Preclinical Biomedical Sciences and Humanities

A.Y. 2021/2022
Overall hours
BIO/10 BIO/13 M-PED/01 M-PSI/01 M-PSI/04 M-PSI/08 MED/03
Learning objectives
The objectives of the course are:
- to describe the bases of the organization of living organisms;
- to describe the main processes necessary for the life and replication of living organisms;
- to describe the principles of transmission and expression of genetic information;
- to know the bases of general and organic chemistry necessary for the study and interpretation of biological phenomena;
- to know the properties of organic compounds and their reactivity;
- to know the main biomolecules and biochemical mechanisms having a relevant role in living systems;
- to acquire an integrated view of metabolism;
- to have more in-depth knowledge of the biochemical processes underlying the functional specialization of the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system;
- to define the main psychic functions and the stages of cognitive, affective and social development;
- to describe the bases of individual and group behavior;
- to describe the fundamental characteristics of learning and its dynamics;
- to choose the behavior, the relational mode and the most appropriate communication with the patient and his family.
Expected learning outcomes
Know the preclinical and biomedical conceptual bases of Biological, Biochemical and Medical Genetics knowledge to understand the most complex physiological and pathological phenomena.
In addition, the student will acquire useful information to set up operator-patient communication within a patient-centered medicine model by identifying the main relational and emotional problems within the sharing of possible clinical objectives. The learner will therefore have knowledge about the bases of therapeutic education of patients and the main theories on human development to recognize the impact that the disease can have on the patient's cognitive and emotional development and on the life cycle of the family in which it is inserted.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

More specific information on the delivery modes of training activities for academic year 2021/22 will be provided over the coming months, based on the evolution of the public health situation.
Prerequisites for admission
No previous knowledge is required
Assessment methods and Criteria
The exam is written and will be held online.
The test is composed of 16 multiple-choice questions. Each right question scores 2 points.
The total grade will be automatically displayed at the end of the test.
Experimental biology
Course syllabus
1. The imprint of evolution on the structural and functional organization of the bacterial and eukaryotic cell; the endosymbiotic origin of the mitochondria; a mention of viruses
2. The life cycles of organisms, and the cell division cycles of mammals: mitosis, meiosis and gametogenesis
3. Chemical composition of cells; role of water and weak interactions
4. Informational molecules: structure, localization and function of proteins
5. Informational molecules: DNA as the genetic material
6. Structure of nucleotides and double helix
7. Organization of the bacterial and eukaryotic genome
8. DNA replication in bacteria and eukaryotes
9. Classes of RNA; messenger RNAs
10. Transcription in prokaryotes and its regulation
11. Transcription in eukaryotes, its regulation; post-transcriptional processing of eukaryotic mRNAs
12. Translation into bacteria and eukaryotes: genetic code, tRNA, rRNA and ribosomes, biosynthesis and protein sorting
13. Mutations: causes, and genetic and evolutionary consequences
Teaching methods
Taught lessons with audiovisual support (Powerpoint projections with multimedia elements).
Group work on a voluntary basis presented by students to the class.
Teaching Resources
Libri di testo alternativi (alternative textbooks suggested)
Chiara Donati, Massimo Stefani, Niccolò Taddei
Biologia e Genetica/2019 (Zanichelli)

