CBI-10306 Cell Biology


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Group work6
Independent study0
Course coordinator(s)dr. R Tennekes
Lecturer(s)dr. ir. MJ Ketelaar
dr. R Tennekes
prof. dr. D Weijers
Examiner(s)dr. R Tennekes

Language of instruction:


Mandatory knowledge:

ZSS06100 Laboratory Safety

Assumed knowledge on:

Secondary school Biology. If this knowledge has not been obtained, please prepare by reading the first two chapters of the book: Essential Cell Biology. Keeping up with the course content is key!

Continuation courses:

The course content is used in other first year courses. Second and third year courses that follow are e.g. CBI-20306.


This course is part of the first year program for Biology, Molecular Sciences, Nutrition and Health, Biotechnology and Plant Sciences students. The course content provides necessary knowledge for other first year courses in all these study programs.
Cell Biology forms an introductory and partly specialized course into the structure and function of cells, its organelles and biomolecules.
Special focus is directed at 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 in the first year programs. Results of research into cellular mechanisms are extensively applied in practice during the practicals as well as during group work. 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 be able to understand:
- (ultra) structure, organisation and function of cells, organelles, membranes and biomolecules;
- basic principles of cellular functions: transcription, translation, replication, mitosis, meiosis, cell differentiation;
- basic principles of cell structure, movement and intracellular trafficking;
- basic principles of intra- and extra-cellular communication: receptors and signaling pathways;
- basic principles of light- and electron-microscopy;
- basic cell biological assays;
- skills as defined under 'activities' and 'examination'.


Every week is started with a new theme. This is introduced during plenary lectures. Theory is supported by ICT modules. Subsequently students work in small groups of 10-12 students wherein they are offered 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 analyse the related subjects in the light of the weekly theme. The weekly learning goals comprise the knowledge needed to understand and explain the case.
Laboratory practicals are a mandatory part of the course. The biological assays chosen are related to the weekly theme as well as 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 (lab) training is compulsory and includes two short practical reports that have to meet 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 following book is used: Alberts, B. (2019). Essential cell biology. New York, N.Y.,US: Garland Science. 5th edition . ISBN 978-0-393-68039-3.
A Brightspace environment is available with specific literature, ICT modules, movies and PowerPoint presentations of the lectures.
The practical manual CBI-10306 and book are for sale at the WUR-shop.

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