First Faculty of Medicine, Charles University in Prague Charles University in Prague

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Cell Biology and Pathology

Cell Biology and Pathology is a field of biomedical science concerned with build-up and functional characteristics of particular cells and their interaction in construction of tissues and organs. The content matter of the study is, above all, the cell itself at various levels of its functional organization, also concerning interconnection of structural-functional levels that maintain the cell as the basic structural and functional unit of multicellular organism including the human.
The goal of the studies in the study programme Cell Biology and Pathology is training the student for independent scientific research work aimed at understanding of dynamics, mutual connections and functional-structural characteristics of cells and tissues under normal – physiological conditions and in pathologic processes as well as in their modelling.   

Study obligations
(1) After admission, compilation of an individualized curriculum (“study plan”), which must be approved by the Supervising Tutor and guarantor of the programme.
(2) After each academic year passed, evaluation of the individualized curriculum with the Supervising Tutor, and forwarding this curriculum within the deadlines so that is will be further judged by the Field Board and approved by the guarantor of the programme.
(3) Passing the following courses:
- Progress in cell biology – a compulsory course – organized by the Field Board for Cell Biology and Pathology and guarantor of the programme.
- Progress in molecular biology and genetics – a compulsory course – organized by the Institute of Molecular Genetics of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic
Recommended are any other possible courses organized by the field boards with a bias close to the student’s programme. It is appropriate if courses organized by the University or the Academy of Sciences are included where the student can obtain knowledge and skills necessary for successful presentation of the results, work with professional and scientific literature and scientific data bases as well as for gaining the grants.
(4) Language exam in English (examination at the Institute for History of Medicine and Foreign Languages, State Language Examination or an internationally recognized exam, e.g. TOEFL, Cambridge Certificate). Other world languages are optional.
(5) State Doctoral Examination

Requirements on creative activities
Being the first author of a publication. Participation in a research grant project.

Requirements on placements taken
At least one one-month or longer placement abroad is presumed. This can be replaced by participation in an international grant project or another form of direct participation in international co-operation, at the Supervising Tutor’s scope and discretion.

Other study obligations
Participation in national and international congresses. Tuition of undergraduate students is recommended.

State doctoral examination

Requisites for commencement of the defence:
(1) The examination must be taken before submission of the dissertation thesis and after fulfilling the substantial portion of the individualized curriculum. At least one publication on the topic of the thesis with the student as an author is recommended.
(2) Passing the two compulsory courses:
B90019 Advances in cell biology and B90041 Advances in Molecular Biology and Genetics.
(3) Language exam in English. The Field Board recommends and internationally recognized type of examination (TOEFL, Cambridge), however study rules of particular faculties allow to take the language exam at the faculty’s institute of languages and admit recognition of the State Language Examination in English.

Course of examination:
In the first part of the examination, the student will present a lecture in approximately 15 minutes about the results of his/her own scientific work achieved during the previous studies. Then members of the board will ask the student to answer some questions pertaining to the results achieved. In the second part, the student shall answer 3 questions drawn at random from the published list of questions, which cover the following topic areas:

A. Molecular and Cellular Biology
Basic chemical composition of a cell and the cell metabolism
Genome and gene expression
DNA – replication, transcription; RNA – types, splicing
Biological functions of proteins – enzymes
Cell – types (eukaryotes, prokaryotes, vegetable vs. animal cell) and basic organization
Structure and function of biological membrane and cell organelles
Cell nucleus – structure, function, pathology
Cellular transport
Cytoskeleton – components and their functions
Cell cycle and cell division, cell death
Stem cells and cell differentiation
Basic types of tissues
Intercellular communication, cell adhesion and motion
Structure and function of intercellular matrix

B. Basic methods for investigation of cells and tissues
Microscoping technique – optical and electron microscope, advanced microscoping methods
Methods in histochemistry; immunocytochemistry and histochemistry
Basic molecular genetic methods – PCR, sequencing, in situ hybridization
Survey of biochemical methods in cell biology – blotting techniques
Model organisms, tissue and cell cultures

C. General pathology of cells and tissues
Regressive changes to cells and tissues
Inflammation and survey of defensive response of the organism
Interactions of cells with pathogens
Regeneration and reparation of tissues, metaplasia
Tumour transformation of the cell, major types of tumours
Physiological and pathological growth of vessels
Cellular biological bases of cardiovascular and metabolic conditions

Requisites for commencement of the defence:
(1) Fulfilling all the above mentioned study obligations incl. passing the State Doctoral Examination.
(2) Being the author (co-author) of at least two original scientific papers on the topic of the dissertation thesis, published or accepted for publication in an internationally respected journal with an impact factor (Web of Science), the student must be the first author of at least on of the publications.


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