Biochemistry Branch|

About the branch:

The branch biochemistry consists of the head of the branch and the laboratory of biochemistry, in which both first and second classes are studied, where the biochemical bases of the biological processes that occur within the human body are determined in normal and pathological cases, in addition to following the most advanced practical methods in conducting clinical biochemical analyzes, Which contribute to community service.

The Teaching Staff of the Branch:

Lec.Dr.Bushra Mahmood HusseinHead of Branch
Lec.Dr.Yasmine Sami NassirThe branch supervisor
Prof.Dr.Zuhair Maroof HussienTeaching staff
Lec.Dr.Omar Jassim KatwanTeaching staff
Aِss.Lec.Wassan Saher HassanTeaching staff

Vision, Message And Objective:


  • Effective contribution to medical progress through education and the preparation of qualified doctors to provide the best medical services and the continuation of scientific research in all medical fields.
  • Preparing physicians distinguished by competence and scientific experience, reinforced by an understanding of the biochemical bases of the vital processes that occur within the human body in normal and diseased cases.


  • Excellence in creating and following advanced scientific methods in conducting pathological analyzes and preparing medical scientific research that contributes to community service.
  • Establishing solid relationships with researchers in international universities.


  • Keeping abreast of scientific development in developing education programs and using the latest programs developed for medical education in accordance with the modern academic curriculum.
  • Contribute to providing the community with scientifically distinguished doctors who have experience in the approved scientific foundations to conduct all pathological analyzes related to clinical biochemistry.
  • Giving lectures to postgraduate students in the colleges of the university, as well as supervising their research projects.

Biochemistry by definition is the chemistry of life and life is a system of cooperative

enzyme catalyzed reactions. Of course, it is to the credit of a teacher to make the subject come alive and perhaps to inspire the student to devout they to an in depth study.

In the context of teaching biochemistry in medical colleges, the teacher needs to enlighten them with the molecular basis of life processes in normal health and in different disease

conditions. The relevance and importance of the subject in medicine should be clearly identified.

Teaching of biochemistry presently followed in medical colleges’ deals generally with:

–   The chemical and structural details of biomolecules

–   Their metabolic fate

–   Discussion shortly on the physiological or pathological relevance.

Further, it has been a classroom teaching. The knowledge gained by this traditional method is hardly retained till the clinical teaching starts in the later years and at this stage there is very little scope for the student to understand the molecular basis of different clinical conditions.

Teaching biochemistry with poor clinical exposure does not do any justice to a medical student and in this way they neither learn the chemistry of life nor the chemical basis of

pathology. Exposing the student to less than the whole story is not fair. The beauty of the

subject lies not in the fact that something occurs but in why it occurs. Understanding why?, makes the subject lively.

Orientation of the medical students to understand the molecular basis of normal and/or

abnormal  functioning  of  an  organ  system  needs  to  be  initiated  aggressively.  A  good following of biochemistry helps a better learning of the other branches of medicine and vice versa.

Biochemistry in health science cannot be taught and learnt in isolation. A thoroughly integrated approach with an emphasis on the recent trends in clinical science and clinical

chemistry should be encouraged in medical colleges.

Biochemistry should be taught in all the three phases of the course in medicine.

Stage I deal with:

1.  The  chemical  characteristics  of  biomolecules  and  how  these  characteristics  can contribute to the physiological functions.

2.  How these biomolecules are metabolized in the body and how a disturbed metabolic

profile can contribute to the onset and progress of a pathological condition.

Initially,  the  student  should  be  encouraged  to  recognize  that  biochemistry  is  a continuum of organic chemistry and how scientists from varied backgrounds have

contributed to the understanding of life in molecular terms. Student should be oriented to appreciate some of the simple facts such as:

a. What unique properties of water have allowed life to originate and evolve in it.

b. During chemical reactions how the electron delocalization occur and result in simple organic reactions and how this very same factors play a role in the more complicated enzyme catalyzed reactions as well as how the structure of a biomolecule is related to its physiological function.

c. How nutritional status of a person is linked to his health and disease etc.

