MOLECULAR BASIS OF DISEASES AND DEFENSIVE ANSWERS
Learning outcomes of the course unit
The fundamental objective of the course is to provide students with the acquisition of conceptual and scientific tools to explain the mechanisms underlying disease and the response of organisms to biological damage. The understanding of these topics, integrated with those of other basic teachings, will allow students to apply their knowledge in order to better understand more specific teachings and to elaborate projects in the field of biotechnology.
Knowledge of molecular biology is strongly recommended
Course contents summary
The course will provide the essential elements concerning the molecular mechanisms of diseases and devensive responses. Examples of some genetic and metabolic diseases highly frequent in humans will be provided. Some of the most frequent genetic diseases in the human species and the methods of diagnosis of genetic and chromosomal disorders will be described in detail.
Intrinsic causes of disease: single-gene disorders with classic and non classic inheritance; multifactorial diseases; cytogenetic disorders.
Pathophysiology of tissue injury and repair. The response to tissue injury. Acute and chronic inflammation. Events, mechanisms, types and evolution of the inflammatory process. Chemical mediators of inflammation. Types of inflammatory lesions. Tissue repair and regeneration: Stem cells and tissue regeneration. Tissue repair and its alterations; Wound healing; Fibrosis. Atherosclerosis.
Oncology. Definitions, nomenclature, epidemiology. Tumor etiology. Heredity and tumors. The cell cycle: control mechanisms and their alterations. Stem cells and cancer. Protooncogenes, oncogenes and oncoproteins. Oncosuppressor genes and their products. Altered DNA repair mechanisms and tumors. Defects of apoptosis and cancer. Intiation and promotion. The neoplastic cell. Tumor progression. Tumor angiogenesis. Invasivity. Metastasis.
Metabolic disorders: Disorders of lipid metabolism; Disorders of carbohydrate metabolism: metabolic alterations in diabetes.
The immune response. The Major Histocompatibility Complex. Innate immunity: Phagocitosis; Complement activation. Specific Immunity: Cell-mediated Immunity. Antigen recognition and effector functions of T lymphocytes. Humoral Immunity. Immunoglobulin types. Antigen recognition and effector functions of immunoglobulins. The memory of immune system.
Kumar, Abbas, Fausto, Aster. Robbins and Cotran Pathologic Basis of Disease. 8th Edition, Elsevier
During the lectures will be explained, with the help of slides prepared by the teacher which will be available for the students, the pathogenic mechanisms of the diseases and the mechanisms of response to injury. The course will be supported by laboratory exercises. The exercises will be addressed to small groups, and will aim to teach the student some basic laboratory techniques. These activities will be planned so as to allow each student to use independently the laboratory material.
Assessment methods and criteria
The assessment of learning outcomes will be made through oral examination, during which the student will be asked questions on at least two different topics of the Program examination. The test will be considered positive only if the student will be able to answer both questions in a satisfactory manner, demonstrating in-depth knowledge and appropriate understanding. The final grade will take into account the evaluation of two different teachers who make up the Board of Examiners.