BMB508: Advanced Molecular Biology

Study Board of Science

Teaching language: Danish, but English if international students are enrolled
EKA: N200022102, N200022112
Assessment: Second examiner: External, Second examiner: None
Grading: 7-point grading scale
Offered in: Odense
Offered in: Spring
Level: Bachelor

STADS ID (UVA): N200022101
ECTS value: 10

Date of Approval: 27-10-2022

Duration: 1 semester

Version: Approved - active


The course is co-read with: BMB809.

Entry requirements


Academic preconditions

Students taking the course are expected to:
  • Have knowledge of basic terms within biochemistry and molecular biology.
  • Be able to use the scientific approach to conduct experiments and to interpret experimental data.
  • To be familiar with the content of BMB544: Fundamental cell biology (5 ECTS) and the content of BMB533: Molecular biology and protein chemistry (10 ECTS).

Course introduction

The aim of the course is to provide a coherent understanding of molecular and cell biological processes in human cells and eukaryotic model systems.

The course builds on the knowledge acquired in the course BMB533 ‘Molecular biology and protein chemistry’, BMB544 ‘Fundamental cell biology’, and BMB546 ‘Cellular evolution’ and gives an academic basis for studying advanced cell- and molecular processes that are part of the degree. 

In relation to the competence profile of the degree it is the explicit focus of the course to:


  • knowledge of theory and experimental methods within the fields of biochemistry and molecular biology
  • knowledge of key topics within theory of science
  • knowledge of the scientific terminology used in the fields of biochemistry and molecular biology 
  • the ability to understand how scientific knowledge is obtained through interaction between theory and experiment 
  • the ability to acquire new knowledge efficiently and independently and the ability to apply this knowledge reflectively
  • knowledge of the safety aspects of laboratory work
  • understanding that the approach to the key topics and methods of the field is independent of national borders


  • apply one or more biochemical and molecular biological theories and methods
  • investigate concrete biochemical and molecular biological phenomena theoretically and/or experimentally
  • apply select techniques within the fields of biochemistry, molecular biology, microbiology and spectroscopy


  • enter into academic and interdisciplinary collaborations with a professional approach based on experience with group-based project work

Expected learning outcome

The learning objective of the course is that the student demonstrates the ability to:
  • Explain the general architecture of eukaryotic chromosomes and genes. 
  • Explain how chromatin structures are regulated and how DNA and histone modifications take part in this process.
  • Explain how transcription factors and transcriptional processes regulate gene expression.
  • Explain how post-transcriptional processes, including RNA modification, processing, miRNA regulation and alternative splicing are regulated and how they contribute to the control gene expression.
  • Explain the function and regulation of different types of non-coding RNAs.
  • Explain how different classes of membrane bound receptors are activated, how signals are transduced from the membrane to the cell nucleus, and how signals are integrated to control gene expression and cell fate.
  • Explain how the eukaryotic cell cycle is regulated and the role of checkpoints to maintain genome integrity and stability.
  • Explain how anti-apoptotic and pro-survival signals regulate cell survival and apoptosis.
  • Explain how proto-oncogenes, oncogenes, tumor suppressors, and DNA damage and repair factors control normal cell cycle, cell growth and development and how changes in these genes/proteins contribute to cancer development.
  • Explain the key hallmarks of cancer development and progression, and describe therapeutic strategies to inhibit cancer progression.
  • Explain how cell types are specified and how early development of various eukaryotic organisms are regulated. 
  • Explain the basic principles of methods for the analysis of gene and protein function based on knockout cells or transgenic model organisms, genome sequencing, and visualization of proteins within cells. 
  • Apply tools for the analysis and presentation of microscopy images.
  • Deduce conclusions based on the interpretation of experimental data.


The following main topics are contained in the course:
  • DNA, chromosomes, and genomes
  • Genome stability
  • Control of gene expression
  • Post-transcriptional gene regulation and Noncoding RNAs.
  • Tools for analysing cells, DNA, RNA, protein, and biological systems.
  • Visualizing cells
  • Cell signalling
  • The cell cycle
  • Cell death
  • Cancer
  • Stem cell and tissue renewal


See itslearning for syllabus lists and additional literature references.

Examination regulations

Exam element b)




Written examination




Second examiner: External


7-point grading scale


Student Identification Card


Normally, the same as teaching language


4 hours

Examination aids

The exam is without aids. However, it is also allowed to use "ordbogsprogrammet" (the dictionary programme) from in electronic form. The browser version is not allowed.
Internet is not allowed during the exam. However, you may visit system "DE-Digital Exam".

ECTS value


Exam element a)




Group report on laboratory exercises




Second examiner: None


7-point grading scale


Full name and SDU username


Normally, the same as teaching language

Examination aids

To be announced during the course

ECTS value


Indicative number of lessons

80 hours per semester

Teaching Method

At the faculty of science, teaching is organized after the three-phase model ie. intro, training and study phase.
These teaching activities are reflected in an estimated allocation of the workload of an average student as follows:

  • Intro phase (lectures) - 40 hours
  • Training phase: 40 hours

The intro-phase comprises lectures that provide a thorough introduction to the course subjects and where a dialogue with the students is stimulated by questions, quizzes and polls. Research-based teaching is applied, and discussions of selected research topics are encouraged by two symposia with invited speakers from industry and basic research groups. The lectures aim at facilitating and motivating the students to read the study book independently with the purpose of strengthening their competences.

The training-phase expands on the acquired competences by class teaching using home assignments that cover the main statement of aims for the course. During the laboratory exercises, the students work independently in groups of 2-4 on predesigned experiments and data interpretation. The exercises focus on cell visualization in relation to cell cycle, apoptosis and cancer and thereby provide first-hand knowledge of the structure and function of cells, which help and motivate the students to read the study book independently.

During the study-phase it is expected that the students independently study the course book, read the additional literature provided in the lectures and practical exercises, complete the home assignments, work on the laboratory report, and prepare for the exam.

Teacher responsible

Name E-mail Department
Jan-Wilhelm Kornfeld Institut for Biokemi og Molekylær Biologi

Additional teachers

Name E-mail Department City
Kumar Somyajit Funktionelle Genomiske Studier og Metabolisme Odense
Rasmus Siersbæk Institut for Biokemi og Molekylær Biologi Odense
Susanne Mandrup Institut for Biokemi og Molekylær Biologi, Danish Institute for Advanced Study, ATLAS - Center for Functional Genomics and Tissue Plasticity Odense


Administrative Unit

Biokemi og Molekylær Biologi

Team at Educational Law & Registration


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.