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Informazioni aggiuntive

Course Curriculum CFU Length(h)
[40/39]  MEDICINE AND SURGERY [39/00 - Ord. 2015]  PERCORSO COMUNE 12 120


Knowledge of the biomolecules as the organic compounds from which living organism are constructed and that derived from biological activities. Knowledge of structure, properties, function, interactions and metabolism of biomolecules.
The student has to know the characteristics of the biomolecules (carbohydrates, lipids, nucleotides, amino acids and proteins, vitamins) and their behavior in biological systems, their properties and their transformations. Especially, he will have to know some proteins of biomedical interest by evaluating their functional role. The student has to know the main pathways of energy metabolism, their integration and regulation in order to correctly interpret the physiological and pathological processes at the molecular level, the goal of more advanced courses.
The student has to know about genes and genomes structure and function, mammalian gene expression and technologies for DNA analysis in edical Sciences.
The student has to describe in a clear, comprehensive and appropriate scientific language the knowledge learned during the course.
Knowledge and understanding:
To know the structure of the biomolecules, their reactivity, and their functions and in particular the structure and the physiological properties of myoglobin and hemoglobin. To know the general functions of the enzymes, the kinetic properties and the mechanisms of regulation of the enzymatic activity. To know the catabolic and anabolic pathways involved in energy metabolism, their compartmentalization in organs and tissues in humans. Understanding of the mechanisms that regulate metabolism and knowledge of the role played by enzymes, mechanisms of inhibition and modulation of their activity. Understanding of metabolic regulation at the cellular level and of metabolic integration.
Applying knowledge and understanding:
The student will be able to:
-apply the chemical bases of the discipline to analyze the ways in which biochemistry and molecular biology can account for human health and diseases and apply the acquired knowledge as a starting point for the study of subsequent biological disciplines such as Physiology and Pathology.
- apply the acquired knowledge to the understanding of the structure-function relationship of the biomolecules, to the understanding of the metabolic processes underlying the production and conservation of the chemical energy and its transformations, to understanding of the biomolecular processes associated with nucleic acids.

Making judgements:
The student will be able to discern between fundamental and complementary topics, identifying the logical thread underlying the rational study of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and avoiding the merely mnemonic acquisition of definitions, schemes, equations, graphs and structural formulas;
Communication skills:
The student will be able to explain the course topics using formalism, language and vocabulary typical of the disciplines. Interact with the teacher arguing the salient points of the study program, with the necessary detail. Thanks to the interacting lessons will also be able to interact profitably with colleagues.
Ability to learn:
The interaction with the teacher, the self-assessment tests, and the teaching material (lesson slides, online exercises) will provide the student with the tools necessary for the fruitful, reasoned and non-mnemonic learning of the discipline.


Basic scientific knowledge of Chemistry, Propedeutical Biochemistry, Biology and Genetics.


Introduction to biochemistry (biomolecules; water effect on dissolved biomolecules; weak interactions in aqueous systems).
Structure and function of carbohydrates (monosaccharides, disaccharides, polysaccharides; proteoglycans, glycoproteins and glycolipids).
Structure and function of lipid (fatty acids, storage lipids, structural lipids in membranes, cholesterol; lipids with specific biological activity; fat-soluble vitamins; lipoproteins).
Structure and function of proteins (aminoacids and peptide bond; peptides and proteins; primary, secondary, tertiary and quaternary structure; alfa-keratin, collagen and elastin; myoglobin and haemoglobin; oxygen and carbon dioxide transport; immunoglobulins).
Structure and function of water-soluble vitamins and their coenzymatic derivatives.
Enzymes (apoenzyme, cofactors and coenzymes, holoenzyme; enzyme-substrate complex and active site; enzymatic reaction mechanisms; enzyme kinetics; enzyme classification; several factors that affect the rate of enzyme-catalyzed reactions; enzyme activity regulation).
Introduction to metabolism (endergonic and exergonic reactions; catabolic and anabolic pathways; energy production and consumption in metabolism; role of ATP and other phosphorilated compounds; metabolism integration and regulation).
Carbohydrate metabolism (glycolysis and gluconeogenesis; alcohol and lactic fermentations and pyruvate oxidation to acethyl-CoA; the pentose phosphate pathway; glycogen lysis and glycogen synthesis).
Lipid metabolism (digestion, mobilization and transport; fatty acids: activation and transport into mitochondria; β-oxidation of saturated/unsaturated fatty acids, with even/odd number of carbon atoms; propyonyl-CoA fate; ketones bodies: formation and utilization; biosynthesis of cholesterol and fatty acids).
Aminoacid metabolism (transamination and oxidative deamination; amino acid carbon skeletons oxidation: glucogenic and ketogenic amino acids; metabolic fates of amino groups;; urea cycle; amino acid converted to biological amines by decarboxilation).
Energy production (citric acid cycle, oxidative phosphorilation: mitochondrial respiratory chain, mitochondrial electron flow coupled to proton gradient; ATP synthase complex; shuttle systems for mitochondrial oxidation of cytosolic NADH).
Nucleic acids: Structure and function
DNA hybridization, molecular probes
Restrictions enzymes, Southern blotting
Cloning vectors, genomic libraries
Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)
Molecular methods for mutations detection
DNA sequencing by Sanger’s Method and Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) Methods
Transcriptional regulation and gene expression in eukaryotes:
Trascriptional initiation complex: assembling and regulation
Controlling chromatin structure: remodeling complexes and chromatin modifiers
DNA methyation and genomic imprinting, imprinting diseases and molecular diagnosis
PremRNA maturation and gene expression regulation:
One gene many proteins: alternative splicing, promoter selection, RNA editing, start translation selection.
Post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression:
Cytoplasmic regulation of mRNA degradation
RNA interference
The immune system: somatic DNA recombination and genes expression.
Human Genome sequencing and its implications for human health.
DNA polymorphisms: use of minisatellites and microsatellites as polymorphic DNA markers, linkage analysis, GWAS, DNA databases, personal identification and paternity investigations. Genomics, Transcriptomics, Proteomics, Farmacogenomics

