HHA 303: MICROSCOPIC ANATOMY AND MOLECULAR BIOLOGY
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Thematic Head: Dr. Bernard Ndung’u 
Staff 
1. Dr. Wycliffe Kaisha 
2. Dr. Kevin Ongeti 
 
COURSE DESCRIPTION 
This involves the study of anatomy with aid of a microscope. It is broadly classified into 
cytology and histology which involve the study of cell; their structure, organelles and 
inclusions and tissue i.e. the organization respectively. The Department of Human Anatomy, 
UoN offers histology as its main course of microscopic anatomy. This study involves; 
 A study of harvesting of specimen, preparation techniques and staining methods 
 A study of the broad classification of tissue types in the human body and the subtypes 
i.e. connective tissue, epithelial tissue 
 A study of the intricacies of each tissue, the distinct features, types of cells and the 
organization or modifications, the functions of each tissue and how to identify each 
tissue 
 Knowing the normal anatomy and relating it to pathology and further practice 
The above objectives are mainly approached from a systemic gross anatomy point of view. 
 
Histology lectures and lab sessions are held once each week but students can access the 
facilities’ on any workday within working hours. This is to encourage scholarly endeavours. 
Lectures on what to expect are held before each session. During each session a student has a 
hands on experience of use of a microscope and various specimen already prepared into 
microscopic slides. 
COURSE CONTENT 
Cell structure: Structural and functional organization of the cell membranes and subcellular 
organelles, cytoskeleton and nucleus. 
Cell activities: Synthesis, secretion, exocytosis, endocytosis. Cell motility and dynamisim. 
Intracellular, transcellular and intercellular transport. Organelle production and renewal. 
Regulation of cell function. Ultrastructural features of cells of protein, steroid synthesizing, 
ion transport, phagocytosis.  2
Cell cycle: Phases and regulation. Apoptosis, necrosis. 
Histology: Microscopic features, structural and functional organization of the nervous, 
epithelial, muscular and skeletal tissues. Adaptations to function. 
Organology: Microscopic features and organization of all organs of the human body. Cells, 
tissue types and respective functions. Adaptations to function. Regional features within 
systems. 
 
Molecular biology: Definition, scope and significance. Structure, types properties, replication, 
retrieval of DNA and RNA in vivo. DNA polymerases, and replication primers. Molecular 
markers – Alloenzymes; RFLPs, molecular alleles. Random amplified polymorphic DNA 
(RAPD), microsatellites (STRs). DNA technology. cDNA and genomic libraries and 
screening. Polymerase Chain Reaction and sequencing. Transgenic organisms. Introduction to 
proteomies. Bioinformatics, internet tools as a resource, sequence databases and online tools. 
Link to genome projects, software environment for DNA sequence analysis. Sequence 
alignment. Phylogenetic inference. Sequence data bases. Nuclear probes. 
 
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