Academic year
Subject Area
Integrative Biology
Language of Instruction
Mode of Delivery
ECTS Credits
2nd Cycle Studies - Mestrado

Recommended Prerequisites

Cell biology, molecular biology, and human physiology.

Teaching Methods

Lectures: largely based on the analysis of scientific data; the students are stimulated to analyse the data, to integrate information, to draw conclusions and  to identify key-concepts.

Practical lectures: organized as a scientific meeting, with symposia, where students present topics on "The Future of Ageing".  The students submit abstracts of their talks and prepare an abstract book, which is made available at Inforestud@nte. 

Learning Outcomes

The course aims to provide the students with the current understanding of the alterations in cells and tissues during ageing, and how they affect organ function and lead to age-related diseases.

The knowledge on the mechanisms of ageing will enable the students to critically assess the theories of ageing, and the therapies and strategies proposed to delay ageing and age-related diseases.

The students will also get acquainted with the tools, models and open questions in ageing research.

Work Placement(s)



How we age

• Ageing of the skin and connective tissues: mechanisms of chronological ageing and photoageing of the skin

• Ageing of the respiratory and cardiovascular systems: effects of connective tissue ageing

• Sarcopenia and changes in muscle fiber types

• Osteoporosis

• Immunosenescence

• Age-associated obesity

• Brain ageing and cognitive decline


Why we age

• Cellular senescence

• Telomere erosion

• Mitochondria role in ageing

• Oxidative stress and ageing

• DNA damage and repair systems

• Stem cells exhaustion

• Trade-offs of ageing: reproduction and ageing, cancer protection and ageing


The future of ageing: critical assessment of the strategies proposed to delay ageing and age-related diseases:

• Vitamin and nutritional supplements: mechanisms of action

• Hormonal replacement therapies

• How physical exercise helps to delay aging and age-related diseases

• How calorie restriction helps to delay aging and age-related diseases

• Stem cells and tissue repair.

Head Lecturer(s)

Emília da Conceição Pedrosa Duarte

Assessment Methods

Participation in classes and discussion of talks presented by other students : 10.0%
Synthesis work: 20.0%
Exam: 70.0%


Arking, R. (2006) Biology of Aging: Observations and Principles (3rd Ed), Oxford University Press.

Masoro, E. J., & Austad, S. N. (Ed.) (2006) Handbook of the Biology of Aging. Academic Press.

Masoro, E. J., & Austad, S. N. (Ed.) (2010) Handbook of the Biology of Aging. Academic Press.

Review and research articles (made available at Inforestud@ante)