78841 - Toxicology

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

After attending the course, the student has the basic knowledge on the toxicological effects of xenobiotics (drugs, environmental and food contaminants..) in humans exposed. In particular, the student will be able to assess the appropriate experimental approaches to the definition of the mechanisms of action of toxics.

Course contents

The history of poisons.

General toxicology: Toxicokinetics: absorption, distribution, metabolism, elimination. Metabolic polymorphisms and individual susceptibility in toxicology. Toxicodinamycs.

Special Toxicology: genotoxicity, carcinogenicity, embryotoxicity. Allocations.The IARC classifications.

Toxicology of organs and systems: renal toxicity, liver toxicity. Toxic effects on the respiratory and nervous system.

Toxics: toxicity from natural and synthetic substances; GMOs; pesticides, solvents, metals.

Environmental Toxicology: food additives and food contaminants; air, water and soil pollutants. Ecotoxicology: biomarkers and environmental monitoring.

Climate change and anthropogenic emission.

Animal testing: GLP, scientific and ethical limits, extrapolation; alternative methods to the use of animals: isolated organs, cell cultures. Toxicity tests.

Toxicological risk assessment.

Scientific information and its sources.

"Measure" the science: the bibliometric indexes.

Read the scientific data. Bayes theorem. The Simpson effect.

Journal Club: Presentation and discussion of scientific articles related to the issues dealt with during the course.

Office hours: see the website of Moreno Paolini  [https://www.unibo.it/sitoweb/moreno.paolini]


Casaret & Doull - Elementi di Tossicologia - Casa Editrice Ambrosiana, Milano, ed. 2013.
H. Greim, E. Deml - Tossicologia - Zanichelli, Bologna, I ed. 2000.

Teaching methods

Lectures and discussion, including autonomous development of some topics with ongoing verification

Assessment methods

The oral exam (in presence or remote depending on the evolution of the health emergency), consists in evaluating the critical skills gained by the student. The achievement of a comprehensive vision of the studied issues, combined with their critical use, the specific language proficiency will be evaluated with marks of excellence. The mechanical knowledge and/or mnemonics of matter, synthesis and analysis not articulated and/or language not always appropriate, will lead to fair valuations. Minimum knowledge of the examination material and/or not complete mastery of specific language will lead to just sufficient votes. Gaps, inappropriate language, total lack of orientation within the topics covered during the course will be evaluated negatively.

Teaching tools

PC computer projector
Distribution of the material projected during the lesson

Office hours

See the website of Moreno Paolini

See the website of Fabio Vivarelli


Zero hunger Good health and well-being Clean water and sanitation Climate Action

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.