Advanced Cell Biology (BIO515)

Advanced cell biology covers the understanding of how cells collaborate in multicellular organisms. Experimental techniques commonly used to study human cells will be explored.

Course description for study year 2023-2024. Please note that changes may occur.


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Cells are small and soft with only a thin membrane protecting them from their surroundings, yet together they form complex constructs such as a human body. Most of the cells in multicellular organisms are organized into cooparative assemblies called tissues, which in turn are organized into organs. In this subject we explore how cells interact in complex structures such as tissues and rely on extracellular matrix and vasculature to sustain their viability. The course will focus on how dysfunction of the cells can lead to disease, especially focusing on cancer. Experimental techniques commonly used to study human cells will be explored.

Learning outcome

  • The students will have good knowledge of the hierarchy of cells in multicellular organisms and the interplay that exist to keep them growing in an orderly fashion.
  • The students will get specialised knowledge about which processes can be dysregulated to cause disease and how we can study these using different cell model systems.
  • The students will aquire skills in rendering of scientific litterature, make and perform oral presentations to their peers and scientific writing skills.

Required prerequisite knowledge

BIO100 Cell Biology

Recommended prerequisites

BIO110 Anatomy and Physiology, BIO200 Biochemistry


Form of assessment Weight Duration Marks Aid
Home exam 1/1 2 Weeks Letter grades

Coursework requirements

Compulsory group work, Compulsory attendance

The course relies on active student engagement and includes the following mandatory elements:

  • Contribution to the group work is mandatory. Two different group assignments shall be presented and assessed: approved / not approved. Approved assignments are required to be able to qualify for the written exam.
  • Scheduled teaching hours: 80% attendance is required to be able to qualify for the written exam.

Course teacher(s)

Course teacher:

Hanne Røland Hagland

Head of Department:

Ingunn Westvik Jolma

Course coordinator:

Hanne Røland Hagland

Method of work

The course will be taught using flipped-classroom and blended learning focused on student engagement and active learning. Students will work in groups through the different topics in the scheduled teaching hours. The group assignments will be presented orally for the rest of the class on a given topic.

Digital lab sessions will be taught focusing on understanding experimental techniques to investigate human cancer cells.

Open for

Biological Chemistry - Master of Science Degree Programme

Course assessment

There must be an early dialogue between the course coordinator, the student representative and the students. The purpose is feedback from the students for changes and adjustments in the course for the current semester.In addition, a digital course evaluation must be carried out at least every three years. Its purpose is to gather the students experiences with the course.


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