CBI-10306 Cell Biology


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Group work6
Independent study
Course coordinator(s)dr. R Tennekes
Lecturer(s)dr. R Tennekes
prof. dr. SC de Vries
dr. ir. MJ Ketelaar
Examiner(s)dr. R Tennekes

Language of instruction:



This course is part of the first year program for Biology, Animal Sciences, Molecular Sciences, Nutrition and Health, Biotechnology, Food Sciences and Plant Sciences students.
Cell Biology forms an introductory and partly specialized course into the structure and function of cells, its organelles and biomolecules.
Special focus is directed to the molecular and biochemical basis of cell function, ultrastructure and function of the different cell organelles, the cytoskeleton and cellular organization and to cell differentiation processes. Basic principles of intra- and extracellular communication processes will be studied to obtain insight into the regulation of cell function in the context of whole tissues, organs and complete organisms.
The basic knowledge obtained should provide a solid basis for several more specialized courses. Results of research into cellular mechanisms are extensively applied in practice. Examples are the recent developments in the fields of biochemistry and gene technology for diagnosis, vaccination, medication, biological pest control and genetic selection.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to have gained insight into:
- cell structure and the regulation of cell function;
- also in the context of whole tissues, organs and the complete organism;
- skills training as defined under 'examination'.


We start every new week with a new theme. This is introduced during 2 plenary lectures. Subsequently we work in small groups of 10-12 students and offer case studies with specific tasks that have to be prepared during the week and presented in group discussions at the end of each week. Cases should challenge the students to give an analysis of the different subjects. The goals comprise the knowledge needed to understand and explain the case. Theory is supported by ICT modules during supervised ICT practicals.
Laboratory practicals are an obligatory part of the course. Subjects chosen are related to the cases under study. Techniques applied are microscopy and cell biological analyses, supported by computer modules and films. Practical reports provide basic skills in scientific writing.


Practical training is compulsory and includes two short practical reports that have to meet the defined standards. Weekly group discussion/presentation also forms a mandatory skills training and can be rewarded with a maximum of 0.5 bonus point for the final examination (valid during the 3 exams of this course year). The final exam is computer based and comprises 90 multiple choice questions that cover the theoretical and practical learning outcomes of the course. A minimum mark of 5.5 is required.


For this course, the book: Alberts, B. (2014). Essential cell biology. New York, N.Y.,US: Garland Science. 4th edition . ISBN 9780815344551 is adopted.
Blackboard environment is created with specific literature information, ICT modules, movies and PowerPoint presentations of the lectures.
Practical manual CBI-10306 and book are for sale at the WUR-shop.

Compulsory for: BBIBiologyBSc2MO
BASAnimal SciencesBSc2AF
BFTFood TechnologyBSc2AF
BMLMolecular Life SciencesBSc2MO
BPWPlant SciencesBSc2MO
BVGNutrition and HealthBSc2AF