Growth and Development I

9 ECTS / Modular / English

This CU covers the fundamental principles of Molecular and Cellular Biology in a global perspective, from the gene to the individual, from the embryonic development to human body homeostasis. The CU constitutes a basis for the following CU's and will be continued in the second year by Growth and Development II.

During the course of this CU the students should be capable of:

  • Understanding the principles and the dynamics of the PBL approach;
  • Understanding the basis of cellular structure and function, cellular and genetic expression mechanisms and their implications in growth and development of the organism – from organ systems to cognitive, social and emotional development;
  • Understanding the concept of homeostasis, the role of the cellular mechanisms in maintaining the homeostatic balance and disease as a disruption to such balance;
  • Acquiring basic skills regarding microscopy techniques, embryology, genetic engineering and physical diagnostics.


In this CU the following topics will be addressed:

  • Cell structure, growth and differentiation;
  • Ligand/receptor interactions;
  • Signal transduction mechanism;
  • Genetic structure;
  • Genetic expression (Transcription, translation, post-translational modifications);
  • Cellular growth, differentiation and death;
  • Role of cellular mechanisms in organ system construction and lesion response;
  • Embryonic growth and development;
  • Growth regulation;
  • Cognitive, psychosocial and emotional development;
  • Homeostasis and its rupture;
  • Bone microscopy;
  • Embryology.


The PBL methodology will rely in the same core components that are the building blocks of this well documented evidence-based teaching-learning process. These core components include a student-centered learning environment where, within small student groups, teachers work as knowledge facilitators, using real world problems to organize focus and stimulus for learning. In this context, new information is acquired through self-directed learning, fostering the acquisition of an integrated knowledge. This process will be based and structured around cues presented by patients’ scenarios, enmeshed with problem-solving processes used in clinical Medicine.


Assistant Professor
Participation in Católica Medical School Coordinator of the curricular unit Growth and Development I  Co…