Universitat Internacional de Catalunya

Molecular Biology

Molecular Biology
Second semester
Morfología, estructura y función del cuerpo humano
Biología molecular: fundamentos de biología
Main language of instruction: English

Other languages of instruction: Spanish

Teaching staff

Please use email to set an appointment.


Martí Aldea (maldea@uic.es)

Pedro M Aparicio (pmateosaparicio@uic.es)

Joan M Martínez (mlainez@uic.es)

Rocío Rojas (rrojas@uic.es)

Francisco J Tadeo (fjtadeo@uic.es)




Over the last 50 years, molecular biology has gone through the most unbelievable and dramatic revolution by far more important than any other scientific discipline. Biology, and, as a consequence, medicine, have to be written, analyzed and studied again, or, in others words, reconceived by using the new tools, technologies and all the new knowledge brought by molecular and cellular biology as well as by biochemistry, physics, and mathematics.

Pre-course requirements

Not applicable


We will provide the student with the scientific essentials and tools to understand gene function and its implications in the molecular basis of disease, with a focus on future developments in the practice of medicine.


You will understand the fundamental traits of gene function within the context of the diverse human genome and its implications in disease.

You will acquire the basic knowledge of molecular analysis tools and their applications to medical diagnostic assays.

  • 05 - Recognize own limitations and the need to maintain and upgrade professional skills, with particular emphasis on autonomous learning of new knowledge and skills and motivation for quality.
  • 06 - Develop professional practice with other health professionals, acquiring teamwork skills.
  • 07 - Understand and recognise normal structure and function of the human body at the molecular, cellular, tissue, and organ and systemetic levels, at different stages of life and in both sexes.
  • 09 - Understand and recognize the effects, mechanisms and manifestations of disease on the structure and function of the human body.
  • 10 - To understand and recognise the agents and risk factors which determine health status, and learn how they determine the symptoms and natural development of acute or chronic diseases in individuals and populations.
  • 25 - Recognize the determinants of public health; genetic and sex-dependent lifestyle, demographic, environmental, social, economic, psychological and cultural determinants.
  • 31 - Understand, critically evaluate and know how to use sources of clinical and biomedical information to obtain, organize, interpret and communicate scientific and health care information.
  • 32 - Know how to use information and communication technology in clinical, therapeutic, preventive health care and research.
  • 34 - Ability for critical thinking, creativity and constructive skeptisim with a focus on research within professional practice.
  • 35 - Understand the importance and limitations of scientific thinking in the study, prevention and treatment of disease.
  • 36 - Be able to formulate hypotheses, collect and critically evaluate information for problem solving using the scientific method.
  • 37 - Acquire basic training for research.
  • CB-1 - To have acquired advanced knowledge and demonstrated, within the context of highly specialised scientific and technological research, detailed comprehension based on theoretical and practical aspects and a working methodology from one or more fields of study.
  • CB-2 - To know how to apply and incorporate knowledge, an understanding of it and its scientific basis and the ability to solve problems in new and loosely defined environments, including multidisciplinary contexts that include both researchers and highly specialised professionals.
  • CB-3 - To know how to evaluate and select the appropriate scientific theories and precise methodologies required by their field of study to make judgements based on incomplete or limited information. Where necessary and appropriate, this includes a reflection on the ethical and social responsibility linked to the solution suggested in each case.
  • CB-5 - To transmit in a clear and unambiguous way to a specialised or non-specialised audience, the results of scientific and technological research projects and innovation from the field of the most advanced innovation, as well as the most important concepts which they are based on.
  • CB-7 - To be able to take responsibility for their own professional development and specialisation in one or more fields of study.
  • CTI-1 - To know how to communicate effectively through written and oral communication in a foreign language that will allow them to work in an international context.
  • CTS-2 - To demonstrate sensitivity to environmental issues and act accordingly.
  • CTS-3 - To promote and ensure respect for human rights and the principles of universal accessibility, equality, non-discrimination as well as the values of democracy and a culture of peace.

Learning outcomes

The proposed theoretical competences and the abilities in knowledge integration and self-directed learning. 


Lectures (L)
The human genome: structure and organization
Genome replication and dynamics
Gene manipulation and animal models of human pathology
Gene control by DNA-protein interactions
Multilevel transcriptional regulation in human
Splicing and its regulation
Molecular bases of translation
Spatial and temporal control of translation
Protein folding, prions and neurodegenerative diseases
Omics - the new paradigm in precision medicine
Human gene therapy

Active learning (AL)
Looking at the human genome
DNA analysis and manipulation by PCR
Gene cloning by recombination
Finding transcriptional clues on DNA
Splicing RNA and coding diversity
Inspecting open reading frames
Linking gene variability and illness

Clinical cases (CC)
Paradigmatic human genetic diseases and key methodologies in biomedicine

Lab practice (LP)
Recombinant DNA and protein production with molecular biology techniques

Teaching and learning activities

In person

Lectures (L)
Lectures are used to transmit cutting-edge information, synthesize information across a range/variety of material, promote understanding via explanations of particularly difficult concepts, respond to misconceptions or difficulties, and stimulate students with thought-provoking questions. 

Active learning (AL)
Guided by an instructor, students acquire essential concepts of gene structure and function by active learning approaches with computer-aided methodologies. The goals of AL are to help the students develop self-directed learning skills.

Clinical cases (CC)
Paradigmatic cases of human genetic diseases and key methodologies in biomedicine are presented and discussed with students in small groups, guided by the instructor.
Lab practice (LP)
Experimental laboratory work on recombinant DNA and protein production with molecular biology techniques.

Evaluation systems and criteria

In person

Midterm exam on covered lectures and active learning sessions (20% of the overall mark)
Lab practice exam (10% of the overall mark)
Final exam on all contents of lectures, active learning and clinical cases (60% of the global mark)
Attendance and participation (10% of the overall grade)

The midterm and final exams consist of short answer questions to assess knowledge integration and comprehension, and questions with 4 options where errors are counted as -0.33.

A mark of 5 is needed in the final exam to pass the subject, and an overall grade of “very good” or higher will require a very satisfactory assessment of attendance and participation in all activities of the subject.

Bibliography and resources

Lewin’s Essential GENES
Krebs JE et al (2020), Jones & Bartlett

Molecular Biology of the Cell 7th ed
Alberts B et al (2019), Garland

Molecular Cell Biology 9th ed
Lodish H et al (2021), Freeman

Biochemistry 9th ed
Berg JM et al (2018), Freeman

Lecture notes
Essential concepts and definitions


Evaluation period

E: exam date | R: revision date | 1: first session | 2: second session:
  • E1 02/06/2023 09:00h

Teaching and learning material