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Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cell Biology: Transport and Signaling

Massachusetts Institute of Technology via edX


This is the first cell biology course in a three-part series. Building upon the concepts from biochemistry, genetics, and molecular biology from our 7.00x Introductory Biology and 7.05x Biochemistry MOOCs, these cell biology courses transition to a comprehensive discussion of biology at an experimental level. How do we know what we know about cells at a molecular level and how can we use that knowledge to design experiments to test hypotheses in cell biology?

Professors Rebecca Lamason and Iain Cheeseman guide you through a learning experience where you will discover experiments that answered big questions and find out what is still on the horizon. You will embark on a lively journey through cellular transport and cellular signaling mechanisms and regulation and learn how to apply key concepts and themes of this dynamic experimental science to understand the fundamental workings of cells.

We developed the 7.06x Cell Biology series with an emphasis on:

  • Developing your scientific thinking skills including articulating hypotheses, performing thought experiments, interpreting data, and designing experiments.
  • Using data based on real scientific experiments and highlighting the scientific process in assessments.
  • Asserting that biology is an active field that changes daily through examples of research and relevance to medicine, not static information in a textbook.
  • Uniting themes and principles that inform how scientists conduct and interpret research.
  • Exploring foundational experiments that defined modern cell biology.
  • Implementing the science of learning in the course design.


  • Membranes, Lipids, and Proteins
  • Intracellular Transport and Protein Secretion
  • Nuclear-Cytoplasmic Transport
  • Principles of Signal Transduction
  • Signaling Pathways and Regulatory Paradigms

Taught by

Frank Solomon, Rebecca Lamason, Mary Ellen Wiltrout, Darcy Gordon and Monika Avello


4.9 rating, based on 14 Class Central reviews

Start your review of Cell Biology: Transport and Signaling

  • Karen Carlson completed this course, spending 10 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.

    Like all of the MIT biology courses, this one focuses on the laboratory: not just, how does a newly-made protein go from the ER to the Golgi to a vesicle, but: how do we know that's what it does? How do we figure out what enzymes take part in the pr…
  • Anonymous
    I strongly recommend this course to those interested in or working in any bio-related field. Besides creating a solid background, you will gain an experimental perspective, which is possibly not easy to obtain from any random course or university without a try-fail-try-learn-try-find cycle. Thanks for who gave this course and made it accessible for us.
  • Profile image for Roman Serbay
    Roman Serbay
    As for me this course sheds some light on mechanisms of signals and proteins transportation (transduction) through the quite dense media like cytoplasm of a cell. Simple diffusion of big molecules in the viscous environment couldn't explain so high transportation speed of organic molecules with an amazingly low signal/noise ratio.
  • Anonymous
    Course leads to deeper understanding of the roles of membranes in eukaryotic cells for transport and signaling.
    Good lectures and quizzes. In some cases lectures and supporting text are not sufficient to answer quizzes.
  • Anonymous
    The course content is great and the professor is a great teacher! It is heavily focused on experimental approach to teach the concepts, which gives a deeper understanding of the topics being studied.
  • Anonymous
    Amazing course with lots of good information. This course really helps understand the content with many in depth diagrams, animations, and lectures. Would definately recommend.
  • Anonymous
    Everything is explained very well with deep understanding and clarification of concepts. Overall this is great opportunity for anyone who wants to learn about how the things work inside the cell.
  • Anonymous
    I am retired, I took this course with patience, and I regret not having passed it ten or 20 years before ... my students would have benefited a lot more.

    I am retired, I took this course with patience, and I regret not having passed it ten or 20 years before ... my students would have benefited a lot more.

    I ask young people to take advantage of these opportunities ...
  • Anonymous
    Being a pharmacist for more than 20 years now, my knowledge of basic cell biology is a bit rusty, so I decided to try this course. And I am loving it!
    The instructors are always invinting us to think scientifically about the system under study. They show real experiments that have unraveled the mechanisms explained, and invite us to design new experiments.
    Chalktalk is a great way to communicate, and prof. Lamason is awesome!
    I cannot wait to learn more.
    Thank you for this course!
  • Anonymous
    The description of transport in the cell is precise and easily understandable. The process is magical. There is also the preservation of mechanisms in transport in various locations which makes sense and also makes it easier to remember. The explanation of the experiments is obviously useful to those who plan to do research. It also shows how an intricate process can be elucidated. It adds credence to the description of what is an amazing process.
  • Anonymous
    I really love the MITx courses becouse of the way they provide material. Their intricate quizes and class-like maner of teaching make me very involved in the process of learning. When I take these courses I really feel like I'm there in the class and try to write down and remember everything. But all that would be nothing if there are not so smart and competent teachers. I was absolutely delighted of prof. Yaffe and prof. Bell. And I can say prof. Lamason didn't let down at all. She is amasing lecturer, I really enjoied wathcing her lections. Great course! I got tons of useful information that I consider as crucial for any biologist. Thanks!
  • Anonymous
    Well structured course and accessible with experienced teachers practitioners, what else? A remote real-life lab work overwatch, or a virtual lab :)
    Over all the course is a very pleasant learning experience.
  • Anonymous
    It is a very informative course. The classes are taught well - recordings are very clear. The course material is great. the exercises complement the material quite well.
  • Anonymous
    A very informative and understandable course. If you want to learn more about cell biology I recommend this course.

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