Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Stefania Rapino

  • Credits 3

  • SSD CHIM/02

  • Teaching Mode Traditional lectures

  • Language English

  • Campus of Bologna

  • Degree Programme Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Molecular and Cell Biology (cod. 5825)

  • Course Timetable from Nov 04, 2022 to Jan 12, 2023


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

Good health and well-being Quality education Gender equality

Academic Year 2022/2023

Learning outcomes

At the end of the module the student is familiar with modern chemical and physical technologies employed for the study and diagnosis of cancer and their applications to cancer biology; She/He gains knowledge about the techniques which are well assessed in the field as well as about the most innovative ones as emerging from the recent scientific literature. The student is able to critically evaluate and plan the employment of these methodologies in cancer biology research.

Course contents

In order to achieve the learning outcomes of the course the program of the teaching unit will focus on the following topics:

i) 3D cell cultures in cancer research: organoids, organ on chips and microfluidics, 3D bioprinting;

ii) Biosensors and other approaches for the study of cell metabolism (cell populations and at a single cell level);

iii) Real-Time cell metabolic analysis;

iv) in situ spectroscopic techniques;

v) Methods and procedures for proteomic analyses;

vi) State-of-the-art methods and techniques for sequencing and single cell sequencing; In the past twenty years the study and diagnosis of cancer has drastically changed, moving from a morphology-based analysis to a molecular one, starting from the use of conventional sequencing technologies till the introduction of next generation sequencing in the routinary practice. We will here focus on: basic sequencing chemistry from Sanger to NGS, advantages and disadvantages of newer technologies, data analysis, interpretation, validation and reporting, applications of DNA- and RNA-based technologies.

vii) Atomic force microscopies and other scanning probe microscopies in cancer research;

viii) Techniques for the high-sensitivity detection of tumor biomarkers;

ix) Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), isotopic labeling and integrated approaches, e.g. radiomics.

x) Artificial intelligence in cancer research and diagnosis.


Lecture notes and teacher sllides

Papers from scientific literature

Teaching methods

Frontal Lectures on the program topics; Seminars on specific and innovative arguments.

Discussions and brain storming involving the whole class will be a fundamental teaching approach.

Assessment methods

The exam of Cancer Biology course (Porcelli-Perini-Rapino) will consist in a power point presentation of 45 minutes + 15 minutes discussion and will cover a specific and innovative subject that emerged during the course. A list of possible subjects will be discussed with, and approved by students at the end of the course. The presentation will be prepared and discussed by a group of three students chosen through a random selection procedure. The attribution of the subject matter to the group will be also determined by random choice. At the moment of the exam, the order of presentation of the three students will be decided by the exam board just before the beginning of the presentation.

Teaching tools

Teaching is mainly carried employing PC, beamer projector, Power Point presentations. Discussion on papers from scientific literature.

Office hours

See the website of Stefania Rapino