Universitat Internacional de Catalunya

Cell and Molecular Biology

Cell and Molecular Biology
Second semester
Main language of instruction: Spanish

Other languages of instruction: Catalan, English

Teaching staff

Students can make an appointment with the teacher when they deem convenient through the email: 

Miquel Bosch: miquelbosch@uic.es


This course aims to address the molecular mechanisms of cell function as a fundamental unit of biology. It is a theoretical course of cytology oriented to basic scientific knowledge. It will deal in detail with the relationship between the structure and the function of the cell, its anatomical components (membrane, nucleus, cytoplasm, internal organelle, etc.) and the main physiological processes (cell division, protein synthesis and transport, cell signaling, homeostasis, differentiation, cell death, etc.). The flow of genetic information through the replication, transcription and translation processes, as well as their corresponding regulatory mechanisms, will be explained. The subject will also give us an overview of the use of energy, communication of the cell with its environment, as well as the different experimental techniques in cellular and molecular biology. Finally, it is intended that the student become familiar with the scientific method, the search for scientific information and the interpretation of research articles

Pre-course requirements

Chemistry and Biochemistry from the first semester.


The objectives of this course are:

- That the student acquires an integrated knowledge of the morphological structures of the eukaryotic cell, the molecular mechanisms of cell physiology, and of how cells interact with their environment.

- Explain the molecular mechanisms of the flow of genetic information and its regulation.

- That the student becomes familiar with the experimental methodology applied in Molecular and Cellular Biology.

- That the student acquires contact with the scientific literature, to able to understand and interpret the results presented in a scientific paper.


  • CB1 - Students must demonstrate that they have and understand knowledge in an area of study based on general secondary education. This knowledge should be of a level that, although based on advanced textbooks, also includes some of the cutting-edge elements from their field of study.
  • CB3 - Students must have the ability to bring together and interpret significant data (normally within their area of study) and to issue judgements that include a reflection on important issues that are social, scientific or ethical in nature.
  • CE7 - To know how to recognise anatomy and physiology when applied to the structures Bioengineering involves.
  • CG10 - To know how to work in a multilingual and multidisciplinary environment.
  • CT4 - To be able to work as a member of an interdisciplinary team, whether as a member or by management tasks, with the aim of contributing to undertaking projects based on pragmatism and a feeling of responsibility, taking on commitment while bearing the resources available in mind.
  • CT5 - To use information sources in a reliable manner. To manage the acquisition, structuring, analysis and visualisation of data and information in your specialist area and critically evaluate the results of this management.

Learning outcomes

By completing this course the student should be able to acquire basic scientific knowledge about the mechanisms involved in the structure and function of cells and the molecular mechanisms of the flow of genetic information. Must be able to solve the exercises and problems raised throughout the syllabus by using the necessary tools and methodologies. Likewise, the student must become familiar with the methodology applied in Molecular and Cellular Biology, and be able to understand and interpret the results presented in a scientific article.



PART I- Introduction to the cell.

Lecture 1 - Presentation of the course of Cellular and Molecular Biology. Scientific Method.

Lecture 2 - Universal characteristics. Dogma of the flow of genetic information. Internal organization of the cell. Organelles.

Lecture 3 - Genomic diversity. Evolution of the cell. Prokaryotes and eukaryotes.

Lecture 4 - Problems on cell theory, diversity and cell evolution. Virus and extraterrestrial life.


PART II - Intracellular structures and functions I.

Lecture 5 - Plasma membrane. Membrane lipids and proteins.

Lecture 6 - Transmembrane transport. Transporters and channels.

Lecture 7 - Intracellular signaling. Receptors, ligands and signaling pathways.

Lecture 8 - Problems about membranes, transporters and signaling.

Lecture 9 - Endomembrane system I. Protein trafficking. Endoplasmic reticulum.

Lecture 10 - Endomembrane system II. Golgi apparatus. Exocytosis.

Lecture 11 - Endomembrane system III. Vesicular transport. Endosomes. Endocytosis. Lysosomes.

Lecture 12 - Problems on endomembranes and protein trafficking.

Lecture 13 - Bioenergetics: mitochondria, peroxisomes.

Lecture 14 - Coronavirus, Covid and mRNA-based vaccines.


PART III - Intracellular structures and functions II.

Lecture 15 - The cytoskeleton I. Actin filaments.

Lecture 16 - The cytoskeleton II. Microtubules.

Lecture 17 - The cytoskeleton III. Intermediate filaments.

Lecture 18 - Adhesion junctions and extracellular matrix.

Lecture 19 - Cell death: apoptosis.

Lecture 20 - The nucleus. Nucleolus. Chromatin. Nuclear membranes. Nuclear transport.

Lecture 21 - Cell cycle. Phases and control. Mitosis and meiosis.

Lecture 22 - Cancer.

Lecture 23 - Stem cells.


PART IV - Molecular Biology. Gene regulation.

Lecture 24 - DNA, chromosomes, genes and genome.

Lecture 25 - DNA replication, repair, and recombination.

Lecture 26 - Transcription of DNA into RNA. Transcriptional regulation.

Lecture 27 - Translation of RNA into protein. Ribosomes. Protein folding and degradation.

Lecture 28 - Control of gene expression. Post-transcriptional control.


Bibliography and resources

In english:

  • Alberts B. et al., Essential Cell Biology. Fourth edition (2013), or fifth edition (2018). Garland Science.
  • Alberts B, et al. Molecular Biology of the Cell. 6th edition. Garland Science, 2015.
  • Lodish H, et al. Molecular Cell Biology. 7th edition Macmillan Learning, 2013 (8th edition, 2016).

En español:

  • Alberts B. et al., Introducción a la Biología Celular, 3ª edición, Editorial Médica Panamericana SA, 2011
  • Alberts, B et al. Biología Molecular de la Célula. 6ª edición. Ediciones Omega 2016.
  • Lodish et al. Biología Celular y Molecular. 7ª edición. Editorial Médica Panamericana S.A. 2016.