NBIK15009U Cellular Signalling in Health and Disease

Volume 2016/2017

MSc Programme in Biology
MSc Programme in Biochemistry
MSc Programme in Biology-Biotechnology


See under "Learning outcome"

Learning Outcome

By attending the course, the student will achieve:


The course provides the student with a detailed and comprehensive knowledge on how signaling systems control specified cellular and physiological processes during development and in tissue homeostasis (see also "Criteria for exam assessment"). The course presents the latest research within selected research areas on cell-cell communication and how signaling pathways are integrated into higher order networks that dictate the biological output of pathway activity. This will provide knowledge into how aberrant regulation of cell signaling is coupled to developmental disorders as well as diseases in the adult.


The course covers theoretical and experimental knowledge based on text books, original articles and review papers such that the student will be able to analyze, interpret and evaluate experimental data obtained from cell biological research that covers the criteria for exam assessment (please see "Criteria for exam assessment").


The student is competent to understand, interpret and integrate the complexity of cellular communication and signaling processes in cell biology.

See Absalon

It is recommended that students taking this course have a comprehensive knowledge in cell biology corresponding to the Master level for Biology, Biochemistry and Molecular Biomedicine students.
Morning lectures are followed by class teaching in the afternoon. Class teaching includes discussions of the lectures of the day, description of research techniques and methods, problem solving and discussions of research data. Reviews and original papers from scientific journals will accompany most lectures and class teaching.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Exam
  • 3
  • Lectures
  • 28
  • Preparation
  • 147
  • Theory exercises
  • 28
  • Total
  • 206
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written examination, 3 hours under invigilation
The course is evaluated with a 3-hour written open-book exam.
Written aids allowed

NB: If the exam is held at the ITX, the ITX will provide computers. Private computers, tablets or mobile phones CANNOT be brought along to the exam. Books and notes should be brought on paper or saved on a USB key.

Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship

As ordinary exam.

If ten or fewer students have signed up for re-exam, the type of assessment will be changed to oral exam 20 minutes with 20 minutes preparation time. All aids allowed.

Criteria for exam assesment

In order to obtain the grade 12 (Top grade for excellency) the student must be able to:

  • Describe and categorize individual signaling pathways regulated by G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs), including class F receptors in Hedgehog (Hh) and Wingless/Int (Wnt) signaling, Receptor and non-receptor tyrosine kinases, Transforming Growth Factor beta/Bone Morphogenic Protein (TGFβ/BMP) receptors, Receptor serine/threonine kinases (RS/TKs), cytokine receptors, and Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) receptors as well as pathways regulated through reactive oxygen species, Hippo signaling, adhesion molecules and the extracellular matrix.
  • Describe the specificity, activation kinetics and mechanisms of desensibilization/​downregulation of receptors in signal transduction, and explain the processes of lipid signaling and membrane microdomains in signal transduction.
  • Describe the role of reactive oxygen species in intracellular cell signaling, with emphasis on enzymes involved in their synthesis and elimination, cellular redox systems and downstream effector systems.
  • Describe mechanisms of the adaptive intracellular signaling pathways of the unfolded protein response (UPR).
  • Describe specific molecular mechanisms for viral evasion of immune detection and their relation to the ubiquitin-proteasome system.
  • Analyze, interpret and evaluate experimental data obtained from cell biological research.
  • Describe cellular signaling and pathway interactions that control specified cellular processes, and explain how dysregulation of signaling systems underlies pathophysiological conditions, including developmental disorders and disease such as cancer and ciliopathies.