Course details

Introduction to Molecular Biology and Genetics

BPC-MOL FEKT BPC-MOL Acad. year 2022/2023 Summer semester 5 credits

Current academic year

Introduction to Molecular Biology and Genetics provides students with knowledge about the basics of contemporary biomedicine based on a dynamically evolving scientific knowledge and combined with the involvement of technical (especially material) and chemical sciences. Annually updated lecture course begins with more detailed approximation of the structure and function of eukaryotic cells, continues lectures on the expression and regulation of genes, protein metabolism, cell signaling and interactions between cells and ends with a series of lectures on current trends in biomedical research and its potentials in human medicine. The final series of lectures focuses on stem cells and cell therapy, tissue engineering, cancer biology, structural and functional genomics, genetic engineering and molecular diagnostics. Lectures are supplemented by practical training, always thematically corresponding to the lectures.


Language of instruction




Time span

  • 26 hrs lectures
  • 26 hrs laboratories


Faculty of Medicine, Masaryk University Brno (LF MU)



Subject specific learning outcomes and competences

After completion of the course, students are introduced to and have a basic knowledge of:
Structure and function of eukaryotic cells
Transfer of genetic information, its regulation and possibilities of using the knowledge from the human molecular genetics in medicine, including genetic engineering and molecular diagnostics
Tumor cell transformation and possible strategies for cancer treatment
Stem cell biology and tissue engineering contexts and cell therapy
The structure and organization of the human genome and the mechanisms of DNA damage and repair in respect of the stability of the genome and the development of genetic diseases.

Learning objectives

The goal is to educate students in the areas of cell and molecular biology and genetics with an overlap in the development of new (bio)technologies and strategies related to human health.

Prerequisite knowledge and skills

Students should have a good foundation of general human biology from high school. Furthermore, the course assumes a general knowledge from the chemistry and the ability to understand the connection between biology, genetics and technically oriented disciplines that are essential for the development of new biomedical technologies.

Syllabus of lectures

1. Cellular organisation of living systems
2. Cellular memory
3. Transcription
4. Translation
5. Genetic expression control
6. DNA replication
7. Biomembranes and energy transformation
8. Transport of substances
9. Organisation of cellular core
10. Cytoskelet and molecular engines
11. Cellular cycle
12. Cellular signalling
13. Clone and stem cells

Syllabus of laboratory exercises

1. Bacteria viruses: bacteriophage plaque, determination of the bacteriophage titre.
2. Procaryontic cells: native mounts of fungi , Gram coloring – permanent bacteria mounts.
3. Eucaryontic cells, cytochemical methods for study of cells: Protoyoa, Elodea – preparation of native mounts. Feulgen’s reaction, RNA coloring, Gram’s coloring.
4. Tissue and cellular cultures: the basic principles of cultivation, cryoconservation, collections, applications.
5. Electron microscopy: the principle of the ELM method, methods of preparation of mounts, demonstration –the transmission and scanning electron microscope, the free-etching apparatus, evaluation of ELM images
6. Radioactive isotopes in cellular biology: the principle of utilisation of compounds marked with isotopes, utilisation of radioisotopes for research of specific inhibitors – evaluation of experimental studies, autoradiographical methods – the principle.
7. Impact of deep freezing on cells.Viability tests, detection of membrane integrity disorders (yeast, animal and human cells in vitro), quantitative determination of living and dead cells.
8. Cytotoxicity testing methods – impact of deep freezing on yeast cells, practical applications, in vitro systems, evaluation of the experiment with in vitro testing on human cells.
9. Biomembranes: structure and functions, fusion of cells – an experiment on human and chicken erytrocytes, osmotic effects – an experiment on human erytrocytes, applications (dialysis, fusion of cells – hybridomic technology).
10. Analysis of the cellular cycle: cdc yeast mutants – monitoring of the morphological changes during the cellular cycle, analysis of the growth curve (human cells in vitro, yeast), flow cytometry – the principle, evaluation of histograms.
11. Mitotic division. Coloring of chromosomes, monitoring of permanent mounts – plant meristemes, human lymphocytes.
12. Methods of cellular research (seminar)
13. Internet sources for biomedical research: sources for cellular biology (tissue and line banks, antibodies, catalogs), instruction resources and biomedical information portals, publication databases.

Progress assessment

The final exam is in the form of the multiple choice test. Each test contains three questions of the 15 thematic sections, both from the lectures and practical exercises. Examination is aimed at testing the basic knowledge and concepts from the molecular biology and genetics.

Teaching methods and criteria

The course is based on both structured lectures that summarize the basic principles of biological phenomena in the context of current scientific knowledge of the topic or field of science and on the practical classes where students in the experiment or seminar demonstrated illustrating the details of most lectures. Lectures are not generally based on the textbook but data draws from the recent journal literature, often published by the lecturers themselves. Practical interactive lessons draws from the experimental work of guaranteed department.

Controlled instruction

Extent and forms are specified by guarantor´s regulation updated for every academic year. Attendance at lectures is prerequisite for the successful completion of the course due to their annual update. Practical exercises are mandatory.

Course inclusion in study plans

  • Programme BIT, 2nd year of study, Elective
  • Programme BIT (in English), 2nd year of study, Elective
  • Programme IT-BC-3, field BIT, 2nd year of study, Elective
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