Curricular Unit:Code:
Molecular and Cellular Biology841BMC
1MasterDentistry6 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, e.g. biochemistry, genetics and molecular biology, 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.
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; Observation of cell in different phases of mitosis.
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. The practical component is focused on problem solving, allowing the student to contact with basic experimental techniques, apply the scientific method, apply theoretical concepts, and develop the method and practice of bibliographic research. 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: Comprises theoretical classes and approval is certified by 2 written tests (average rating of at least 10/20, weighing 70% of the final grade). If not approved, student may perform exam at the end of the semester. The exam lasts 2 hours and covers the entire program. II. Practical component: Comprises practical classes, laboratorial classes and seminars. Approval for the practical component is certified by 2 written tests (16%) and students’ performance (4%). Approval for the practical component involves getting at least 10/20 (weighing 20% of the final grade). In addition, the work developed by each group of students (lab report or a bibliographic review work) is supervised and classified (10%). Teaching material and scientific articles or other free use materials will be available through e-learning.
Demonstration of the Coherence between the Teaching Methodologies and the Learning Outcomes:
I. Theoretical component: 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. For the acquisition of knowledge, direct and indirect teaching methodologies are applied, which simultaneously promote a broad and integrated level of understanding and improvement of self-learning. II. Practical component: Learning is based on practical problem solving, using an experimental, bioinformatic or theoretical-practical approach, and aims at improving: (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, and (v) Ability to independently update knowledge. Self-learning will also be stimulated through the development of a bibliographic research work by groups of 2-3 students. The theme (or scientific paper) is selected from a list of topics pre-elaborated by the teaching team and aims at deepening the knowledge on molecular and cellular etiopathogenesis of several diseases. 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. Another possibility is the elaboration of a lab report of inter-related activities to illustrate the importance of structure-function relationship to the cell physiology. Courseware, including computer-aided teaching material and supporting texts (e.g. Exercise Manual with scientific background, learning objectives for each module of the theoretical program and solved exercises, and Practical-Laboratory Handbook, both developed by teachers), and scientific articles or articles of free use will be available through e-learning. 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.QUINTAS A., FREIRE A.P., HALPERN M.J. – Bioquímica: Organização molecular da vida/Lidel, 2008
2.MURRAY RK, GRANNER DK, RODWELL VW – Harpers’s Illustrated Biochemistry – Lange Medical Books/McGraw-Hill, 27th ed, 2006
3. SUNKEL CE, AZEVEDO C. - Biologia Molecular e Celular, Lidel eds. Técnicas, 5ª Edição, 2012 ISBN: 9789727576920 (existe 4ª edição, 2010)
4. RIBEIRO MG et al. - Manual de exercícios de apoio à componente teórica da UC, 2014.
5. CASTRO A, CASTRO R, COELHO MJ, RIBEIRO MG Manual de trabalhos laboratoriais de apoio à componente prática da UC, 2017.
6. Lodish H, Berk A, Kaiser CA, Krieger M, Bretscher A, Ploegh H, Amon A, Martin KC. Molecular Cell Biology. WH Freeman, 8th Edition, 2016. ISBN: 9781464183393. (existe a 3ª edição, 1995, e a 4ª edição, 2000)
7. Alberts B, Johnson A, Lewis J, Morgan D, Raff M, Roberts K, Walter P. Molecular Biology of the Cell. Garland Science, 5th Edition, 2014. ISBN: 9780815344322. (existe a 4ª edição, 2002)
Lecturer (* Responsible):
Anabela Castro (
Maria Coelho (
Maria Gil Ribeiro (
Ricardo Magalhães (