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BMS2021 - Biochemistry of human function

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Leader: Dr Marie-Paule Van Damme (Biochemistry and Molecular Biology) and Dr Janet Macaulay (Biochemistry and Molecular Biology)


Clayton First semester 2007 (Day)


Principles of cellular metabolic regulation in relation to the specialised metabolism in the liver and the brain. Energy stores in man, food energy utilisation in basal and active states. The generation of metabolic energy from macronutrients. The role of mitochondria in cellular bioenergetics and the formation and transport of mitochondrial proteins. Cellular protein trafficking. Overview of cell-cell communication. The regulation and integration of cell growth, differentiation and death. An introduction to molecular medicine - medical aspects of purine and pyrimidine metabolism, the biochemical basis of diabetes, cell and molecular biology of blood cells and haemostasis.


The specific objectives of the lecture program are to build on the concepts introduced in the subject BMS1011 - Biomedical Chemistry - and to provide students a sound understanding of the basic principles of:

  1. The regulation and integration of metabolic pathways in tissues and cells;
  2. The generation of energy in the form of ATP by mitochondrial electron transport and the role of human mitochondrial DNA and import of proteins into the mitochondrion;
  3. Biochemical mechanisms of cell growth and differentiation; and
  4. Biomedical aspects of molecular medicine in relation to normal and diseased human tissues.
The specific objectives of the self-directed learning, small group teaching program are to enable students to develop problem-solving skills through evaluation of biochemical data and through problem-based, self-directed learning to provide students with an understanding and hands-on experience of the methods used to:
  1. assay enzyme activity and metabolic flux;
  2. Study cell growth, cell differentiation and cell death; and
  3. Investigate the biochemistry of specialised tissues.


Written examination by short answer questions and MCQs: 60%
Continuous assessment of project performance: 30%
Mid semester test: 10%

Contact hours

3 lectures per week and 3 hours practical or equivalent




Must be enrolled in course code 2230; 2341; 3356; 3528; 3804; or 3879.


BCH2022, BND2021