David Sadava David M. Hillis H. Craig Heller Sally D. Hacker
Elementi di Biologia e Genetica, 5a edizione/2019 (Zanichelli)
Course syllabus
Water. Structure and property; Electrolytes; Acids and bases; Buffer power.
Carbon and its bonds. Main classes of organic compounds. Amino acids and peptide bond.
Proteins. Structure and organization. Hemoglobin and other paradigmatic proteins.
Enzymes. Structure and mechanism of action; Mechanisms for regulating enzyme activity; Survey of chemical and enzyme kinetics.
Biological membranes. Components and major transmembrane transport systems.
Metabolism. General features; catabolic and anabolic routes. Energy Metabolism. Energy compounds, ATP cycle, ATP synthesis mechanisms; Krebs cycle; respiratory chain and oxidative phosphorylation.
Metabolism of carbohydrates. Digestion; origin and metabolic destinies of glucose; mechanisms to regulate carbohydrate metabolism.
Metabolism of lipids. Digestion; origin and metabolic fates of fatty acids; mechanisms to regulate lipid metabolism.
Metabolism of amino acids. Digestion; origin and metabolic destinies of amino acids; mechanisms to regulate amino acid metabolism.
Teaching methods
The programme will be carried out exclusively through face-to-face lessons with the help of educational materials (slide and/or videos projections).
Teaching Resources
M. Samaja, R. Paroni - Chimica e Biochimica per le lauree triennali dell'area Biomedica - Ed. Piccin
MV Catani, I Savini, P Guerrieri, L Avigliano - Appunti di Biochimica Per le Lauree Triennali- Ed. Piccin
R Roberti, G Alunni Bistocchi- Elementi di Chimica e Biochimica- Ed. McGraw-Hill.
Lehninger, Nelson & Cox - Introduzione alla biochimica - Ed. Zanichelli
Medical genetics
Course syllabus
Mendel and his experimental method:
- Mendel's first law, the segregation of alleles
- monohybrids and test cross
- Mendel's second law, the independent assortment
- hybrids and polyhybrids
- genotypic and phenotypic relationships in mendelian crosses: examples and applications
· Interaction between alleles and phenotypic effect: complete and incomplete dominance, codominance. Interactions between different genes. Pleiotropism. Multiple allele systems in humans: blood groups.
· Independent and associated genes.
· Chromosome theory of inheritance:
- human chromosomes as a vehicle of inheritance
- the human karyotype
- chromosomal abnormalities in number and structure and clinical implications, pre- and postnatal cytogenetic diagnosis
- concept of chromosomal mosaicism
- molecular cytogenetics: Fluorescent In Situ Hybridization (FISH), definition, features and applications
· X chromosome inactivation, relevance of the phenomenon in X-linked genetic diseases.
· Genetic sex determination, examples of diseases with altered sex differentiation (adrenogenital syndrome, androgen insensitivity, SRY gene defects).
· Diversity of the human genome: the polymorphism concept.
· Mendelian traits in humans:
- Mendelian and non-mendelian traits
- classification of genetic diseases.
- monogenic inheritance and multifactorial inheritance
· Genetic analysis in humans:
- pedigree construction: symbolism and criteria for the collection of family history
- the main types of pedigrees
- apparent exceptions to Mendel's laws: incomplete and age-dependent penetrance, variable expressivity, neomutations, genetic mosaicism
- allelic, of locus and clinical genetic heterogeneity in most mendelian diseases
· Multifactorial inheritance: quantitative and threshold characters and empirical risks.
Teaching methods
The course is divided into a series of lectures with slide shows in Power Point. The lectures slides are uploaded to the Ariel website.
Teaching Resources
"Genetica Medica Essenziale" Dallapiccola, Novelli - seconda edizione - Il Minotauro Editore
"Le Basi Biologiche della Vita" - Miozzo, Prinetti, Sirchia, Gervasini - Elsevier Editore
General psychology
Course syllabus
Introduction to general Psychology
Thinking and decision
Teaching methods
Not applicable
Teaching Resources
Articles, slides and materials provided in class. A detailed bibliography will be communicated at the beginning of the course and published on the ARIEL bulletin board.
Clinical psychology
Course syllabus
The evolution of medical models: from the disease-centered model to the patient-centered model
- the concept of patent's illness experience
- communication techniques in a patient-centered consultation
- proxemics and the relational and emotional challenges when working with the patient's body
- communication of bad news and the SPIKES protocol
- the process of grief according to E Kubler-Ross
- the main defense mechanisms used by patients and healthcare professionals
Teaching methods
Lectures, group discussions, group works, video review.
The lesson's slides and educational material will be available on Ariel
Teaching Resources
EA. Moja, E Vegni. (2000) La visita medica centrata sul paziente. Raffaello Cortina Editore
Theories and science of education and social education
Course syllabus
- The key concepts in general pedagogy (theory and methods of the educational process; lifelong learning; social aspects of education; etc.)
- The education-related aspects within an interpersonal care relationship (therapeutic education as a part of the care and rehabilitation process; relational and communication issues; engagement of the person cared for as well as of the social and professional network)
- Communication skills that enable effective activation of a therapeutic alliance (empathy; capability to listen; verbal and nonverbal languages)
- Narrative medicine
Teaching methods
Lectures, team work, analysis of case studies, videos, role playing
Teaching Resources
Slides and class notes
Developmental and educational psychology
Course syllabus
Definition of human development
- Piaget's theory of cognitive development
- Bowlby's attachment theory
- Erikson's model of psychosocial development
- the family life cycle stages.
- the impact of the disease on the development tasks and the family life cycle.
Teaching methods
Lectures, group discussions, group works, video review.
The lesson's slides and educational material will be available on Ariel
Teaching Resources
Léonie Sugarman. Psicologia del ciclo di vita. Modelli teorici e strategie di intervento. Raffaello Cortina Editore
BIO/10 - BIOCHEMISTRY - University credits: 2
Lessons: 20 hours
Professor: Samaja Michele
Clinical psychology
M-PSI/08 - CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY - University credits: 1
Lessons: 10 hours
Developmental and educational psychology
Lessons: 10 hours
Experimental biology
BIO/13 - EXPERIMENTAL BIOLOGY - University credits: 2
Lessons: 20 hours
Professor: Gallina Andrea
General psychology
M-PSI/01 - GENERAL PSYCHOLOGY - University credits: 1
Lessons: 10 hours
Medical genetics
MED/03 - MEDICAL GENETICS - University credits: 1
Lessons: 10 hours
Theories and science of education and social education
Lessons: 10 hours