Teaching Methods

Lectures: The course of Biochemistry is divided in two phases. The first involves the treatment of the fundamental concepts of structural biochemistry and the description of the classes of biomolecules and their structure and function. The second involves the study of the principal metabolic pathways related to the energy production and consumption, catabolic and anabolic pathways, metabolism integration and regulation.
Exercises: exercises are related to solving quiz tests with multiple-choice questions, biomolecules structure,
Tutoring: supporting the study, the solution of exercises and tests.
The course of Molecular Biology is divided in two phases: 26 hours of lectures and 4 hours of interactive teaching focused on the applications of molecular technologies in the field of medical sciences.

Verification of learning

The knowledge and ability acquired by students will be assessed through written test (ongoing assessment) and a final oral exam. The ongoing assessments (during classes) include multiple-choice tests and exercises (similar to those done during classes) linked to the lessons content.
The ongoing tests with positive score will be part of the final assessment. The students who doesn’t pass the ongoing test, as well as who want have higher score, can take an oral exam the test again.
The knowledge and ability acquired by students will be assessed through a oral or written test.

The final assessment is made on the basis of ongoing assessment and oral exam.
It will be assessed:
 quality of the students’ knowledge, skills, competences and ability to apply knowledge and understanding (appropriateness, correctness and consistency)
 appropriate use of the specific language of the discipline, logical skills and inherent consequentiality in communicating, logic capacity and consequential of contents, ability to connect different subjects by finding the common points and establish a consistent overall design, i.e. taking care of structure, organization and logical connections of speech
 capacity of synthesis, ability to summarize also through the use of the graphic expression of notions and concepts for example in form of diagrams, graphs, formulas, schemes, equations.
 ability of self-evaluation, availability to exchange and interact with the teacher during interactive lessons and exam, critical thinking;
The judgment can be:
Sufficient (from 18 to 20/30)
The candidate demonstrates little acquisition of theoretical knowledge, superficial level, many gaps. Modest communicative abilities, but still sufficient to support a coherent dialogue, logical capacity and consequentiality in fitting the subjects of elementary level; poor capacity of synthesis and rather stunted ability of graphical expression, scanty interaction with the teacher during the interview.
Moderate (21 to 23)
The applicant demonstrates a moderate acquisition of knowledge but lack of expatiation, a few gaps; communicative abilities more than sufficient to support a coherent dialogue; acceptable mastery of the scientific language, logical capacity and consequentiality in fitting the subjects of moderate complexity, good enough capacity of synthesis and acceptable ability of graphical expression.
Good (24 to 26)
The candidate demonstrates a rather large wealth of knowledge, moderate in-depth, with some gaps; satisfactory mastery of the communicative abilities and meaningful scientific language; dialogical ability and critical thinking well detectable, good capacity of synthesis and more than acceptable ability of graphical expression.
Outstanding (27 to 29)
The candidate demonstrates a very extensive wealth of notions, high in-depth, with marginal gaps; remarkable ability in communicating and high mastery of scientific language; remarkable dialogical capacity, good competence and relevant aptitude for logical synthesis, high capacity of synthesis and graphical expression.
Excellent (30)
The candidate demonstrates a wealth of very extensive and in-depth knowledge, no gaps, high capacity and high mastery in communicating through the scientific language; excellent dialogical ability and marked aptitude to make connections among different subjects, excellent ability to synthesize and very familiar with the graphical expression.
The praise is attributed to the candidates clearly above average.


Nelson-Cox; Lehninger Principles of Biochemistry
Voet-Voet-Pratt; Fundamentals of Biochemistry
Garrett-Grisham; Principles of Biochemistry
Mathews-Van Holden-Appling-AnthonyCahill; Biochemistry
Devlin; Biochemistry with clinical correlation
J.D.Watson, Biologia Molecolare del Gene, Ed. Zanichelli
F.Amaldi, Biologia Molecolare-II edizione, Casa Editrice Ambrosiana
B.Lewin, Il gene X, Ed. Zanichelli
N.L.Craig, Biologia molecolare:principi di funzionamento del genoma, Ed. Pearson

More Information

The PowerPoint presentations of lectures and exercise are available.
Teachers are available for meeting by appointment.

Questionnaire and social

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