Degree course: 
Corso di Second cycle degree in BIOMEDICAL SCIENCES
Academic year when starting the degree: 
Academic year in which the course will be held: 
Course type: 
Compulsory subjects, characteristic of the class
Standard lectures hours: 
Detail of lecture’s hours: 
Lesson (80 hours)

In order to follow the course, an adequate knowledge of cell and molecular biology, biochemistry and physiology is required.

Final Examination: 

Oral exams. For the exam, the student will prepare a presentation on one of the topics discussed during the course. The students will be provided with a list of specific topics, among which they will chose one for the preparation of a presentation. Updated reviews and research articles for the presentation will be provided on each topic. The students will need to further search on PubMed for additional research articles on the topic of interest to personalise their presentation.
The students need to demonstrate:
 sufficient knowledge of the specific topic presented
 the ability to discuss cutting edge molecular techniques
 the correct use of scientific terms
 to be able to make connections between the topics covered during the course and those not included in the presentation
To pass the exam, the student needs to get a score of at least 18/30

Voto Finale

The aim of the course, in the first part, is to introduce students to the theory of advanced methods used to investigate cellular and molecular mechanisms of cell function and human diseases. In the second part, the course will introduce the biology of stem cells and their use for studying and treating diseases.
At the end of the course, the students will be able to:
 evaluate which biomedical technique might be better for a specific experimental planning,
 autonomously read and interpret front line biological and biotechnological literature and infer general theories from the study of their contents
 discuss with peers and academic staff about the biological impact of the use of gene editing, embryonic and induced stem cells, and in vitro fertilization techniques
 describe the relevance of the biology of stem cells and their utility in medicine.
 handle the theory of the recent advanced investigation methods in cellular and molecular biology and stem cell research.
 achieve skills in the areas of information retrieval and basic bioinformatics and have developed a self-responsible learning approach of these scientific topics
This course will also provide the students with the opportunity to work in a team environment developing communication skills by effective interaction with peers and academic staff.
By tackling cutting-edge molecular techniques in the biomolecular field, the Advances in biomedicine course, inserted in the first semester of the first year of the Master's degree in Biomedical sciences, provides the student with an in-depth knowledge of recent cutting-edge molecular methodologies and their contextualization in basic biology studies of human tissues and diseases.

In the first part of the course through lectures, the students will learn how recent advanced techniques have improved the knowledge of the main pathways related to the biology of cancer processes and some neurodegenerative diseases, taken as examples. A section of the course will focus on the theoretical aspects of the use of these techniques for preventive medicine, with particular reference to environmental molecular epidemiology.
In the second part, the students will learn to discuss how the biology of embryonic and adult stem cells and their capacity to self-renew and to generate multiple mature cell types, and their therapeutic potential. A specific section will be dedicated to in vitro fertilization.

Section 1: Theoretical aspects and basic methods of new technical approaches in biomedicine
1) Theoretical basis of the use of -omics technologies for approaching un-answered questions in the cellular and molecular pathways in basic biology and in noncommunicable diseases, such as cancer and neurodegenerative disorders.
2) Gen-omics, epigen-omics and transcript-omics. ChIP, ChIP-seq (to assess genome-wide single protein accessibility to chromatin), ATAC-seq (to assess genome-wide chromatin accessibility)
3) Basic bioinformatics for DNA and RNA sequence retrieval and alignment
4) Manipulating the genome: Gene Editing, OGM techniques and CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing
5) Immunofluorescence and cell sorting
Section 2: The use of -omics approaches in preventive medicine
1) Basics of preventive medicine: primary, secondary and tertiary prevention
2) The exposome and noncommunicable diseases: the use of -omics approaches to investigate at the epidemiological level the correlation between environmental exposure and noncommunicable diseases.
Section 3: Stem cells and regenerative medicine
A) Stem cell biology
1. The biology of embryonic and adult stem cells, from toti-potency to mono-potency, through pluri- and multi-potency: a) Prenatal Stem Cells (embryonic + fetal stem cells); b) Postnatal Stem Cells (umbilical cord + placental); c) Adult Cells (post-natal + full grown)
2. Epigenetic reprogramming events during gametogenesis and embryo formation (pre-implantation).
3. Dynamic Pluripotent Stem Cell States
B) Using Stem Cells to study and to treat diseases
1. Strategies of Reprogramming Somatic Cells: Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS)
2. The Molecular Circuitry of Pluripotency and Nuclear Reprogramming
3. 3D structures, organoids: Modelling Human Development and Disease with Organoids
4. In vivo cellular reprogramming: Induced pluripotent stem cells versus trans-differentiation
5. Assisted reproductive technology: In vitro fertilization to overcome infertility

There is no textbook. The students will be provided with freely available basic textbooks together with scientific reviews and research articles on the various topics discussed during the course.
Additional material on the topics (review and research papers) will be provided during the course and necessary for the final exam.
The contents of the lessons will be available in e-learning.


The course topics will be dealt with lectures-style instruction with the use of electronic presentations and the use of computers for basic bioinformatics.
Each lesson will be subdivided in three rounds of 50min each, two breaks of 10min and 15 minutes of discussion with the students on the topics covered, for a total of three hours.
Working groups will be organized on specific issues related to the course topics.

The teacher receives the students after each lesson and by appointment.