Teaching plan for the course unit



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General information


Course unit name: Experimental Models in Biomedicine

Course unit code: 569886

Academic year: 2021-2022

Coordinator: Judit Castillo Corullon

Department: Faculty of Medicine

Credits: 3

Single program: No definit



Estimated learning time

Total number of hours 75


Face-to-face and/or online activities



-  Lecture

Face-to-face and online




-  Group tutorial





-  Student presentation and discussion





-  Seminar

Face-to-face and online



Independent learning




Competences to be gained during study


— Capacity to discriminate the advantages and disadvantages of different experimental models as an approach to human disease.


— Understanding of the limitations of any experimental model based on the principle that “A model is a lie that helps you see the truth” (Howard Skipper).


— Ability to interpret the reasons behind the use of a given experimental model in a scientific paper and ability to make a public defence of this election. 





Learning objectives


Referring to knowledge

— Recognize the experimental models used by researchers from different fields as an approach to the investigation of human disease, the study of which cannot be performed otherwise for ethical reasons.


— Become familiar with articles, books and audiovisual material, mainly from the Journal of Visualized Experiments, provided to complete the information presented in class.


Referring to abilities, skills

— Study the topics in the syllabus and prepare and present the experimental model of choice.



Teaching blocks


1. Introduction; Learning resources

2. Yeast as a model system

3. Planarians as a model system

4. The embryo as a model system

5. Experimental models for cancer

6. C. elegans as a model system

7. Vertebrate models in biomedicine

8. Experimental models in neuroscience

9. Experimental models in reproductive biology

10. Experimental models of ageing

11. Drosophila as a model system

12. Zebrafish as a model system

13. Ion channels as experimental models to study pain

14. Mouse (Mus musculus) as a model system



Teaching methods and general organization


To achieve the objectives of the course, students have access to the following methodological resources:

1. Lectures.

2. Online sessions.

3. Oral and online presentations by students followed by discussion.

4. Seminars.

5. Tutorials.



Official assessment of learning outcomes


The following activities are assessed and count towards the final grade as indicated:

— Participation in debate sessions:  15%

— Student presentations:  35%

— Final examination:  50%.



Reading and study resources

Consulteu la disponibilitat a CERCABIB


Corominas M,  Valls M. Organismes model en biologia. Barcelona : Societat Catalana de Biologia, 2011.  Enllaç


Journal of visualized experiments [Recurs electrònic]. [Boston : MyJoVE Corp.], 2006-  Enllaç

Web page

Learning resources: List of web pages.


Electronic text

Animal Models for the Study of Human Disease (Second Edition) 2017
By: Conn, P. Michael; P. Michael Conn. Academic Press. ISBN: 978-0-12-809468-6, 978-0-12-809699-4.
Accés al text complet: ScienceDirect eBooks - Freedom Collection 2020 2017