Stage II: Biochemistry should be to highlight: how a naturally occurring or a synthetic compound, generally an organic compound, comes to use as a drug. How does it act and how this compound, a prototype drug – the lead compound is chemically modified, in a number of cases, into a better drug. can be cited to convey the message clearly.

A  little  knowledge  of  basic  biochemistry  and  chemistry  such  as  the  stereochemistry becomes very useful in identifying the compound with better efficacy. Remember, nearly half

of the commercially available drugs are stereoisomers and not all the stereoisomers of a

compound will have the same efficacy. (e.g. in the body only D-sugars, L-amino acids, cis- fatty acids) are generally physiologically active. Further understanding the mode of action of drugs or even the drug resistance needs to follow changes at the molecular level. Precisely, pharmacology   is   better   followed   with   relevant   aspects   in   biochemistry.   Certainly, biochemistry is complimentary to pharmacology.

Stage III: When the student is amidst a variety of cases in almost all the clinical subjects, he is totally at a loss to understand the pathophysiology of the clinical condition that is before him. Let alone an understanding at the molecular level, he will not be in a position to identify a biochemical investigation that is needed for the clinical diagnosis of different cases. If at this stage, imagine, what a great advantage it would be, if the student were to have a discussion on the biochemical basis of the pathology in different cases that he would encounter. Without biochemistry, how would the student follow the metabolic disturbances and the ensuing complications that would develop in some of the common conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, coronary artery diseases, alcoholism, cancer, genetic disorders…..etc. Is it not an academic injustice? We have not given the student a complete story. It is now strongly felt and generally feasible that in addition to the clinics, regular case presentation by a clinician along with relevant discussions by a pathologist/microbiologist and a biochemist should become an essential component of the course. Such an integrated approach would not only be of immense value for a good understanding, it would also be a genuinely meaningful approach to therapy.

Syllabus of Biochemistry for Medical Colleges

Academic Year2019 – 2020
Course TitlePrinciple of Medical Chemistry and Biochemistry
Credit Hours3 Credit Hours Theory 2 Credit Hours Practical Work
Duration Time15 weeks
Credit Units4 Credit Units
Biomolecules, water the universal solvent , solutions, acid-base properties and balance in the body, buffers, pH , osmolality, stereochemistry.3First week
Chemistry of Carbohydrates: Nomenclature , monosaccharides, stereoisomers, reactions of monosaccharides3 Second week 
Chemistry of Carbohydrates: Disaccharides , polysaccharides,  heteroglycans mucopolysaccharides , glycoproteins and mucoproteins3Third week
Chemistry of Lipids Classification of lipids, fatty acids , saturated and unsaturated fatty acids, trans fatty acids, neutral fats, phospholipids, sphingolipids, lipid bilayers  and their properties.3Fourth week
Chemistry of Lipids Prostaglandins , thromboxanes and  leukotrienes steroidal lipids, complex lipids, lipoproteins.3Fifth week
Amino Acids: Structure and Properties Structure of amino acids, stereoisomerism, classification, reactions and properties.3Sixth week
Peptides and Proteins: Structure and Function Peptide bond formation, polypeptides, structure of proteins, physical properties of proteins, classification, simple and conjugate proteins.3Seventh week
Chemistry of Nucleotides and Nucleic Acid Purine and pyrimidine nucleosides and nucleotides Nucleic acids, types, roles and their constituents. Nucleic acids.3Eighth week
Enzymology: Enzyme specificity, mechanism of enzymatic action, classification of enzymes, co-enzymes, iso- enzymes, enzyme activities, active site or active centre of enzyme.3Ninth week

First Year Course Titled (BIOC-101)

