BMB538: Cellular Identity

Study Board of Science

Teaching language: Danish or English depending on the teacher
EKA: N200030102, N200030112
Assessment: Second examiner: Internal, Second examiner: None
Grading: Pass/Fail
Offered in: Odense
Offered in: Autumn
Level: Bachelor

STADS ID (UVA): N200030101
ECTS value: 5

Date of Approval: 12-04-2023

Duration: 1 semester

Version: Approved - active

Entry requirements

Enrolment in the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Bachelor study programme and attendance of BMB544.

Academic preconditions

Students taking the course are expected to meet the specified requirements for the study programme as well as BMB544, which must be attended in parallel.

Course introduction

The aim of the course is to give the student a fundamental understanding of the molecular principles of cellular identity, diversity, and plasticity. The course will introduce technologies from biochemistry and molecular biology used to characterize, visualize, and screen for cellular identity. These will include genomics, proteomics, and luminescence-based strategies. We will focus on select cell types residing in mammalian tissues such as the liver, muscle, and adipose tissue as well as their molecular characterization.

The course will introduce recent, research-based literature, which will help the student to critically engage with research-based environments encountered the future.

In relation to the competence profile of the degree it is the explicit focus of the course to:
  • Give competence to describe and employ fundamental concepts within biochemistry and molecular biology
  • Give skills individually and in collaboration with fellow students to acquire specialized knowledge in topics related to modern biochemistry and molecular biology and to employ this knowledge in written assignments and reports.
  • Provide fundamental knowledge and understanding of cellular identity and diversity as well as modern technologies in biochemistry and molecular biology

Expected learning outcome

The learning objectives of the course is that the student demonstrates the ability to:
  • Understand the fundamental principles of cellular identity
  • Understand internal and external factors having impact on cellular identity in living organisms
  • Account for the central concepts; differentiation, trans-differentiation, as well as cellular plasticity
  • Provide examples of shifts in cellular identity seen in development, aging, and disease
  • State the most important functions of central cellular organelles
  • State central epigenetic principles with known importance to cellular differentiation
  • Account for the molecular mechanisms underlying writing and reading of the epigenetic code
  • Account for the principles of functional genomic analysis
  • Account for the principles of functional proteome analysis
  • Account for the principles of luminescence-based techniques for investigation of cellular function and identity
  • Account for the principles of functional, cell-based screens 


The following main topics are contained in the course:
  • Evolution and multi cellularity
  • Cellular architecture, structure, and basic functions
  • Cellular differentiation and specialization
  • Cellular plasticity, dedifferentiation, and transdifferentiation
  • Introduction to ‘omics’ for investigation of cellular identity
  • Introduction to functional genomics
  • Introduction to functional proteomics
  • Introduction to luminescence-based methods
  • Introduction to functional, cell-based screens
  • Introduction to experimental planning
  • Literature search for written assignment


See itslearning for syllabus lists and additional literature references.

Examination regulations

Exam element b)




Written exam




Second examiner: Internal




Student Identification Card


Normally, the same as teaching language


3 hours

Examination aids

All common aids are allowed e.g. books, notes, computer programmes which do not use internet etc.  
Internet is not allowed during the exam. However, you may visit the course site in itslearning to open system "DE-Digital Exam". If you wish to use course materials from itslearning, you must download the materials to your computer the day before the exam. During the exam you cannot be sure that all course materials is accessible in itslearning.  

ECTS value


Additional information

The reexam will be changed to an oral exam, if 9 or fewer students are enrolled. The reexam is without aids and preparation. Duration: 20 minutes including votation. 

Exam element a)




Written group assignment with oral presentation




Second examiner: None




Full name and SDU username


Normally, the same as teaching language

Examination aids

Allowed, a closer description of the exam rules will be posted in itslearning.

ECTS value


Indicative number of lessons

40 hours per semester

Teaching Method

At the faculty of science, teaching is organized after the three-phase model ie. intro, training and study phase.

  • • Intro phase (lectures, class lessons) 20 hours
  • Training phase: 20 hours, including 20 hours tutorials
  • Studyphase: 85 hours
Activities during the study phase:
  • Reading of course syllable
  • Completion of theoretical assignments
  • Written assignment in groups

There is a close connection between the preparation of the assignment and the training phase, there will be ample opportunity for guidance in task preparation as part of the training phase.

Teacher responsible

Name E-mail Department
Kim Ravnskjær Institut for Biokemi og Molekylær Biologi

Additional teachers

Name E-mail Department City
Lars Grøntved Funktionelle Genomiske Studier og Metabolisme


Administrative Unit

Biokemi og Molekylær Biologi

Team at Educational Law & Registration


Offered in


Recommended course of study

Transition rules

Transitional arrangements describe how a course replaces another course when changes are made to the course of study. 
If a transitional arrangement has been made for a course, it will be stated in the list. 
See transitional arrangements for all courses at the Faculty of Science.