NBIK14034U Molecular Neurobiology

Volume 2024/2025

MSc Programme in Biochemistry

MSc Programme in Biology


The course describes the molecular basis of our nervous system. Basic knowledge of biochemistry and molecular biology is needed to be able to follow this class. The course starts with an introduction of basal neurobiology. We then discuss the protein structures and physiological actions of the Na+, K+, Ca2+ and Cl- channels. Subsequently, we discuss the biochemical aspects of synaptic transmission: exocytosis/endocytosis, the various neurotransmitters, their biosynthesis and break-down, neurotransmitter transporters and neurotransmitter receptors, and the different second messenger systems. Neuropharmacology: How do neuroleptica, anxiolytica, sedativa, mood lifters, viagra, and the various euphoric drugs act? Furthermore, topics like neuroendocrinology, smell, taste, and vision and, consciousness (who am I?) are discussed. The course also describes how it is, to work at a pharmaceutical company (Lundbeck A/S), while scientists from other pharmaceutical industries will be asked to give guest lectures. 

Learning Outcome

After the course the student will be able to understand and apply the following:


  • The most important proteins that steer action potentials
  • The way neurotransmitters and their receptors act
  • How neurotransmitter transporters act
  • How second messenger and proteins that are involved in their signaling cascades act
  • How the most important neuroactive drugs act
  • The molecular basis of smell, taste, and vision
  • How the various neuroendocrine systems act


This course will supply the student with up-to-date information of all the modules that build up our nervous system. The course will enable the student to read and understand scientific literature about the brain.


By participating in this class, the student will gain up-to-date knowledge about molecular neurobiology. This knowledge can be applied on many occasions, for example if you want to study psychology, or want to start a research project on animal behavior, or if you are just interested in the way your own brain and body function.

All BSc students, provided that the candidate has passed a course comparable to the content of the book "Essential Cell Biology" (Bruce Alberts et al.) or passed a course in cell biology or physiology.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 42
  • Preparation
  • 163,5
  • Exam
  • 0,5
  • Total
  • 206,0
Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Oral examination, 20 minutes (no preparation time)
Exam registration requirements

Attendance at minimum 80% of the lectures is mandatory.


Without aids
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Several internal examiners/co-examiners

Same as the ordinary exam.

If the requirement of 80% attendance in lectures is not fulfilled, a written report on one of the course topics must be handed in and approved by the teacher no later than three weeks before the reexam.

Criteria for exam assesment

For passing the examination, the student should convincingly and accurately demonstrate the knowledge, skills and competences described under Learning Outcome.