Medical Biochemistry


Course Objective

General learning objectives/final objectives
a. Knows the specific structure, function and role of the different
metabolic molecules, cells and tissues/organs in the human body.
b. Can explain the coherence of tissue morphology (histology), hormones
(endocrinology) and metabolic pathways (biochemistry) in the proper
functioning of humans as an integrated system.
c. Understands the human reaction to acute or chronic changes in
lifestyle (dieting, sports) and during disease.
d. Can explain the underlying cause of tissue-specific effects of gene
e. Understands the biochemical background and working mechanisms of
several well-known lifestyle and nutrition-related substances and
medicaments (cholesterol reducing agents, aspirin).

Educational track “Mathematic modeling” in Biomedical Sciences:
The student:
- knows how the speed equation for a particular enzyme, that is
influenced by effectors, is built up mathematically, can qualitatively
predict the behavior of an enzyme based on this equation and can produce
graphs that reflect this behavior.
- can construct a qualitative reasoning that explains the behavior of a
network by means of simulations of a metabolic network that is built up
from connected speed equations.

Educational track “Scientific thinking and conducting research”:
The student:
- master the laboratory skills to isolate, fractionate and
quantitatively determine the levels of glucose, lipids and proteins in
- is able to describe these laboratory experiments in a lab journal and
to draw the correct conclusions from the described results.
- is able to recognize some human tissues under the microscope, and to
correlate their coherence in form and function.

Course Content

This course builds on the general biochemical fundament of year 1 from
the courses “Biochemistry” (Biomedical Sciences) and “Building blocks of
Life” (Health and Life sciences).
This course aims to teach the students about:
a. the human metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins and lipids (sugars,
amino acids, lipids and nucleotides) and the accompanying digestion,
molecular processes and mechanisms of regulation.
b. how in the human body various organs and tissues play specialized
roles in metabolism (intestine, liver, kidney and lungs).
c. how this metabolic system enables healthy people to adequately
respond to changes in behavior (diet, lifestyle, sport, stress).
d. how pathological changes can be caused by genetic disorders or by
lifestyle and environmental factors (obesity, alcohol, anorexia,
e. how many common conditions can be diagnosed in body fluids (clinical
chemistry) and treated with some generic drugs (cholesterol reducing
agents, aspirin, antacids) to illustrate the underlying biochemical
processes and metabolic pathways in sick and healthy people.
f. the concept of metabolic pathways, their regulation by metabolites
and hormones and the mathematical modeling of these pathways.

Teaching Methods

1. Lectures (28 hours).
2. Practical assignments: modeling, histology and biochemistry (22
3. Study groups biochemistry + preparation (18 hours)
4. Self-study/literature (100 hours)
Total: 168 hours

Method of Assessment

The summative examination will comprise 2 closed, digital (partial)
examinations (week 4 and week 8, multiple choice and more complex
question forms). Average grade should be >5,50 to pass the course. One
resit will be given per year. This resit comprises all the study

The following conditions need to be met to pass the course:
- Obligatory presence and participation in the histology and
biochemistry practical assignments. This includes the writing of a lab
journal report. (PASS/FAIL)
- Active participation in the study groups on mathematical modeling.
- Active participation in the study groups on Biochemistry. This
includes the writing of an essay, giving a presentation and
participation in the discussion (PASS/FAIL)


- Biochemistry: Lieberman and Peet: Marks’ Essentials of Medical
Biochemistry, 2nd Ed 2015. ISBN: 978-1-4511-9006-9, Chapters: 1-8, 16-36
(We will cover ~2/3 of the book. Section 2 and 4 are a repetition of the
Biochemistry course of year 1, but we will teach the biochemical
processes from a medical perspective. These sections are also essential
to recapitulate the biochemical knowledge from year 1).
- Endocrinology and Histology: Martini, Fundamentals of Anatomy and
Physiology, 8/9/10/11th edition. Chapter 18 and partially chapters 21,
23, 24 en 26

Target Audience

Mandatory for 2nd year students BSc Biomedical Sciences, optional for
2nd year students Health and Life Sciences, major Biomedical Sciences

Additional Information

Labcoat needed for practical classes Biochemistry

Recommended background knowledge

Biochemistry (BMS) or Building blocks of Life(Health and Life sciences).

General Information

Course Code AB_1198
Credits 6 EC
Period P1
Course Level 200
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Faculty of Science
Course Coordinator drs. K. Brouwer
Examiner dr. ing. S.J. van Vliet
Teaching Staff drs. K. Brouwer
prof. dr. A.J.G. Horrevoets
dr. R.E. van Kesteren
dr. M.H.G. Verheijen
dr. D. Molenaar
dr. ing. S.J. van Vliet

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Last-minute registration is available for this course.

Teaching Methods Study Group*, Computer lab, Lecture, Practical, Education

*You cannot select a group yourself for this teaching method, you will be placed in a group.

Target audiences

This course is also available as: