Chronic and Degenerative Diseases


This subject aims to give the student an updated background on the genetic, molecular and cellular mechanisms of a group of chronic and degenerative diseases as well as some rare diseases. Special attention will be given to the methods and tools used in fundamental research. It will be focused how experimental models (comprising in vitro and animal models) can be used as complements to patients’ samples. It will be taught the importance of applied research in exploring new therapies. There will be a very strong focus on the interaction between experimental and clinical research. In order to fulfil these objectives the lecturers will be both from fundamental research and clinical research.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Helena L. A. Vieira


Weekly - Available soon

Total - Available soon

Teaching language





Due to the enormous variety of diseases covered in the course, the main source of references will be the MedLine, PubMed and Google Schollar.

Teaching method

Two-thirds of the classes will be for lecturing the syllabus. All presentations will be available for students. There will also be an important component of presentation of research seminars delivered by renowned researchers in this field.

Students will also have the opportunity to undertake practical work. This will be very important to better understand and visualize the methodologies of research in Human Health and Chronic Disease and Degenerative Diseases. Students will present and discuss various scientific articles, provided by the teacher. Students will also be challenged to write a research project from a set of articles provided by the teacher (corresponding to the State of the Art) and shall propose scientific work to further develop the area.

Evaluation method

The assessment will be made upon presentation of a scientific paper (45%), the writing of a scientific project (45%) and class participation in particular participation in the presentation of articles from colleagues (10%).

Subject matter

The curricular unit Chronic and Degenerative Diseases will be lectured during 3 weeks with a total of 6 ECTS. The programme contents for this subject will be based on the following diseases: cancer, pre-diabetes and diabetes, metabolic diseases, ciliopathies, rare diseases, neurodegenerative diseases, speech impediment, autoimmune and inflammatory diseases as well as cardiovascular ones. Aspects, such as (i) genetic, biochemical and cellular mechanisms (ii) the use of experimental models, such as in vitro cell lines, animal models or biomathematics models (iii) the importance of applied research to the development of new therapies (cellular therapies and genetic therapies).


Programs where the course is taught: