Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

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This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2016 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

Monash University

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.


Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences


Associate Professor Helen Irving (Parkville); Dr Alan Lee Yiu Wah (Malaysia)



  • First semester 2016 (Day)


  • First semester 2016 (Day)


To introduce 2nd year pharmacy students to essential elements of biochemistry and molecular biology. In the process, students will develop their abilities to integrate biochemical information as it relates to both desired and unwanted effects of therapeutics, and appreciate the underlying foundation of biochemistry and molecular biology in the treatment of individual diseases and pathological conditions.

The specific topics that will be addressed are as follows:

  • structure and molecular properties of proteins, sugars and complex carbohydrates, lipids and membranes, and nucleotides and coenzymes
  • information transfer (gene structure and regulation); protein synthesis and its use in molecular biology
  • metabolism; catabolic pathways, synthetic pathways, energy production, control of metabolism


After completing this unit, students will be able to:

  1. To demonstrate their understanding of the basic biochemistry of body constituents by describing (comparing and contrasting) and explaining the structure, function and classification of the major biomolecules and analysing how these can be altered or perturbed in disease states using biochemical and molecular biology procedures;
  2. To demonstrate their understanding of the nature of information transfer and molecular biology methods by describing and explaining aspects of the processes from an enzymatic to biomolecular level and predicting how these can be altered or perturbed in disease states;
  3. To demonstrate their understanding of the principle metabolic pathways and the basis of their regulation and connections by describing their roles and differentiating how they are regulated from a hormonal to enzymatic level at the cellular, organ and whole body levels;
  4. To demonstrate their understanding of integrated biochemical and physiological functions, pathophysiological and biochemical or genetic perturbations as they affect bodily functions by predicting and differentiating how the metabolic pathways are regulated under normal fed, and fasting conditions and diseased conditions such as diabetes mellitus type 1.


on-going assessments: 20%; group assignment: 10%; practical/tutorial work:10%; final examination (2.5 hours): 60%.

Workload requirements

Contact hours for on-campus students:

  • Thirty six 1-hour lectures
  • Five 1-hour tutorials
  • Five 3-hour practicals or workshops

Additional requirements:

  • One 6-hour self-directed computer based assignment

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)


PAC1142 Chemistry of biomolecules
PAC1111 Introduction to physiology
PAC1132 Systems physiology

Additional information on this unit is available from the faculty at: