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Academic year 2021/2022

Course ID
Prof. Luca Munaron
Degree course
Cellular and Molecular Biology
1st year
Teaching period
Semester 1
Course disciplinary sector (SSD)
BIO/09 - fisiologia
Formal authority
Lessons optional and laboratories mandatory
Type of examination
Written and interview (optional)
A good knowledge of basic Cell Biology (Biologia Cellulare) and General Physiology (Fisiologia Generale).

Sommario del corso


Course objectives

This teaching contributes to the learning objectives included into the Biomedical and Biomolecular area of the Master in Cellular and Molecular Biology, providing knowledge and applicative abilities to critically investigate cell functions. Students learn to address issues related to the complex relationship between structural and functional components of the cell. Starting from the basic role of diffusional events that will be treated from both the theoretical and experimental points of view, particular attention will be focused on live cell imaging techniques as experimental tools to investigate physiological processes in time and space at different biological scales (from molecular to multicellular). For each item, students learn how to highlight the specific scientific question, to interpret data, to discuss the experimental approaches employed by the authors. The main objective is to develop the ability to critically analyze and interpret the results of the related scientific literature. 


Results of learning outcomes


  • Extending and applying knowledge of cell physiology to new contexts
  • Re-analysing information
  • Selecting robust information from a variety of sources
  • Making reasoned predictions and generalisations from experimental evidence and theoretical information
  • Drawing valid conclusions and giving explanations supported by evidence/justification
  • Drawing on knowledge and understanding of cell physiology to make accurate statements, describe complex information, provide detailed explanations and integrate knowledge
  • Critically evaluating scientific publications and media reports
  • Discussing the strenght and limitations of the results published on research papers, eventually identifying sources of errors and biases
  • Communicating cell physiology findings and concepts fully, appropriately and using a variety of different modalities 

Course delivery

Teaching includes 6 CFUs (48 hours of face-to-face lectures).

The lessons will be held in presence and in streaming, recorded and published on the moodle platform.

In particular, the teaching will be delivered in the form of: 

1. Lectures and discussion in presence on the topics of the program with critical approach and in relation to the most recent literature.

2. Recordings of the streaming of lectures uploaded on the Moodle platform.

Lectures and integrative activities:

1. specific readings available Moodle platform;

2. exercises and self-assessment questions provided on Moodle platform;

3. in-depth videos on specific topics uploaded on the Moodle platform.


Learning assessment methods

The final learning assessment will be held in presence, in written form (Moodle platform) with optional oral integration (relative weight written/oral 3/1).

Students belonging to specific categories will be allowed to participate in online written exams (webex platform), followed by a mandatory oral exam.

Midterm Multidisciplinary Test (MMT, optional) - This test will be in common with the courses of  Oncology and Molecular  Pathology, Advanced Cell Biology and Biotechnology, and Virology. It will be a Moodle-based test of 30 questions (10 for each course): 27 with a variety of formats (multiple choice, true/false, filling in checklists) and three open questions. The optional midterm Multidisciplinary test will give rise to additional points to the final grade of final exam of each of the three courses, provided this will be passed in the first session. Correspondence between Midterm Multidisciplinary Test vote and additional points for final exams is as follows: 22-23/32, 0.5 points; 24-25/32, 1 points; 26-27/32, 1.5 points; 28-30/32, 2 points. 

Multidisciplinary Research Essay (MRE, optional) - This at-home assignment will be in common with the courses of Oncology and Molecular  Pathology, Advanced Cell Biology and Biotechnology, and Virology, and will refer to methodologies and technical approaches relevant to the three courses. The essay (up to 2000 characters + figures, tables and references) will be prepared by groups of normally three students and presented oraly by the end of the semester. The optional Multidisciplinary Research Essay will give rise to additional points to the final grade of final exam of each of the three courses, provided this will be passed in the first exam session. Correspondence between vote to the Multidisciplinary Research Essay and additional points for final exams is as follows: 22-23, 0.5 points; 24-25, 1 points; 26-27, 1.5 points; 28-30, 2 points. 

Final exam - This exam will be a Moodle-based test of 20-30 questions in different formats : open question, multiple choice quizzes, true/false, short answers, open-ended questions; interpretation of experimental data and resolution of exercises . Time: 30'. The maximum grade will be 33/30. Grading 31-33 will give rise to " 30 cum laude". Any additional points obtained by MMT and MRE will be added to the final exam of the first exam session. 

Academic conduct: The penality for course-related dishonesty (ei. cheating on exams, plagism, etc) will be failure for the entire course.



Support activities

Supplementary activities

1. selected readings provided on the Moodle platform;

2. online exercises for self-evaluation provided on the Moodle platform;

3. external in-depth videos on specific topics uploaded to the Moodle platform.




The main objective of the course is to convey to the students the ability to

  1. critically analyze scientific papers on cell physiology topics;
  2. design integrative experimental protocols to address functional questions, taking into account the strengths and limitations of the different approaches.


  • Cell as a complex system
  • Structure-function redundancy
  • Diffusional processes
  • Membrane transports
  • Electrical signals
  • Molecular basis of sensory physiology
  • Live fluorescence microscopy approaches to investigate intracellular signaling
  • Spatio-temporal features of calcium signaling

Suggested readings and bibliography


All the video-lectures, recorded webex streaming lessons and discussions, slides, selected papers, e-books and websites are fully available on Moodle.



Class schedule

Notes: See the timetable at the Class Schedule Page


More information
Last update: 05/07/2021 10:57
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