Cell Biology - Histology


Course Objective

At the end of this course you will be able to

• explain the relation between the shape and the function of cells
• explain how cells together form a tissue, with the digestive system as
an example.
• analyse histological preparations using light microscopy.
• draw the structure and organelles of the cell, and explain their role
in functioning of the cell.
• analyse ultrastructures of the cell using data derived form the
electron microscope.
• explain how intracellular proteins and lipids are transported to reach
their subcellular destination.
• describe the different signal transduction pathways and layers of
organization that underlie the regulation of cellular processes.
• mathematically model the connectivity of signal transduction pathways.

Course Content

The course Cell biology - Histology forms the basis of all cellular
courses of the Bachelor Biomedical Sciences. This course builds on
existing knowledge, obtained from pre-university education, on DNA,
proteins and cells as building blocks for organisms. The histology part
will provide insight into how different cell types together form a
tissue, and as such forms a frame work for later cell biology parts in
the course were we will focus on the molecular processes in the cell and
biochemical cellular interactions within tissues.

Week 1 (Histology):
Introductory lecture. Lectures and microscopy practicals by Dr. M.
Verheijen on:
1) Epithelia
2) Gland tissue

Week 2 (Histology):
Lectures and microscopy practicals by Dr. M. Verheijen on:
1) Connective Tissue
2) Muscle Tissue

Week 3 (Histology):
Lectures and microscopy practicals by Dr. M. Verheijen on:
1) Neural tissue
2) Digestive system

Week 4 (Histology/Cell biology):
A summarizing lectures on all histology exam material by Dr. M.
Exam Histology
Lecture by Dr. J. van Weering on Cell Organelles (Cell biology)

Week 5 (Cell biology):
Lectures and work groups by Dr. J. van Weering and Prof. dr. S. Luirink
1) Cell organelles
2) Tissue-specific ultra structures
3) Intracellular Transport

Week 6 (Cell biology):
Lectures and work groups by Dr. J. van Weering, Prof. dr. S. Luirink and
Prof. dr. A.B. Smit on:
1) Intracellular Transport
2) Transport organelles
3) Cell cycle
4) Extracellular matrix

Week 7 (Cell biology):
Lectures and work groups by Prof. dr. A.B. Smit and dr. D. Molenaar on:
1) Cell communication
2) Modeling of signal transduction

Week 8 (Cell biology):
Exam Cell Biology

Teaching Methods

Lectures: in this course 14 lectures will be offered. The first day will
start with an opening lecture during which the aims of the course are
Practical(s): in this course 6 microscopy practicals are offered. A
major point of this course is the learning of microscopy skills, and the
histological application of this to obtain insight into the relation
between the shape and function of cells. In addition, an optional (not
required) hands-on practicum Electron Microscopy will be offered.
Work group(s): in this course 7 work groups are offered. A) This will
involve computer practicals in which the obtained insight
into-shape-function relation of cells on the level of light microscopy
is taken further to the level of electron microscopy. Focus here is on
the integration of both research methods (light versus electron
microscopy) and obtaining insight into the function of subcellular
structures. B) The dynamics of transport processes will be shown using
video’s and major question in this field will be discussed. C) Computer
practicals on mathematic modeling will be used to explain mechanisms
that underlie the connectivity in signal transduction pathways.

Method of Assessment

The grading procedure will be as follows:
• Exam Histology 40% (digital)
• Exam Cell Biology 60% (digital)
The two exams can compensate each other for the final grade, which needs
to be at least 5.5 to pass. For students that do not pass, one re-exam
will be available that assesses the total course (containing both the
Histology and Cell Biology parts). The exams also assess the exam
material of practicals and workgroups
Participation in all practicals and workgroups is obligatory. Attending
the lectures is highly recommended.

For those that did not pass the course (recidivists), both exams
(Histology and Cell Biology) will have to be taken again the next year.
A positive assessment for practicals and workgroups is valid for two
years. When participation in practicals and workgroups was not
sufficient, all practicals and workgroups will have to be attended
again. Check with the coordinator when in doubt.


1) Martini: Fundamentals of Anatomy and Physiology, Benjamin Cummings
2) Alberts, Bray, Hopkin, Johnson, Lewis, Raff, Roberts, Walter:
Cell Biology, Garland Science

Target Audience

Compulsory course for first year students Biomedical Sciences

General Information

Course Code AB_1138
Credits 6 EC
Period P2
Course Level 100
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Faculty of Science
Course Coordinator dr. M.H.G. Verheijen
Examiner dr. M.H.G. Verheijen
Teaching Staff dr. M.H.G. Verheijen
prof. dr. A.B. Smit
dr. D. Molenaar
dr. J.R.T. van Weering

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Last-minute registration is available for this course.

Teaching Methods Study Group*, Lecture, Practical*, Computer lab*, Seminar*

*You cannot select a group yourself for this teaching method, you will be placed in a group.

Target audiences

This course is also available as: