Università degli Studi di Urbino Carlo Bo / Portale Web di Ateneo


A.Y. Credits
2022/2023 6
Lecturer Email Office hours for students
Patrizia Ambrogini From Monday to Friday by appointment to be make by email or telephon (0722/304292).
Teaching in foreign languages
Course with optional materials in a foreign language English
This course is entirely taught in Italian. Study materials can be provided in the foreign language and the final exam can be taken in the foreign language.

Assigned to the Degree Course

Nutritional Science (L-29)
Date Time Classroom / Location
Date Time Classroom / Location

Learning Objectives

The course aims to provide the student with the following knowledge:

1. processes and cellular mechanisms underlying the major functions of human organism;

2. general mechanisms controlling the integrated functions of the various organs under normal conditions.


The program includes the following topics, listed in the order as they will be presented during the course:

1. Transport across cell membrane: passive diffusion; facilitated diffusion; water channels; ion channels; active transport by ATP-powered pumps; cotransport by symporters and antiporters against a concentration gradient; transport across epithelia; endocytosis; exocytosis. Resting membrane potential.

2. Elements of intercellular communication: paracrine, autocrine and endocrine signaling; membrane receptors: ion-channel receptors, G protein-coupled receptors, enzyme-linked receptors; intracellular receptors: cytoplasmic and nuclear receptors; signal transduction pathways.

3. The neuron: action potential; myelin sheath and saltatory conduction; electrical synapses; chemical synapses: neurotransmitters and their receptors; post-synaptic potential; neuron integration function; sensory receptors: stimulus transduction and codification; reflexes.

4. Skeletal muscle, cardiac muscle, smooth muscle: sarcomere; excitation-contraction coupling; contraction mechanism.

5. Control systems of organ functions:

a) Hypothalamus: general organizational principles and functional organization;

b) Autonomic nervous system: sympathetic division, parasympathetic division, enteric division, integrated functions;

c) Endocrine system: hormones: classification, synthesis and release, action mechanisms; hypothalamus-hypophysis axis; thyroid; adrenal glands; endocrine pancreas.

Bridging Courses

Cell biology and human anatomy, Biochemistry.

Learning Achievements (Dublin Descriptors)

According to Dublin descriptors, at the end of the course and for passing the exam, students are expected to fulfill the following requirements:

D1- KNOWLEDGE AND CAPACITY OF UNDERSTANDING: to possess good knowledge and understanding of physiology topics, so as to be able to set a logical and complete discussion about theoretical aspects of the discipline, being also able to make connections among the treated topics;

D2- CAPACITY TO APPLY KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING: to apply the acquired knowledge to the discussion of different issues within physiology;

D3- JUDGEMENT AUTONOMY: to have acquired autonomy in the application of knowledge, making independent decisions and choices in the face of different aspects inherent physiology;

D4- COMMUNICATION  SKILLS; to be able to communicate, clearly and comprehensively, the acquired knowledge, exposing with language property and scientific terms, elaborating an autonomous thinking using the provided information about the diverse issues presented during the course;

D5- LEARNING ABILITY: to have reached a good level of learning capacity, not only in terms of ability to memorize/retrieve the information studied, but also in terms of ability to elaborate original thoughts about the diverse issues presented during the course.

Teaching Material

The teaching material prepared by the lecturer in addition to recommended textbooks (such as for instance slides, lecture notes, exercises, bibliography) and communications from the lecturer specific to the course can be found inside the Moodle platform › blended.uniurb.it

Supporting Activities

No seminars, practice activities, or supporting lessons given by persons different from the lecturer will be offered.

Teaching, Attendance, Course Books and Assessment




Anatomical and biochemical knowledge are necessary to comprehend topics included in the program of Physiology.

Course books

In alternative:

- Vander's Human Physiology. The mechanisms of body function. 2019, McGraw-Hill Education 

- Silverthorn, Human physiology: an integrated approach. 2018, Pearson

- Stuart Ira Fox, Human Physiology, 2020, Mc Graw Hill


Written exam addressed to monitor compliance with Dublin Descriptor requirements. Particular consideration will be paid to the verification of the student's ability to make connections among the topics and to the appropriateness of the terminology used to describe the topic.
The exam consists of three open-ended questions on the topics described in the program; for the purpose of passing the exam, the student must obtain the sufficiency in all three questions. The exam lasts two hours. The final grade will be awarded out of thirty.

Disability and Specific Learning Disorders (SLD)

Students who have registered their disability certification or SLD certification with the Inclusion and Right to Study Office can request to use conceptual maps (for keywords) during exams.

To this end, it is necessary to send the maps, two weeks before the exam date, to the course instructor, who will verify their compliance with the university guidelines and may request modifications.

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