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Advanced Cell Biology


Admission requirements

This course is for MSc students in Biology.


This course is about advanced cell biology. The course will cover 5 different topics which will all be introduced by one of the lecturers. The topics of this course are: Cytoskeleton, Energy, Cell cycle, Transcription and Transport. Subsequently research papers about each topic are handed out for students to review in groups. After preparation, the selected topics will be presented by these groups to all students and teachers. Special emphasis will be on comparing bacteria to eukaryotes.

Course objectives

After completion of the course, students are able to:

  • Describe important concepts in cell biology (highlighted terms in the theoretical textbook (Alberts)) related to the topics Cytoskeleton, Energy, Cell Cycle, Transcription and Membranes, and explain their contribution to the function, survival, and proliferation of cells. 

  • Explain differences and similarities of these topics in bacteria and eukaryotes. 

  • Explain the research questions, methodology, results and conclusions from the research presented in the expert lectures. 

  • Apply this knowledge to analyze research papers on these topics and evaluate the research described in these papers. 

  • Formulate the key hypothesis, summarize the results and the conclusions of the research papers, and discuss the state-of-the-art of the research field and the contribution to the field and possible research applications of the main findings. 

  • Generate a graphical abstract to convey the scientific content of a research paper. 


You will find the timetables for all courses and degree programmes of Leiden University in the tool MyTimetable (login). Any teaching activities that you have sucessfully registered for in MyStudyMap will automatically be displayed in MyTimeTable. Any timetables that you add manually, will be saved and automatically displayed the next time you sign in.

MyTimetable allows you to integrate your timetable with your calendar apps such as Outlook, Google Calendar, Apple Calendar and other calendar apps on your smartphone. Any timetable changes will be automatically synced with your calendar. If you wish, you can also receive an email notification of the change. You can turn notifications on in ‘Settings’ (after login).

For more information, watch the video or go the the 'help-page' in MyTimetable. Please note: Joint Degree students Leiden/Delft have to merge their two different timetables into one. This video explains how to do this.

Mode of instruction

Lectures, self study, student presentations

Assessment method

Exam, 2 'News and Views articles'

The final grade consists of the following partical grades:
2 News and Views articles, 20% each (minimum grade 5.6)
Exam 60% (minimum grade 5.6)

Reading list

Compulsory book:
Molecular biology of the cell (6th or 7th edition)

  • Transcription (Ch4 p194-201, Ch6 p299-316, Ch7 p369-392)

  • Cytoskeleton (Ch16 p889-950)

  • Membranes (Ch10, P. 603-636)

  • Cell cycle/cell division (Ch17, P1027-1071)

  • Energy (Ch2)


From the academic year 2022-2023 on every student has to register for courses with the new enrollment tool MyStudyMap. There are two registration periods per year: registration for the fall semester opens in July and registration for the spring semester opens in December. Please see this page for more information.

Please note that it is compulsory to both preregister and confirm your participation for every exam and retake. Not being registered for a course means that you are not allowed to participate in the final exam of the course. Confirming your exam participation is possible until ten days before the exam.

Extensive FAQ's on MyStudymap can be found here.


Coordinator: Prof.dr. A. Briegel