Universitat Internacional de Catalunya

Protein and Genetic Engineering

Protein and Genetic Engineering
Second semester
Main language of instruction: English

Other languages of instruction: Catalan, Spanish

Teaching staff

Send an email to setup a meeting to::

Jennifer Olmos: jolmos@uic.es 

Alba Herrero: aherrerog@uic.es 


The course Protein and Genetic engineering focuses on how genetic editing strategies can be employed to obtain a desired protein or functional effect. It will start with the principal molecular biology dogma, deepen towards (epi)genetic regulation, protein creation and protein interactions. The second part of the course focuses on DNA detection and editing laboratory techniques, and how biomaterials are offering new strategies with Bioengineering purposes.

Pre-course requirements

The student should have successfully completed the subject of Cellular and Molecular Biology I and II


  • To understand basic and advanced genetic regulation
  • To understand protein generation and protein engineering strategies
  • To familiarize with protein databases and protein analysis software
  • To know the DNA detection and gene editing laboratory techniques
  • To know new advancements concerning biomaterials and genetic/protein delivery strategies


  • 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.
  • CB2 - Students must know how to apply their knowledge to their work or vocation in a professional way and have the competences that are demonstrated through the creation and defence of arguments and the resolution of problems within 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.
  • CB4 - Students can transmit information, ideas, problems and solutions to specialist and non-specialist audiences.
  • CE17 - To be able to identify the engineering concepts that can be applied in the fields of biology and health.
  • CE19 - To know how to select and apply material based on its properties and electric, magnetic, mechanical and chemical behaviour
  • CE21 - The ability to understand and apply biotechnological methodologies and tools to research, as well as to the development and production of products and services.
  • CE6 - To incorporate the foundations of science and materials technology, while taking into account the relationship between microstructure, synthesis or process and the properties of materials.
  • 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.
  • CG3 - To be able to learn new methods and theories and be versatile so as to adapt to new situations.
  • CG4 - To resolve problems based on initiative, be good at decision-making, creativity, critical reasoning and communication, as well as the transmission of knowledge, skills and prowess in the field of Bioengineering
  • CG7 - To analyse and evaluate the social and environmental impact of technical solutions
  • CT3 - To know how to communicate learning results to other people both verbally and in writing, and well as thought processes and decision-making; to participate in debates in each particular specialist areas.
  • 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.
  • CT6 - To detect gaps in your own knowledge and overcome this through critical reflection and choosing better actions to broaden your knowledge.
  • CT7 - To be fluent in a third language, usually English, with a suitable verbal and written level that is in line with graduate requirements.

Learning outcomes

Finalizing this course, the student will be able to:

  • Interpret genetic engineering strategies for clinical purposes
  • Design their own DNA editing strategy to obtain a desired protein
  • Interpret protein-protein interactions and how mutations affect them
  • Understand the different DNA detection techniques



1. Principles of molecular genetics

Molecular Biology Dogma: replication, transcription, translation

Prokaryotic and eukaryotic gene structure

2. Techniques in Genetic Engineering

Nucleic acids isolation and purification

DNA digestion and ligation

Restriction maps

Methods for DNA-binding

Modifying enzymes of nucleic acids

Main polymerases in Genetic Engineering


DNA labeling strategies

Nucleic acid and genic product detection methods

3. Gene cloning and types of vector

Gene cloning and types of cloning vectors

Cloning and expression vectors


PCR cloning and subcloning

4. Genome editing and applications

Heterologous expression of proteins

Directed mutagenesis


Genome editing systems: ZFN, TALENS, Crispr-Cas9

5. Genetic engineered-based biomaterials and tissue engineering

Principles of gene therapy

Biomaterials for gene therapy and tissue engineering

Genetically engineered biomaterials

Fusion proteins



Laboratory work handling bacterial plasmids, restriction enzymes, and electrophoresis to execute previously defined plasmid DNA restriction strategy




Protein structures

Protein databases

Bioengineering of therapeutic proteins

Teaching and learning activities

In person

The course will be divided mainly into master classes, problems and group project sessions, and laboratory sessions.


Classes will be taught in English. The didactic material will be presented mainly in English, although in some occasions, graphics, tables or schemes could be in Spanish due to the sources from which they could be obtained.


Eventually, the teacher could use the Moodle platform that could include various resources, such as forms, exercises, multimedia material ... that the student must complete to complete the subject.


The list of ECTS credits and the workload in learning hours depending on the different methodologies that will be used. Each ECTS theoretical credit has 10 hours in which the teacher has a presence in the classroom. The rest of the hours up to 25 correspond to the load of directed and autonomous learning of the student. This last teaching load can be done through autonomous activities, group work that will be presented and defended in class or individual study necessary to achieve the learning objectives of the different subjects.

Evaluation systems and criteria

In person

1st Call exam:

  1. Problems (25%)
  2. Midterm exam (30%)
  3. Debates (5%)
  4. Report and laboratory sessions attendance (10%)
  5. Final exam (30%)


A minimal mark of 5.0 should be obtained in the final exam and midterm in order to be taken for the calculation of the course average. The same evaluation criteria will be applied in the second sitting of the exam, without the possibility of obtaining a distinction with honors. In case of failure of the midterm exam, the student will have an extra exam the same day of the final exam.

Attendance is mandatory for all workgroup projects, problems, and laboratory sessions and must be higher than 90% to pass the course.

Assignments will not be accepted after the deadline and will only be accepted by Moodle and not by email, with the exception of the in-class problems/projects that only will be allowed during the session.

Important considerations

  1. Plagiarism, copying or any other action that may be considered cheating will be zero in that evaluation section. Besides, in exams it will mean the immediate failure of the whole subject.
  2. In the second-sitting exams, the maximum grade students will be able to obtain is "Excellent" (grade with honors distinction will not be possible).
  3. Changes of the calendar, exam dates or the evaluation system will not be accepted.
  4. Exchange students (Erasmus and others) or repeaters will be subjected to the same conditions as the rest of the students

Bibliography and resources

Genes, Benjamin Lewin, Oxford University Press, ISBN 019879276X, 9780198792765


The molecular biology of the cell, Bruce Alberts, Ww Norton & Co, ISBN 9780815344643


Gene cloning and DNA manipulation, T.A. Brown, John Wiley & Sons Inc,, ISBN 9781119072560


Principles of gene manipulation and genomics, S.B. Primrose and R.M. Twyman, Wiley-Blackwell publishing, ISBN 9781405135443

Evaluation period

E: exam date | R: revision date | 1: first session | 2: second session:
  • E1 25/05/2023 P2A02 14:00h