UE Metals in biology

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Degrees incorporating this pedagocial element :


These lectures will provide training regarding the pathophysiological role of the metal at the cellular (bacteria, yeast, human)- and the organ levels (brain, kidney, lung, liver and placenta). They will provide students with broad and complementary knowledge regarding the cellular homeostasis of some metals such as copper, zinc and iron, and will introduce them to the world of nanoparticles and their impact on the human health. The aspect of toxicology with toxic metals such as cadmium, mercury and lead will be also addressed.


Course outline

  1. Properties of metals in relationship to biology.
  2. Cellular homeostasis of metals: Example of copper (ATPases and metal chaperone).
  3. Regulation under control: Example of iron recycling.
  4. Hormonal regulation of metal homeostasis: Example of the hepcidin.
  5. Metals and bacterial virulence.
  6. The toxicity of non-physiological metals: Example of cadmium.
  7. Dosage, visualization, nanotoxicity and nanomedicine.
  8. Pathophysiological roles of metals in the central nervous system.
  9. Pathophysiological roles of metals in the liver, lung and reproductive system (placenta).