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BMS1011 - Biomedical chemistry

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Leader: Associate Professor Mibel Aguilar (Biochemistry and Molecular Biology) and Dr Marie-Paule Van Damme (Biochemistry and Molecular Biology)


Clayton First semester 2007 (Day)


Introduction to the chemistry of organic molecules and the biochemistry of cells. The role of functional groups in biological molecules of biomedical importance. Common reactions in metabolism. Ionisation and the concept of pH. Proteins as biological polymers. Physical properties of proteins in solution. Enzyme catalysis and kinetics. Biological oxidation and cellular energetics. The mitochondrial electron transport chain. Structure and metabolism of lipids and polysaccharides.


This unit is an introduction to the chemical principles of life with an emphasis on the molecular building blocks of living cells. At the conclusion of this subject, students will have achieved a basic understanding of the chemical and biochemical aspects of functional groups in biological molecules. Students will have developed an understanding of the common reactions found in metabolic systems such as oxidation-reduction, bond formation, bond breaking events and a knowledge of the role of water. The students will have understood the role of equilibrium and kinetic processes in biology and the concepts of enzyme catalysis. They will also have developed an appreciation of biological oxidation and the metabolic release of energy. They will also have been introduced to the chemistry of important biological polymers and lipids. Students will also have developed basic skills in laboratory experimentation, and the reporting of experiments in oral and written form. On completion of the subject, students will have a good knowledge of the biochemistry of molecules and reactions of biomedical importance.


Written theory exam of essay questions and MCQs: 65%
Small group session Demonstrators weekly assessment, answer sheets, SDLs (20%) +
Multiple Choice Questions (5%) +
Mid-semester test: 10%

Contact hours

3 lectures and a 3-hour small group session or computer based or self-directed learning per week


Must be enrolled in Bachelor of Biomedical Science, Bachelor of Behavioural Neuroscience, Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics, Bachelor of Emergency Health (Paramedic) or Diploma of Health Science