Multilevel Effects of Environmental Contamination

A.Y. 2021/2022
Overall hours
BIO/05 BIO/06 BIO/14
Learning objectives
The main objectives of the course are to provide:
1. the bases of animal biological organization: from cell to aquatic and terrestrial animal models, including tissue/organ and developmental biology notions;
2. the principles of contaminant exposure/effects on biological systems;
3. the evaluation of biological models as indicators of environmental changes affecting the ecosystems and the human health.
Expected learning outcomes
At the end of the course the student will acquire the basic knowledge of animal biology organization and will be able to fully understand the different topics in a transversal way, in order to critically apply in the future knowledge and comprehension of biota/environment interactions and of contaminant impact on biological systems. Such abilities will be acquired during lessons where each topic will be transversally presented in order to stimulate questions and comments on current appropriate topics. Critical abilities as well as communication skills will be stimulated and evaluated during the examination. Finally, the transversal and applicative approach of the learned topics will allow the student to develop useful skills for future learning and work.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
First semester
If necessary lectures will be done online using TEAMS, Ariel or other similar platforms; practical exercises in laboratory and classroom, considering emergency security items, will be at the University (with alternative online lessons). Moments of discussion will be both at the University and online.
Course syllabus
The aim of the course is to understand the impact of common pollutants on biological targets. Starting from the molecular point of view up to the effects on populations, the course will explore the possible toxicological effects at different animal organization levels (cells, tissues/organs, organism, species). Lectures and practicals will focus on: Molecular targets involved in pathogenic pathways and related to molecular initiating events of toxicity; Cellular targets triggering abnormal proliferation, death, migration and differentiation; Embryonic targets related to abnormal development; Tissue/organ targets related to specific organ toxicity; Species-specific sensitivity and toxicity. Methodological approaches for hazard identification and safety assessment. The use of different models, useful for animal/human toxicity assessment, will be illustrated.
Prerequisites for admission
A good comprehension of the basic scientific language is essential; students are expected to have basic knowledge of biology, biochemistry, molecular biology, physiology, and molecular epidemiology.
Teaching methods
Lectures, practical exercises, moments of discussion on topical issues related to biology.
Teaching Resources
Casarett and Doull's Toxicology: The Basic Science of Poisons 9th Edition (Curtis D. Klaassen, Ed). Mc Graw Hill Education. 2018
Gilbert, Epel: Ecological DevelopmentalBiology, Sinauer
Other materials will be provided and will be uploaded in ARIEL.
Assessment methods and Criteria
There will be a written examination followed by an oral examination. The exam will focus on the in-depth discussion of the fundamental topics of the course and will evaluate the ability to connect, the appropriateness of the scientific language and the ability to synthesize the various topics covered in class and in practical exercitations. The mark is expressed in thirtieths.The minimum mark to take the oral examination is 16/30. The minimum sufficient mark is 18/30. In the case of emergency or for valid reason, the examination will be exclusively in the oral form.
BIO/05 - ZOOLOGY - University credits: 0
BIO/14 - PHARMACOLOGY - University credits: 0
Lessons: 48 hours
By telephone or e-mail appointment
Dip. di Scienze Farmacologiche, Via Balzaretti 9, Milano