Developmental Biology


The Unit of Developmental Biology introduces students with basic concepts of cell and molecular mechanisms involved in animal development, from fertilization to the formation and patterning of complex organs. 

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Ana Catarina Caetano Certal Afonso, Paula Maria Theriaga Mendes Bernardo Gonçalves


Weekly - 4

Total - 57

Teaching language





Developmental Biology, Gilbert, Scott et al.

Principles of Development, Wolpert, Lewis et al.

Molecular Biology of the Cell, Alberts, Bruce et al.

Teaching method

Lectures will be based on textbook material and selected papers from the current literature.

Practical lessons include experiments, and analysis and discussion of the results.

Evaluation method

Frequency of the subject Developmental Biology:

1. Attendance to 2/3 of the taught P classes is required to obtain the subject.

2. Participation in  P classes is recorded 

3. Delays beyond 10 min. from the start time of the practical class, are considered absences of delay, however the student may choose to attend the class. Two delay faults are converted to an actual fault.

4. Missing assessment days do not imply the completion of the assessment on another day.

5. Medical certificates or other justification for absences will only be accepted until one week after the day of absence.

6. Student workers and other exceptional cases who do not attend P classes must carry out an assessment (to be agreed with the teacher) to obtain attendance at the subject.


 The final grade of the course (0-20 val) results from the sum of the grades obtained in 3 components:

 1. Theoretical / practical assessment component: (2 tests or exam exam; 75% of final grade, 15 val); minimum grade 7.5/14 val;

Final grade of this component results from the weighted average of the 2 tests rounded to the tenth.

2. Practical evaluation component:: work in group being presented using data show on a subject chosen from a group of subjects proposed by the teacher (25% of final grade, 5 val). To be presented on 25.11.2019.

 For approval, the sum of the grades of the 3 components must be equal to or greater than 9.5 val.


 Missing assessment:


The date of the tests and assignments is disclosed at the beginning of the classes and there is no alternative date (s) or repetition of any of the evaluation moments.


In case of justifiable absences, the situation will be analyzed with the group and the student on a case by case basis.


Penalties – continuous assessment (1 val):


Penalties for the practical assessment score; It consists of a continuous individual assessment throughout the semester based on participation / commitment and laboratory performance in practical classes. The following behaviors may be punished in each class, (0.1 to 0.2 val; up to a maximum of 1 val): Unjustified absences of presence, delayed absences, material shortages (knock, protocol or other previously indicated material), class, failure to perform the proposed exercises, lack of care with the material of the classes and lack of tidiness of the bench at the end of the class.

Subject matter

1.  Introdution to Developmental Biology.  Fundamental principles and concepts in Developmental Biology 

2. Signalling pathways

4.  Experimental Models and Techniques

4.  Fertilization

5.  Establishment of D/V and L/R axes

6.  Gastrulation and  e Establishment of the A/P axis

7.  Organogenesis. Limb development

8.  Regeneration of organs and tissues

9.  Development and Cancer

10. Process of scientific publishing and animal experimentation 


Programs where the course is taught: