Developmental Biology and Animal Models of Disease


This course aims to give the student a thorough overview of Developmental Biology, giving a current knowledge of the genetic, molecular and morphogenetic basis of animal embryonic development.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

José António Henriques de Conde Belo


Weekly - Available soon

Total - Available soon

Teaching language





- Scott Gilbert: Developmental Biology, 10ª edição, Sinauer Associates, 2013.

- Jonathan M. W. Slack: Essential Developmental Biology, Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, 3Rd Ed. Edition, 2012

- Langman's Medical Embryology, T. W. Sadler, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 12th Edition, 2013.

- Gary C. Schoenwolf: Larsen's Human Embryology, Churchill Livingstone, 4th Edition, 2008

- Embriologia Funcional - O Desenvolvimento dos Sistemas Funcionais do Organismo Humano, Rohen, Johannes W., Lotjen-Drecoll, Elke. Editora Guanabara Koogan AS, Rio de Janeiro, 2ª Edição, 2005

Teaching method

One third of the classes will be related with syllabus teaching, being available for students all slides used in the classes. Students will also have the opportunity to undertake practical work that will be very important to better understand and visualize the methodologies of work and research in Developmental Biology. There will also be an important component of presentation of research seminars delivered by field experts. A significant part of the teaching time will be devoted to the presentation and discussion of various scientific articles, provided by the teachers. The presentations of papers will be performed by the students.

Evaluation method

The evaluation will be done through a presentation / discussion on a matter related to the discipline (75% of grade) and the presentation of a paper (25% of grade).

Subject matter


Basic concepts in Developmental Biology

Introduction to Drosophila, Chicken, Xenopus, Zebrafish, and Mouse as model systems.

Gene expression and Cell differentiation

Gene expression and body patterning.

Establishment of body axis in vertebrates.

Mechanism of induction of head formation.

Establishment of Left-right asymmetry.


Regulation of cell polarization and cell adhesion

Polarized and transepithelial cell migration.

Tissue morphogenesis and organogenesis.

Wound healing and tissue regeneration..

Regulation of cell proliferation and stem cell niche

Mitosis, regulation of tissue proliferation, and growth.

Germ line segregation and regulation of the germ line stem cells niche.

Generation of animal models of disease.


Programs where the course is taught: