Medical and Metabolic Biochemistry (BCHM3082)


This unit of study will explore the biochemical processes involved in the operation of cells and how they are integrated in tissues and in the whole human body in normal and diseased states. These concepts will be illustrated by considering whole-body aspects of energy utilisation, fat and glycogen storage and their regulation under normal conditions compared to obesity and diabetes. Key concepts that will be discussed include energy balance, regulation of metabolic rate, control of food intake, tissue interactions in fuel selection, the role of adipose tissue and transport of fuel molecules from storage organs and into cells. Particular emphasis will be placed on how the modern concepts of metabolomics, coupled with molecular biology methods and studies of the structure and function of enzymes, have led to our current understanding of how metabolic processes are normally integrated and how they become deranged in disease states. The practical component is designed to complement the lecture course and will provide students with experience in a wide range of techniques used in modern medical and metabolic biochemistry.

Further unit of study information


Two 1-hour lectures per week and one 6-hour practical per fortnight.


One 2.5-hour exam, practical work (100%)


Devlin T Textbook of Biochemistry With Clinical Correlations 7th edition. Wiley 2011.

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules

Prerequisites and assumed knowledge

(MBLG1001 or MBLG1901) and 12 credit points of (MBLG2071 or MBLG2971 or BCHM2071 or BCHM2971 or BCHM2072 or BCHM2972). For BMedSc: (BMED2401 and BMED2405 and one of (MBLG2071 or MBLG2971 or BCHM2071 or BCHM2971) or (BMED2801 and BMED2802 and BMED2804))


BCHM3982 or BCHM3002 or BCHM3902 or BCHM3004 or BCHM3904

Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.