Molecular Cell Biology

Program: Master programme in Biology
Level: Advanced level
Course code: 1BG320
Credits: 15 c
More info: Course syllabus
Student portal: Schedule and course material

The aim of this advanced course is to provide in-depth knowledge of the molecular workings of important aspects of the life of cells and organisms, with an emphasis on eukaryotic cells. We will be dealing with cell signaling (receptor types and signal pathways through which hormones, neurotransmitters and growth factors act), the flow of information in gene expression and the intracellular targeting of proteins and membranes. Another subject is the regulation of cell growth, division and apoptosis, and how defects in this can lead to cancer. The final topic is the molecular mechanisms that underlie the shape and cohesion of cells and tissues: the cytoskeleton, cell adhesion receptors and the extra cellular matrix.

The theoretical programme will be concluded with a lecture on the neuronal synapse, in which we find many aspects of molecular cell biology in a nutshell. Selected topics from these areas will be illuminated in more detail by experts in the form of “guest lectures”, giving you a flavour of current research. Many proteins and their functional dynamics are today known in structural detail at atomic resolution. It is an important feature of this course that you will be shown by many examples how inventive and subtle nature has been in the design of molecular devices to achieve her purposes. In the “computer lab” you will practice the use of bioinformatics tools to understand protein structure.

The course is based on the textbook “Molecular Cell Biology” by H. Lodish et al. in its 6th edition, 2007. The contents of the lectures will be deepened in seminars, laboratory practicals and computer exercises.

The final phase of the course will be devoted to a literature project, in which small student groups can choose among a number of subjects and present them in the form of a poster and short lecture.

For more information, please contact:
Michael Pavlov (michael.pavlov@icm.uu.se)