BMS 648 Medical Biochemistry: 5 Credit Hours

Placement in the Curriculum:  Year One
Duration:    August – December

Medical Biochemistry and Medical Nutrition courses are taught in an integrative curriculum in the fall semester of the M-1 year.  Biochemistry part has 75 lectures and is taught in the first nine weeks of the semester.  Nutrition consists of 26 lectures and is taught in the last six weeks.  In between the two sessions, there is a week of introductory lectures and “Open house’ of Complementary and Integrative Medicine.

   Medical biochemistry teaches the basic principles of biochemistry that govern human physiology in health and in diseases.  The course is designed to link basic biochemistry to physiology, pathology, pharmacology, clinical diagnosis and nutrition.  Student will initially learn about the structural and basic functions of nucleic acids, proteins, lipids and carbohydrates.  The biosyntheses, trafficking and degradation of macromolecules and their relevancy to diseases will be discussed.  Principles of enzymes catalysis and characterization of enzyme inhibitors as drugs will be introduced and followed by a session of “The Biochemistry of Blood” where many of the basic biochemical principles are applied to understand the functions of blood.   Fuel metabolism session will discuss energy conversion in our body, how foods are digested and absorbed, ATP is synthesized and being utilized in various cellular coupling processes.   Students will learn all major pathways that regulated carbohydrates, amino acids, nucleic acids and lipids metabolism.  Special emphasis is put on their interrelationships in different organs, physiological and diseases states.  Clinical correlation in each of the metabolic pathway will be discussed including diabetes and hypoglycemia, lysosomal storage diseases, hypercholesterolemia and atherosclerosis .  The final part of the course will focus on cellular responses to oxidative damages, drug metabolism, alcoholism, hormonal regulation and the biochemistry underlying inflammation and cancer proliferation.

Medical Nutrition will introduce the biochemistry of micronutrients and the metabolic role of vitamins and minerals and diseases caused by their deficiency and overdose.  Macronutrients lectures will discuss food intake and metabolism, protein-energy malnutrition in starvation, kwashiorkor and marasmus.  Functional food and basic knowledge in herbal supplement related to metabolic regulation will be discussed in the Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) week.  The final part of the course focuses on clinical nutrition.  Topics included, nutrition assessment, clinical nutrition support, sport nutrition, obesity, nutrition in diabetes mellitus, anemias, chronic kidney failure, heart diseases, and maternal and pediatric nutrition.  The course is concluded with an extended session of clinical cases reviews.

In between the Biochemistry and Nutrition sessions of the course, eight lectures will be organized to introduce Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) to students.  Topics include functional foods, twenty major herbal supplement, anti-inflammation regiments, energy medicine of Reiki and Chi-kung, chiropractics and traditional Chinese medicine of acupuncture and herbal medication.  The CAM session is concluded with a one-day “Open House” with nine exhibitions on various areas to allow students to have direct discussion with CAM practitioners.

In completing this course, the students will have acquired the basic knowledge in biochemistry that is related to physiology, pathology and pharmacology, the etiology of various diseases the their diagnostic methods.  The students should have an thorough understanding on the importance of nutrition as the front line treatment and prevention of diseases.  The goal of this course is to build the foundation of biochemistry knowledge that allow students to enter clinical sciences with an understanding of the molecular basis of diseases and their treatments.  In the process of completing Nutrition  course, the student will have acquired the following competencies:  Recognize and describe the role of nutrition in the cause, prevention, and treatment of disease.

Assessment:  There are three formal examinations in the Medical Biochemistry and two formal examinations in the Medical Nutrition.  Students are required to participate in a “Clinical Correlation Presentation” sessions organized in November and December.  In theses sessions, forty clinical diseases will be discussed by student-groups on the biochemical etiology, diagnosis, drug treatment and case studies of diseases.    

Key Words:  Biochemistry of biopolymers.  Biochemistry etiology of diseases.  Enzyme catalysis and kinetics.  Blood biochemistry.  Metabolism – catabolism and anabolism, Metaoblic pathways.  Oxidative phosphorylation.  Fuel metabolism.  ATP as bio-energy.  Glycolysis and gluconeogensis. Glycogen metabolism. Urea cycle, Heme biosynthesis and degradation,  Jaundices, Anemias,  Biochemistry of vitamins and minerals.  Hormonal regulation in metabolic pathways.  Oxidative damage. Drug metabolism, Biochemistry of inflammation, Cancer biochemistry.  Micronutrients and macronutrients, Nutritional support in diseases, Obesity and weight control.  Alcoholism.  Nutrition, Eating disorders, Peds Obesity, Peds, Pregnancy , Sports, Obesity, Anemia, Renal.

Exam questions are based on lecture material and readings/case studies

Instructional Features:
Lectures, Team-Based Learning Sessions, Reviews.