Cell Biology C


The main objective of this curricular unit is to provide a general overview of the fundamental concepts required for an understading of the functional structure of living cells.It is expected that upon its completions, the students will be able to:

  • identify similarities and differences between the different types of cells;
  • describe how proteins are synthesized from DNA and how the underlying processes are controlled;
  • identify the different organelles in eukaryotic cells and describe their functions;
  • compare the structure and function of the components of the cytoskeleton in eukaryotic cells;
  • know how proteins and membranes are transported within a living cell;
  • know the main concepts underlying cell cycle and cell division, and cellular adhesion.
  • analyze results of experiments related with the themes of this curricular unit.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Luís Jaime Gomes Ferreira da Silva Mota


Weekly - 3

Total - 53

Teaching language



There are no previous requirements.


Essential Cell Biology, Bruce Alberts, Karen Hopkin, Alexander Johnson, David Morgan, Martin Raff, Keith Roberts, Peter Walter, 5th Edition, 2019, W. W. Norton & Company, New York and London.

Biologia Celular e Molecular, Carlos Azevedo e Cláudio E. Sunkel, 5a Edição, 2012, Edições Lidel, Lisboa.

Videos e slides from the lectures and list of problems from the problem-solving sessions (provided by the lecturer)

Teaching method

Lectures and problem-solving sessions to all subjects, through oral / multimedia exposure:

 - theoretical classes (2 h) at a distance, via Zoom, for discussion of topics, based on materials (videos, slides, texts) previously provided.  Quizzes in Moodle.

 - theoretical-practical classes (2 h; fortnightly) at a distance, via Zoom, with discussion of quizzes, to solve problems and other discussions.

 - theoretical-practical classes (2 h, fortnightly) in person, with discussion of quizzes, to solve problems and other discussions.

Evaluation method

Continuous evaluation:

i) 3 closed-book written tests, based on lectures and on problem-solving sessions.  The grades (0-20) will de disclosed to one decimal place. The weighted average of the grades from the 3 tests will correspond to 85% of the final grade and must be ≥ 9.5 for approval at the curricular unit.

ii) evaluation of the participation and performance in the problem-solving sessions,and of the online quizzes. From 0-20. Minimal grade of 10. Corresponds to 15% of the final grade.

- The final mark (0-20) will be the weighted average of the three written tests (85%) and of the evaluation in the problem-solving sessions (15%). For its calculation, the weighted average will be rounded to the nearest integer. 

- Approval at the curricular unit requires a weighted average of at least 10 points (i.e., 9.5).

- If the evaluation is by exam, the final mark will be the weighted average of the exam (85%) and of the evaluation in the problem-solving sessions (15%), rounded to the nearest integer.

- The exam will cover all topics taught; it is not possible to repeat only one of the tests. 

- To be accepted at the exam, the students cannot miss more than 3 problem-solving and online discussion sessions (unless their absence is dully justified). If this exigence is accomplished this year (2021/2022), it will only be valid next year (2022/2023). 

- The students who formally work are not obliged to be present in a minimum number of problem-solving sessions and are not subject to evaluation in the problem-solving sessions. In these exceptional cases, the final mark will be the weighted average of the grades obtained in each of the tests or of the exam. 



Subject matter

Organization and function of living cells. Eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells. Composition and function of cellular membranes. Function of cell organelles and essential cell processes: nuclear organization; DNA replication; DNA transcription; synthesis of proteins; control of gene expression; mitochondria and chloroplasts; peroxissomes; endoplasmic reticulum; Golgi; lysosomes and endosomes. Intracellular transport: nuclear, transmembrane and vesicular. Cytoskeleton and molecular motors. Cell cycle and cell division. Extracellular matrix and cellular adhesion.