The aim of this unit is to build on the foundation of biochemical principles covered in RBM2560 Medical Biochemistry with an emphasis on human medical and nutritional applications of biochemistry. This unit covers many aspects of biochemistry related to macronutrient (carbohydrates, fats and proteins) and alcohol metabolism in health and pathophysiology. An understanding of extracellular and intracellular receptor signalling will be developed. Discussion of compensatory mechanisms such as futile cycling and pro and anti-inflammatory responses and the regulation of these (including genetic to physiological) will be included.
Practical components of the measurement of energy metabolism and how dietary manipulation alters energy metabolism will be covered. Measurement of inflammatory markers and gene expression will also be investigated, particularly as they relate to alterations in energy metabolism.

Unit details

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RBM2560 - Medical Biochemistry

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Describe various metabolic pathways of macronutrients and alcohol;  
  2. Evaluate and explain changes in physiological systems in health and pathophysiology;  
  3. Describe the role of inflammation in the regulation of metabolism;  
  4. Explain the measurement of and physiological consequences of alterations in gene expression and inflammation as they relate to metabolism; and  
  5. Explain the action of specific intra- and extra-cellular signalling cascades and how these have regulatory roles in metabolism.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Test Three (3) Multiple Choice Topic Tests (60 mins) 30%
Assignment Reports on practicals and answers to workshop questions (2000 words) 30%
Examination Final examination (2 hours) 40%

Required reading

Advanced nutrition and human metabolism 6th ed
Gropper, S.S. (2013)
Belmont, CA : Wadsworth/Cengage Learning

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