Medical Biochemistry

Module summary

Module code: OMED0075
Level: 6
Credits: 15
School: Engineering and Science
Department: Science
Module Coordinator(s): Samer El-Daher



• Provide a detailed review and understanding of the biochemical basis of human disease.
• To extend depth of understanding of the principles of biochemistry, physiology and pathology of selected organ systems and those areas of current active research activity.
• To describe and evaluate the significance of biochemical laboratory data to the diagnosis, screening, monitoring, prognosis, pathogenesis and treatment of human disease.
• Introduction to therapeutic drug monitoring and toxicology and to develop a critical and analytical approach to the investigation of the biochemical basis of human disease.

Learning outcomes

On completing this course successfully, a student will be able to:

1 Demonstrate an in depth understanding of the biochemical, physiological and pathological basis of blood and selected organ systems.
2 Explain the significance of laboratory derived data showing changes in body biochemistry to the aetiology, monitoring, prognosis, pathogenesis and treatment of human disease.
3 Demonstrate an understanding of therapeutic drug monitoring and toxicology and an in depth understanding of selected current research topics in medical biochemistry.
4 Demonstrate an ability to analyse published data in published journal articles.

Indicative content

Biochemical laboratory investigations in health and disease, DNA and molecular analysis of human genetic disease, inherited metabolic disorders, normal and defective erythropoiesis, haemoglobin synthesis, physiology and degradation, haemoglobin variants and porphyrias, laboratory investigation of coagulation, bilirubin metabolism and jaundice, liver in health and disease, liver function tests, plasma proteins, hyperproteinaemia (paraproteins, lipoproteinemias, acute phase proteins) and hypoproteinaemia, lipids and lipid disorders, management of hyperlipidaemias, clinical enzymology, cardiac markers, disorders of carbohydrate metabolism, diabetes mellitus, hydrogen ions homeostasis, acidosis and alkalosis, acute and chronic renal failure and its laboratory investigation, biochemistry and laboratory investigation of disturbances to pH, hydrogen, water, sodium, potassium, electrolyte homeostasis and blood gases, calcium, phosphate, iron and vitamins, metabolic bone disease, endocrine system disorders and their laboratory investigation, toxicology and drug monitoring.

Teaching and learning activity

The course will be taught through lectures and a tutorial session for each topic three hours per week. Principles and understanding of the subject, and original data from primary research papers and other sources, and current topics of research activity will be explained in lectures. Tutorials will be interactive and establish understanding of topic areas primarily through case studies. Appropriate online tutorial work will be used to provide background information and learning and, guided independent study by students is also a requirement.


MCQ - 20%
Online MCQ questions.

Case Study/Essay - 30%
1500 words.
Critical evaluation of case study data and or analysis and evaluation based on the scientific literature on a topic of current investigative research interest.

Exam - 50%
Students will be expected to answer MCQ questions and two essay questions from a total of six.

Pass mark - 40%