85149 - Molecular Physiology

Course Unit Page


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

Zero hunger Good health and well-being Quality education Gender equality

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, the student has deepened the molecular mechanisms through which physiological adjustments are carried out at the cellular level in response to signals from hormones and other cellular messengers, as well as at the cellular, organ and organism level in relation to the aging process.

Course contents

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

2. Pathophysiological systems of cell death.

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

4. Molecular mechanisms underlying homeostatic integration systems: neuroendocrine regulation. Atypical endocrine systems, inflammation and adipose tissue.

5. Gut-brain axis as a model of molecular interaction between the nervous system, the immune system and the digestive system with the intestinal microbiota and its pathophysiological role.

6. Cellular and molecular mechanisms that regulate the circadian rhythm and its pathophysiological role.


There are no textbooks available, but lecture presentations will be made available on IOL and specific review and research articles will be indicated to supplement the preparation at a more advanced level.

Teaching methods

The teaching methods include a part of lectures and a part of the course carried out as flipped classroom, in which students present scientific articles that are discussed with the class.

Assessment methods

During the course, each student will present a scientific article. To this presentation, it will be assigned a grade that is worth 50% of the final grade. The final exam will be an oral interview, to which it will be assigned a grade that will constitute the other half of the final grade. During the interview, the student will be asked to start with a topic of their choice and then the discussion will continue by touching on the various topics of the course.

Teaching tools

All the material used for the lessons (power point presentation) will be made available to students on IOL. The reading and analysis of research articles will be proposed.

Office hours

See the website of Barbara Monti