789727576920 (existe 4ª edição, 2010)
3. Lodish H, Berk A, Kaiser CA, Krieger M, Bretscher A, Ploegh H, Martin KC, Yaffe M. Molecular Cell Biology. WH Freeman, 9th Edition, 2021. ISBN: 9781319208523. (existe a 3ª edição, 1995
3. Castro R., Ribeiro R. Manual de trabalhos laboratoriais de apoio à componente prática da UC, 2020
Lecturer (* Responsible):
Anabela Castro (
Sofia Pereira (