Molecular Mechanisms of Disease


The teaching unit of Molecular Mechanism of Disease integrates the knowledge in molecular mechanisms of disease with clinical practice. This will promote the interest of future doctors in translational and clinical research and in the expanding frontiers of biological scientific knowledge.
The lectures are descriptive and students have to understand and debate the molecular mechanisms underlying each subject. In the practical classes the students will perform two tasks; individually they developed a brief monograph on a mechanism of disease and in groups they explore one molecular mechanism of a disease, resulting in a small scientific project proposal. At the end of the semester each group will orally present their project. We pretend that students apply the knowledge acquired during the course. They should also acquire criticism and discussion skills and gain the know-how to look for relevant scientific literature.
This teaching unit will allow the students to acquire several skills like: expertise in molecular mechanisms associated with more frequent chronic diseases and translation to clinical practice; acquire the capacity of analyse and orally present of scientific subjects and use the appropriate English language.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Prof. Doutor Miguel Seabra


Weekly - Available soon

Total - Available soon

Teaching language





Livros Gerais:
Robbins and Cotran. Pathologic basis of disease. 9th edition, Elsevier
Jeannette Naish and Denise Syndercombe Court. Medical sciences. 2nd edition Elsevier
Neville Woolf. Cell, Tissue and disease: the basis of pathology. 3th edition W. B. Saunders.

Doenças Raras:
Adam MP, Ardinger HH, et al., editors. GeneReviews® [Internet]. Seattle (WA): University of Washington, Seattle; 1993-2015. Available from:

Base de Dados de doenças raras:
- Orphanet (
- NORD (

Mendelsohn, Gray, Howley, Israel and Thompsom. The Molecular Basis of Cancer. 4th Edition. Elsevier, saunders.

Teaching method

The theoretical lectures available on MOODLE. Each student will have to produce a written monograph detailing a molecular mechanism of disease of the student´s choice. The theoretical lectures will be mixed with theoretical-practical classes. The course is organized in 6 weeks of lectures and 6 weeks of theoric-practical classes. The last ones are 4 groups of 4 students in each class. Each group has to choose a specific subject in chosen field, then find a scientific question related with a molecular mechanism of disease and perform a small research project. These are tutorial classes, in order to guide the students in the subject chosen. At the end the students have to perform an oral presentation of the work in a maximum of 15 min, followed by 5 min of discussion. The best works of each theme will present the work in the final workshop.

Evaluation method

The evaluation of this curricular unit is continuous and does not have a final exam.

Assessment components:

Individual Monograph. The student individually has to realize a written work about a molecular mechanism of a disease under the subject of his preference. Students in the “Novel Therapies” theme are free to choose the theme of their monograph. However, the subject has to be different of the one of the Project (regular assessment). The monograph must have a maximum of two pages, with letter Arial 12 size, spacing 1,5cm. The work can have an extra page with figures and bibliography. Deadline is beginning of class on 20 October 2019.
Project Proposal: at the 6th tutorial lesson, the project abstract of each group, this have a maximum of 250 words, and the project oral presentation are evaluated. The ones that are selected for the final workshop, the assessment is done in the last tutorial lesson.
Continuous assessment: Each student will be evaluated by its performance and contribution for the final project research. This assessment component is individual.

Final score and relative weigh of the 3 components
The assessment is quantitative from 0 to 20 values. With a score above 9,5 values, the student is approved, and below that value fail it.
The student must have a minimum score of 9,5 values in each assessment component.

Relative weight of each assessment component for the students
Individual Monograph - 35%
Project Proposal - 40%
Continuous Evaluation - 25%

Students that have the conditions necessary to have access to the supplementary exam these is an oral exam.

Subject matter

Research in Medicine
Aging and diseases associated
Neurodegenerative diseases
Chronic inflammation
Rare Diseases
New therapies


Programs where the course is taught: