84277 - Cellular Biology and Genetics

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 Quality education

Academic Year 2019/2020

Learning outcomes

Define the structural components of eukaryotic cells including the membrane, organelles and cytoskeleton. Describe fundamental cellular processes, including cell movement, targeting and trafficking, cell-cell communication, cell cycle, cell division, and apoptosis. Describe the structure and function of chromosomes and genomes. Recognize the pattern of transmission of hereditary characters and exceptions to mendelian inheritance. Identify the types, causes and biological consequences of genetic variation. Explain the relationship between genetic, physical, and cytogenetic maps. Apply the principles of population genetics to calculate genotype and allele frequencies.

Course contents

Module 1 (Pierluigi Strippoli) 24 hours

  1. Introduction to Biology. Biology in Medicine.
  2. Properties of living systems.
  3. Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic cells. Basic components of the cells.
  4. Analyzing cells, molecules and systems. "Omics" in the biomedical science.
  5. The biological logic of the cell membrane.
  6. The nucleus: structure.
  7. The nucleus: functions.
  8. Endoplasmic reticulum (ER).
  9. Golgi apparatus.
  10. Mitochondrion.
  11. Protein sorting.
  12. Intracellular membrane traffic 1. Vesicles. ER.
  13. Intracellular membrane traffic 2. Golgi. Exocytosis. Endocytosis.
  14. Lysosomes. Autophagy.
  15. Cell cycle.
  16. Cell cycle control.
  17. Cell division: mitosis.
  18. Cell differentiation.
  19. Cell death.
  20. Meiosis.
  21. Polyploidy and aneuploidy.
  22. Trisomy 21. Mechanisms.
  23. Trisomy 21. Genotype and Phenotype.
  24. Trisomy 21. Research.

Module 2 (Allison Piovesan)

  1. DNA, chromosomes and genome
  2. Genes and genome organization
  3. Control of gene expression
  4. Genome variability
  5. Gene mutations
  6. Chromosomal abnormalities
  7. Mendel’s Laws of Heredity
  8. Autosomal dominant and recessive traits
  9. X-linked traits
  10. Exceptions to Mendelian disorders
  11. Multifactorial inheritance
  12. Population genetics



Lectures will be based on relevant peer-reviewed papers and selected chapters from:

Alberts et al. Essential Cell Biology. Norton, Fifth edition, 2019.

Strachan and Read, Human Molecular Genetics. Garland Science, Fifth edition, 2018.

Teaching material and slides are made available to students via the Iol platform.

Teaching methods

The teaching will be carried using PowerPoint presentation and interactive use of dedicated databases and softwares during the teaching hours.

Attendance Requirements

Attendance to this learning activity is mandatory; the minimum attendance requirement to be admitted to the final exam is 60% of lessons. For Integrated Courses (IC), the 60% attendance requirement refers to the total amount of I.C. lessons. Students who fail to meet the minimum attendance requirement will not be admitted to the final exam of the course and will have to attend relevant classes again during the next academic year. Professors may authorize excused absences upon receipt of proper justifying documentation, in case of illness or serious reasons. Excused absences do not count against a student’s attendance record to determine their minimum attendance requirement.

Assessment methods

Assessment methods

Cellular Molecular Biology and Genetics (I.C.)

Cellular Biology and Genetics + Lab: the final examination consists of an oral dissertation (two questions randomly selected) to assess achievement of the skills detailed in the learning outcomes. The student is asked to demonstrate skills in terms of synthesis, analysis and critical appraisal of the topics covered in the course.

Molecular Biology: discussion of issues and experimental findings presented throughout the course by the aid of computer assisted presentations.

The final mark will be determined as weighted average mark (weights are the relative course credits).


Cellular Biology and Genetics + lab (7+1 credits): 27/30

Molecular Biology (2 credits): 30/30

Weighted average mark: (27*8)+(30*2) / 10 = 27.6

Final mark: 28/30

For more info: https://www.unibo.it/en/teaching/course-timetable-and-exams/about-exams

Teaching tools

PowerPoint presentations, chalkboard and interactive use of dedicated databases and softwares.

Office hours

See the website of Pierluigi Strippoli

See the website of Allison Piovesan