Course Unit Page


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

Good health and well-being Gender equality

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the student has deepened inside the molecular mechanisms of cell physiology, including the response to hormones and to other cellular messengers, as well as of development and aging processes at the cellular, organ and body level.

Course contents

1. Physiopathological role of protein degradation mechanisms (proteasome and lysosomes) and autophagy.

2. Physiopathological cell death types.

3. Physiopathological role of conventional and non-conventional cellular communication systems, in particular those mediated by vesicles and gases (nitrogen monoxide).

4. Molecular mechanisms at the basis of homeostatic integration systems: neuroendocrine regulation.

5. Development of the nervous system as a model of functional molecular interactions and their alterations in senescence.

6. Gut-brain axis as a model of molecular interaction between the nervous system, the immune system and the digestive tract with the intestinal microbiota in relation mainly to the development of the CNS and to its alterations in the neurodevelopmental pathologies.


Basic knowledge of the already used texts of Physiology, Biochemistry and Molecular biology will be required. Specific review and research articles will be suggested for the advanced stage of information.

Teaching methods

The course is organized in groups of lessons of 6 hours/week, 4 of which on the different topics of molecular physiology indicated in programme points from 1 to 4 and 2 hours on points 5 and 6 of the programme. The teaching methods include frontal lectures, as well as presentation and discussion of scientific articles by students during the lectures (flipped class-room).

Assessment methods

Oral examination. Students are expected to present a scientific paper during the course. To this presentation it will be assigned a rating that is 50% of the final grade. At the end of the course, the oral examination will be an interview; to this inteview will be assigned a rating that will be the other half of the final grade. For the exam, each student can start from a chosen subject and then the examination will continue with the discussion on various topics of the course.

Teaching tools

The material utilized for lectures (power point presentation) will be made available to students. Reading and analysis of research article will be encouraged.

Office hours

See the website of Barbara Monti