Advanced molecular biology

A.Y. 2020/2021
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The Advanced Molecular Biology course aims to provide detailed insight into the mechanisms that control cell division and proliferation, and how the cell cycle mechanisms are integrated with processes required to maintain genome integrity. These topics will be discussed in model organisms and in mammalian cells, with a particular focus on human pathologies linked to alterations in the molecular mechanisms of these processes.
Expected learning outcomes
After this course, the student will have built a solid theoretical background in the mechanisms underlying cell proliferation and its regulatory circuits and the molecular mechanisms responsible for preserving genome integrity and their role in counteracting tumorigenesis. Moreover, the student will have learned to critically evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of model systems applied to molecular processes and will have gained competences in applying the best experimental strategy to answer a specific scientific question.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
First semester
Classes will be held online on the Zoom platform, mostly asynchronously. There will be session, held synchronously, dedicated to questions, discussions and further insights on the different topics. Recorded lectures will be available on Ariel.
Written exams will be held in person in one of the campus classrooms.
Course syllabus
- The Cell Cycle
- Model organisms in cell cycle analysis
- Cell cycle control systems
- The control of S phase
- Molecular mechanisms and control of mitosis
- Completion of mitosis and cell division
- Control of cell proliferation and growth
- Processes that compromise genome integrity
- DNA repair and DNA damage tolerance mechanisms
- Pathologies related to increased genome instability
- Cell cycle checkpoints in physiological and pathological conditions
- The cell cycle in cancer and other human diseases.
- Mechanisms responsible for the maintenance of genome integrity as targets for anticancer therapy.
Prerequisites for admission
Good knowledge of Molecular Biology, Genetics and Biochemistry is required.
Teaching methods
PowerPoint-assisted frontal lectures. Regular attendance and active participation during classes are strongly encouraged to improve the understanding of the topics and improve communication skills. In order to facilitate active discussions, handouts will be made available before class through the Ariel platform.
It is strongly recommended that students attend lectures.
Teaching Resources
-D.O. Morgan. The Cell Cycle: principles of control. New Science Press.
-Friedberg, E. C., Walker, G. C., Siede, W., Wood, R. D., Schultz, R. A. & Ellenberger, T. DNA repair and mutagenesis (ASM Press).
-Friedberg E.C., Elledge S.J, Lehmann A.R., Lindahl T., Muzi Falconi M. DNA Repair, Mutagenesis, and Other Responses to DNA Damage: A Subject Collection from Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Biology
Scientific papers and reviews will be indicated during the course.
Assessment methods and Criteria
Learning assessments will be carried out by a written exam at the end of the course.
The exam includes 4 open questions (50% of the final score), and multiple choices questions (50% of the final score). Multiple choice questions are aimed to verify the global understanding of the key concepts and definitions taught during the course, whereas open questions are designed to evaluate the ability of the student to concisely and critically describe the major cellular processes and models discussed in class.
BIO/11 - MOLECULAR BIOLOGY - University credits: 6
Lessons: 48 hours
Professor: Muzi Falconi Marco
Educational website(s)