Degree course: 
Corso di First cycle degree in BIOTECHNOLOGY
Academic year when starting the degree: 
Academic year in which the course will be held: 
Course type: 
Supplementary compulsory subjects
Second semester
Standard lectures hours: 
Detail of lecture’s hours: 
Lesson (40 hours), Laboratory (16 hours)

For an effective understanding of the topics of the teaching course, students are encouraged to have previous knowledge in: Biochemistry, Microbiology, Molecular Biology, Cellular Biotechnology and Microbial Biotechnology.

Final Examination: 

The examination is organized in a 2-hour written exam with open answers, concerning scientific topics discussed during theoretical lessons. One question regards topics examined during laboratory practice. The final score is given in 30ies: the examination is successful with a score ≥ 18/30.
Besides the scientific correctness of given answers, the final evaluation takes into consideration also the consistence and linearity of answers and the usage of an appropriate scientific language. A complete, clear, and well organized answer, showing a good knowledge of the course contents and the capacity to perform critical analyses will be evaluated with an excellent score. A partial knowledge of the topics and/or a superficial answer demonstrating a limited understanding of the focal points requested will receive an intermediate grade. A limited knowledge of the course content, supported by inappropriate language will result in a barely sufficient evaluation.

Voto Finale

Teaching goal: The goal of these lectures is to provide students with knowledges relative to applicative aspects of biotechnological processes through detailed analysis of molecular, physiological, and fermentative approaches used for industrial production and application of enzymes, vitamins, and proteins. Students are encouraged to deepen their knowledges of microbial biotechnologies, as well as of traditional and innovative fermentative processes.

Learning outcome: At the end of the teaching course, students will be able to:
- Describe the main microbial and enzymatic processes used for production and biotransformation of molecules and goods of industrial interest
- Understand fundamental elements concerning process technologies for the production of biomolecules of biotechnological interest
- Classify producer microorganisms and employed technologies
- Transfer acquired knowledges relative to the design, conceptualization, and management of microbial and enzymatic processes for the production of biotechnologically-relevant products
- Apply acquired know-how for biotechnological research in industrial field

Biological processes have been employed in food and pharmaceutical industries since long time ago. More recent is their application for environmental protection and energy production. The lectures provide an overview on the biotechnological sector and more deeply on processes used for enzyme and protein production and for identification of novel biocatalysts, as well as representative examples of microbe and enzyme applications in industries, environment, diagnosis. Examples of bioconversion processes for products of pharmaceutical and food interest are described, too.
In particular, the teaching course is focused on:
- Introduction to biotechnological processes
- Homologous and heterologous expression of proteins
- Extremophiles and metagenomics as sources of novel enzymes
- Production and application of enzymes for industrial (food, textile, detergents, etc), environmental (bioremediation, plastic biodegradation etc) and diagnostic purposes
- Production and application of therapeutic proteins
- Bioconversions (vitamins, flavors, steroids)

The activities of laboratory practices concern the expression of a recombinant enzyme of industrial interest in the model organism Escherichia coli and in the evaluation of a possible industrial application.

Slides for lessons and practical activities (introductive part and protocols), as well as scientific papers are provided by the lecturer through E-learning web-site
Optional books:
Brown, Biotecnologie Molecolari: Principi e tecniche, Zanichelli (2nd edition)
Demain and Davies, Manual of Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology


The course includes theoretical lessons (5 CFU) and lab activities (1 CFU).
Theoretical lessons are performed using ppt presentations showed during the lesson hours, eventually supported with short explanatory videos. Depending on the availability of biotechnological companies located nearby Varese, a lesson might be held on site.
Lab activities include introductory lessons and practical activities, which are held in the Experimental Biology Labs in via Dunant, 3.
During practical activities, students are divided in small groups of 3-4 people, and each group has a bench to perform experiments. Students are provided with the protocols necessary to follow the activities, too. During practical lab, the professor and at least one assistant are present in the lab to guarantee assistance. The participation to practical activities is compulsory and absences are allowed for a maximum of 25% of total hours.

Students can meet the professor in her office in via Dunant 3 by previous email appointment at