Metabolism and Disease

Module summary

Module code: BIOC0581
Level: 5
Credits: 15
School: Engineering and Science
Department: Science
Module Coordinator(s): Lauren Pecorino



The aims of this course are:
To provide an introduction to basic concepts in metabolism and the principles of metabolic pathways.
To provide students with information on core metabolic pathways.
To discuss relationships with metabolism and core disease pathways.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student will be able to:
1. Discuss general issues related to regulation and integration of metabolic processes.
2. Discuss the use of various metabolites as energy sources.  
3. Explain the metabolic bases of selected diseases.
4. Interpret and analyse a variety of types of laboratory data, including some data you generate yourself.

Skills Learning Outcomes:
1. Recognise and apply subject specific theories, paradigms, concepts or principles e.g. link between metabolism and disease;
2. Analyse, synthesise and summarise information (with evidence of comparative / critical appraisal);
3. Apply knowledge and understanding to address problems. design plans, conduct and report on investigation;
4. Obtain, record and analyse data using appropriate techniques (working individually or as a group);
5. Undertake investigations in a responsible, safe and ethical manner developing and adaptable, flexible, and effective approach to study and work;
6. Communicate about their subject appropriately cite and reference work in an appropriate manner;
7. Use the internet and other electronic sources critically as a means of communication and a source of information;
8. Demonstrate self-management skills for lifelong learning; demonstrate an adaptable, flexible, and effective approach to study and work.

Indicative content

Principles of metabolism and metabolic pathways, including regulation (e.g. hormonal) Inter-relationships between anabolism and catabolism.
Metabolic significance of compartmentalisation in eukaryotic cells.
Bioenergetics: Thermodynamics of metabolism; equilibrium and non-equilibrium reactions.
The role of ATP.
Enzyme kinetics; the role of co-factors and co-enzymes.
Specific metabolic pathways will be covered e.g.: Glycosis; Gluconeogenesis; glycogen metabolism; β-oxidation pathway; TCA cycle and associated anaplerotic pathways; Electron transport chain; Oxygen free radical metabolism; Amino acid metabolism; purine and pyrimidine nucleotide metabolism. In the context of metabolic processes, a range of diseases will be discussed, for example: kwashiorkor, gout, phenylketonuria, Lesch-Nyhan syndrome, Parkinson's disease, tyrosinaemia, glycogen storage disease (type V): McArdles syndrome, diseases due to oxygen free radical damage.

Teaching and learning activity

The course will be delivered largely via lectures and practicals together with tutorials. Development of group working and presentational skills will also take place in practicals / tutorials.


Practical: 25% weighting, 40% pass mark.
Learning outcome 4.
Outline Details: A practical write up relevant to theoretical and practical content of the course.

Exam: 75% weighting, 40% pass mark.
Learning outcomes - All.
Outline Details: 2 hour exam.

Formative Assessment: Tutorial Exercises.