Fundamentals of Biochemistry

This module will provide Biochemists, Biological Sciences and Human Biology students with a broad introduction to biochemistry: the chemistry underlying the processes that take place in cells
You’ll study:

how the structure of molecules explains their function, focusing on proteins such as enzymes;
how cellular processes are determined by energy relationships;
the sources of biological energy, and how energy present in food is captured and used by cells
In parallel, students will use independent learning texts to learn or revise fundamental topics: chemical bonds; concentrations and amounts; reaction kinetics; pH and pKa; and energetics and redox reactions.

Lab practical classes will provide opportunities to experience core techniques in biochemistry: the application of spectrophotometry to the quantitative analysis of proteins using and the kinetics of enzyme activity. 

By the end of the module you should be able to:

  • demonstrate knowledge of the structures and interactive properties of amino acids, and be able to discuss the structure-function relationships of proteins
  • describe the key features of metabolism with reference to central sugar metabolism, the tricarboxylic acid cycle, redox reactions, and the integration and regulation of metabolism
  • demonstrate an understanding of enzymes and introductory enzyme kinetics
  • carry out practical exercises to illustrate methods of quantitative analysis including studies of enzyme activity
  • understand fundamental chemical concepts of bonds, concentrations, reaction kinetics, pH and buffers and redox potentials
  • demonstrate sufficient mathematical skills to exploit the data handling and skills classes later in the course
  • demonstrate data manipulation skills and problem solving in the workshops
  • use and learn from a specific independent learning component of the course