Signal transduction

A.Y. 2020/2021
Overall hours
BIO/04 BIO/10
Learning objectives
The aim of the course is to provide a comprehensive and detailed understanding of the principal cellular mechanisms through which animals and plants respond to internal and external stimuli and change their metabolism accordingly. This course focuses on mechanisms of intracellular signal transduction in eukaryotes. We will analyze specific topics on several, well-characterized signaling pathways, and important, useful experimental approaches to study signal transduction. We will compare conserved and non-conserved aspects during evolution. The course will also involve in-depth critical discussions of specific topics in the signaling field.
Expected learning outcomes
Students will acquire the cultural and methodological tools for the critical analysis and understanding of the molecular mechanisms of signal transduction. The student will apply theoretical knowledge gained during the course to the comprehension and analysis of scientific papers related to the course topics. At the end of the course the students will have learned the modern methodological approaches that represent the cultural tools to gain autonomy in the study of cellular and molecular biology research projects.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
Second semester
The lessons will be held synchronously on the Microsoft Teams keeping the set times.

The program and reference material will not be affected.

Lessons will be also recorded and the files made available to the students.

The exam will take place in oral form using the Microsoft Teams platform, or where the regulations allow, in presence, always in oral form.
Course syllabus
The course will cover principal mechanisms and techniques applied in the research field of cellular signalling. Topics will include primary transduction of Tyrosine Kinase receptors; the Akt-mTOR pathway and translational control; stress signal responses in animal cells; concepts, mechanisms, and decoding of calcium signalling in plant cells; second messengers crosstalk in local and systemic responses in plants.
Prerequisites for admission
Good knowledge of organic chemistry, biochemistry, physiology, molecular and cell biology is highly recommended.
Teaching methods
Power-point assisted frontal lectures. During lectures, students will be encouraged to actively participate in discussions, with questions and comments related to the considered subjects. The use of innovative learning tools such as videos, online seminars will be also adopted. Course attendance is highly recommended.
Teaching Resources
There are no dedicated books used as a reference for teaching. Any Molecular and Cell biology book, as well as a Physiology book, will provide the necessary information to help the students to follow the lectures. Lecture slides and learning materials (scientific research papers and reviews, cited during the lectures), will be made available through the Ariel website.
Assessment methods and Criteria
Students will be evaluated by an oral exam. For each unit of the course, students will critically analyze, in the form of an oral presentation, a scientific paper chosen from those selected by the teachers. The presentation, consisting of a short introduction to the biological problem, and the critical analysis of the experiments reported in the paper(s), will be followed by a discussion with the teacher/s on the mechanisms analyzed in the research article (this part will count for 75% of the UNIT grade). Students will be also evaluated on their theoretical knowledge of the different topics presented during the course (this part will count for 25% of the UNIT grade).
Each oral exam will contribute to the same weight (50%) towards the final score, which will be defined as the average of the grades obtained for each unit.
BIO/04 - PLANT PHYSIOLOGY - University credits: 0
BIO/10 - BIOCHEMISTRY - University credits: 0
Lessons: 48 hours
Educational website(s)
Thursday 14:00-16:00
Department of Biosciences 3rd Floor Tower C
tuesday 11.30-12.30, by appointment via email