Carcinogenesis - underlying molecular and cellular alterations


Understanding molecular and cellular mechanisms, underlying carcinogenesis and cancer progression. Initiation of the students in the practice of basic and translational research in oncobiology. Acquisition of theoretical and practical knowledge on techniques of molecular biology and cytological and histological analysis. Evaluation of data and compilation of experiences with scientific rigor.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Jacinta Serpa


Weekly - Available soon

Total - Available soon

Teaching language



Graduation (3 years) in natural sciences. Biology, biochemistry, chemistry and related areas.


The main bibliography or other relevant learning resources will be provided by the various scientists that participate in the teaching activities.

Whenever applicable bibliography should consist in scientific papers that are available in open access or in specific repositories accessible by the students. In each edition of the course the most updated and current bibliography will be provided. Students are encouraged to share notes and other relevant information concerning the UC in virtual fora or virtual blackboards.

Teaching method

Lectures - theoretical approach to the subjects listed in the "curriculum" of the UC;

Seminars - presentation of works developed by students in the UC;

Practical Classes - development of experimental work, whenever possible, students will contact with professionals who are active on issues that are addressed in UC.


Evaluation method

Development of a scientific report in an article format (20%); 

Presentation and Discussion (30%);

Written examination (50%).


Subject matter

Genetic variants (structural alterations and mutations in the DNA) and epigenetic alterations (changes in chromatin that regulates gene expression) involved in the development and progression of cancer, giving primary emphasis to the pathophysiology and morphology of lesions. Genetic predisposition for cancer development - susceptibility genes. Signalling pathways which are predominantly altered in cancer, including WNT pathway, MAPK and PI3K. Cell adhesion molecules. Extracellular matrix component. Metabolic pathways which are predominantly altered in cancer, namely aerobic and anaerobic glycolysis and oxidative respiration, gluconeogenesis, synthesis and ß-oxidation of fatty acids and cholesterol. Translating the knowledge of molecular alterations into diagnosis and therapy in cancer. Experimental work in vitro using cancer cell lines and molecular biology techniques. National and foreign researchers of recognized merit in the respective scientific areas will be invited for lectures and seminars.



Programs where the course is taught: