Molecular Biotechnology

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

Recommended Prerequisites

Knowledge of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

Teaching Methods

The course will run intensively for 4 weeks with lectures and practical classes. In the lectures the fundamental knowledges  and recent developments in the area are presented  that, later  are explored by students, in the classroom with the realization of a project proposal and discussion of relevant scientific articles in the field of protein engineering and gene therapy.

Learning Outcomes

This course aims to present advanced knowledge in the field of molecular biotechnology. The course is organized in two parts. In the first one fundamental aspects will be presented such as: recombinant DNA technology, recombinant protein production and protein engineering. In the second part we discuss applications of this technology in the areas of molecular diagnostics, genomics and proteomics, and gene therapy.

The students should acquire fundamental knowledge in molecular biotecnhology and apply the acquired  concepts in the design of new cloning strategies and production of recombinant proteins.  The student should be able to analyze and discuss  scientific papers, and plan small research projects in the area of protein engineering and gene therapy.

Work Placement(s)



1.Cloning Strategies

2.Production of recombinant proteins:

-Manipulation of gene expression on prokaryotes

- Heterologous protein production in Eukaryotic cells (yeast, insect cells and mammalian cells in culture). Methods and applications.

3. Protein Engineering: directed mutagenesis and random mutagenesis, methods and applications. Enzyme Redesign

4. Genomics, proteomics and metabolomics: new "omics" technologies and applications.

5. Molecular Diagnostics: Fundamentals, methods and applications.

6. Gene Therapy: Targeted Diseases. Clinical trial protocols.

6.1 Gene delivery systems: non-viral and viral systems. Advantages and limitations.

6.2 The use of liposomes in gene therapy: modulation of their properties towards in vivo application Studies of therapeutic activity in animal model.

Head Lecturer(s)

Paula Cristina Veríssimo Pires

Assessment Methods

Presentation and discussion of scientific papers: 30.0%
Project: 30.0%
Exam: 40.0%


1.Molecular Biotechnology, 3ª edição, (2010) B.R. Glick e J. Pasternak. ASM Press, Washington DC.

2. Molecular Diagnostics: Current Technology and Applications (2006) Juluri R. Rao Horizon Bioscience.

3. Non-viral vectors for gene therapy (Leaf Huang, Mien-Chie Hung and Ernst

Wagner, Editors) Elsevier, Academic Press, second edition, Parts I and II