Cellular and Molecular Toxicology


Students will acquire basic knowledge of toxicology, to become able to specialize in different areas of this science, particularly in the area of human and environmental toxicology. They will obtain knowledge in toxicokinetic and toxicodynamic of xenobiotic and the biotransformation processes. They will also be exposed to the principles of genetic toxicology and carcinogenesis mechanisms, and the advantages and disadvantages of in vitro and in vivo assays. They will acquire competences to understand the main approaches and experimental design in toxicology studies. Students will become familiar with the assessment of toxicological risk. Case studies will be used to familiarize the general and specific concepts of human and environmental toxicology. The concepts learned will enable students to develop work in areas related to toxicology.

The toxicity mechanisms will be addressed as well as the absorption, distribution and excretion. It will be addressed developmental toxicology and immunotoxicology. It will be addressed ecotoxicology in the context of environment and living organisms’ interactions.

The practical component is intended to provide the contact and the possibility of learning techniques and methodologies used in experimental studies of toxicity. In this way, it is intended to strengthen skills and acquire knowledge enabling the student to solve problems within the toxicology but also to use this knowledge in an interdisciplinary application perspective

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Pedro Miguel Ribeiro Viana Baptista


Weekly - 3

Total - 51

Teaching language



Basic knowledge of cell biology, physiology, biochemistry and molecular biology

Desirable knowledge of molecular genetics and mechanisms involved in cancer

Students will have to have passing grades in Biochemistry, Cell Biology and Molecular Biology.

If candidates> numerus clausus, selection by ranking CLIP


Casarett and Doull´s Toxicology, The Basic Science of Poisons, Sixt Edition. Int. Ed, McGraw-Hill, NY 2001.


Hodgson, Ernest. A textbook of modern toxicology / Ernest Hodgson.—4th ed. 2010. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, New Jersey


Manham SE. Toxicological chemistry and biochemistry / by Stanley E. Manahan.-- 3rd ed. CRC- Lewish Press, Boca raton, Florida. 2003


Principles and Methods of Toxicology, A Wallace Hayes eds, Fourth edition, Taylor & Francis, 2001.


Principles of biochemical toxicology / by John A. Timbrell. —4th ed. 2009 by Informa Healthcare USA New York, NY

Teaching method

Lab work

TP with presentation and group discussions


Evaluation method

Frequency (i) Through compulsory attendance at all laboratory sessions (absences must be duly justified) (ii) Delivery of 1 final report (per group)
iii) discussion of the report
iii) Presentation theme Assessment of the practical component (30%) i) Report evaluation (2/3)
ii) report presentation / discussion (1/3)

TP grade
i) theme presentation and discussion (20%)

Evaluation of the theoretical component (50%) i) theoretical tests - 2 theoretical tests (> 7/20); subtotal grade is the average of the two testsiii) Final exam (> 9.5 / 20) Passing the course requires a grade ≥ 50% of the value of each component.
Improvement - oral test over the entire program
Any missing items will be decided by the UC Heads / Regents.

Subject matter

Main forms and routes of exposure of human to toxic compounds. Mechanisms of toxicity. The concept of dose and dose-response relationship. Acute and chronic toxicity. Definition of toxicological parameters. Bioavailability of xenobiotics. Toxicokinetics and toxicodynamics. Biotransformation. In vivo and in vitro toxicity assays. Molecular mechanisms of toxicity. Toxicity addressed to different organs of the human (e.g. nervous and reproductive systems, immune system). The process of carcinogenesis: Relation between mutagenesis and carcinogenesis. DNA repair and carcinogenesis. cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in the stages of carcinogenesis process. Oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes. Genetic toxicology: Short-term tests. Molecular analysis of mutations. Toxicological risk assessment


Laboratorial classes: biomarker analysis as toxicity parameters: Activity of GST; ; lipid peroxidation.