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Pharmaceutic Biology
Second semester
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Learning outcomes of the course unit

The course aims at teaching the basic functional aspects of living organisms, with an emphasis on the systems of production and accumulation of primary and secondary metabolites of pharmaceutical interest.


There are not prerequisites. However, the following exams are highly recommended: Human anatomy/animal biology

Course contents summary

Fundamentals of plant systematics. Key substances of living organisms: lipids, carbohydrates, proteins Morphogenesis and plant secondary metabolism.

Course contents

- Plant Systematics.
Fundamentals of plant systematics: species concepts, taxonomic groups, and methods in systematic nomenclature. The biological basis of biodiversity and agrobiodiversity.
- Key substances of living organisms: lipids, carbohydrates, proteins, DNA. Enzymes and their roles.
- Morphogenesis and plant secondary metabolism.
Autotrophic and heterotrophic organisms. Cytology: the prokaryotic and eukaryotic cell structure, the cellular organization, the physiological and ecological role of its components. Differences between animal and plant cells. The plant cell as a laboratory for the production of compounds relevant for pharmaceutical purposes: biological (primary and secondary metabolism). Unique plant cell structures (vacuoles, plastids, wall) and their biological function and relapses on food uses. Histology: meristematic tissues, adult and definitive tissues. Structures devoted to the secretion and accumulation of plant secondary metabolites. Histological anatomy of roots, stems (in primary and secondary structure) and leaves, with examples functional to the obtention of foods. Organography of leaves, flowers, fruits, seeds and their role in the accumulation of primary and secondary metabolites. Asexual and gamic reproduction. Botanical relevance of plant tissues and plant organs in recognition of plants, in quality control and in the production and accumulation of the food-related ingredients.
-Plant biotechnologies: use of in vitro system for the production of compounds relevant for pharmaceutical purposes

Recommended readings

Poli et al., Biologia farmaceutica. Biologia vegetale, botanica farmaceutica, fitochimica - Con MyLab + eText - Ed. Pearson, 2019.

Teaching methods

The lessons will be mainly frontal (in a mixed online/in-person modality during the current academic year).
The slides used to support lessons, as an integral part of the teaching material, will be uploaded weekly on the Elly platform.

Assessment methods and criteria

Oral examination, to be performed together with Plant Biology (as single exam).
Oral testing to be supported at the same time as the Plant Biology module (they are a single exam, both modules must be sufficient to overcome it).
Scale of assessment: 0-30
Weights and evaluation criteria:
1) Acquired knowledge (up to 14/30);
2) Ability to apply the acquired knowledge and to make connections between the covered topics (up to 10/30);
3) capacity to communicate concepts through the use of the specific language of the discipline (up to 6/30).

If due to the persistence of the health emergency it is necessary to integrate with the remote modality the execution of the exams will take place as follows: remote oral exam (free conversation) using the Teams platform.
Upload of the identification document in a One Drive folder shared by the teacher, to be deleted at the end of the exam.

Other informations

Reception time

Please notify via email before.