Enzymology: Factors influencing enzyme activity Michaelis-Menten theory Enzyme inhibition , Enzyme Regulation3Tenth week
Vitamins and Nutrition Nutrients, micronutrients and macronutrients, types and their roles in nutrition. Vitamins, vitomers, nomenclature and classification of vitamins.3Eleventh week
Vitamins and Nutrition Water-soluble vitamins, chemical constituents, activation and coenzymes biosynthesis and their roles in metabolism. Vitamin deficiency diseases.3Twelfth week
Vitamins and Nutrition Fat – soluble vitamins, chemical structures and properties with their biochemical roles. Vitamin antagonist, Hyper and hypovitaminosis.3Thirteenth week
Bioenergetics Energetic molecules , ATP and related compounds, mechanism of their production with biochemical roles with their regulation.3Fourteenth week
Body Fluids Blood, composition, plasma proteins, clotting factors. Milk, composition and functions. CSF, composition and functions Seminal fluids, composition and functions Synovial fluid, saliva3Fifteenth week

Experimental part

1. Case scenario for lab safety and security

2. Case scenario of  fluids and solutions with PH.

3. Case scenario of buffer in blood .

4. Case scenario of carbohydrate (Two weeks)

5. Case scenario of Lipids (Two weeks)

6. Case scenario of Amino acids (Two weeks)

7. Case scenario of Proteins (Two weeks)

8. Case scenario of Enzymes (Two weeks)

9. Case scenario of Electrolyte importance

10. First – semester Practical Examination.

Second Year – First Semester (BIOC-201)

Academic Year2020 – 2021
Course TitleBiochemistry and Metabolism
Credit Hours3 Credit Hours Theory 2 Credit Hours Practical Work  or Clinical Case Studies
Duration Time15 Weeks
Credit Units4 Credit Units
Hormones Classification of hormones, second messengers and G- proteins. Mechanisms of hormonal action and signaling molecules3First week
Hormones: Steroid hormones Thyroid hormones3Second week
Hormones: Hypothalamic and pituitary hormones Gut hormones3Third week
Mineral Metabolism and Toxic Metals Calcium, PTH, calcitonin, hyper and hypocalcemia. phosphorous, magnesium, sodium, copper, lead, ……etc.3Fourth week
Biological Membranes and Transport Plasma Membrane, structure and functions, solute transport mechanisms across membranes, membrane dynamics, membrane channels.3Fifth week
Clinical Enzymology Enzymes in medicine, as reagents, as indices of diseases. Enzymes as a therapeutic agent. Enzymes and isoenzymes in malignancies. Enzymes in myocardial infarction. Enzymes and isoenzymes in liver diseases3Sixth week
Digestion and Absorption of Carbohydrates Digestion and absorption of carbohydrates. Transport of monosaccharides. Glucose transporters. Insulin effect on different transporters.2Seventh week
Overview of Metabolism Metabolism, catabolism and anabolism. Metabolic pathways and control mechanisms Metabolic profile of organs1
Carbohydrate Metabolism (Glycolysis) Steps and key enzymes of glycolysis. ·    Aerobic and anaerobic glycolysis, pyruvate and lactate as end products of glycolysis. ·   Calculation of energy obtained by glycolytic pathway. ·   Inhibitors of glycolysis. ·   Comparison of hexokinase and glucokinase. ·   Factors affecting glycolysis, regulation.3Eighth week
Oxidation of Monosaccharides, Fructose  Intolerance, Galactosemia. ·   Clinical correlation: ·   Lactose intolerance. ·   Fructose intolerance, fructosuria. ·   Galactosemia Oxidative Decarboxylation of Pyruvate ·    Pyruvate dehydrogenase complex, enzymes and coenzymes. ·    Fate of pyruvate , acetyl-CoA biosynthesis, regulation of pyruvate dehydrogenase complex. ·   Citric acid cycle or tricarboxylic acid cycle (TCA). ·   Regulation, energetic and inhibitors of TCA cycle. ·   Clinical correlation: Pyruvate dehydrogenase deficiency. Fumarase deficiency.3Ninth week
Gluconeogenesis, Cori and Alanine cycle ·   Definition and Importance. ·   Reactions and irreversibility. ·   Hormonal regulation. ·   Factors affecting gluconeogenesis. ·   Cori and alanine cycle.3Tenth week
Pentose Phosphate Pathway, G6PD deficiency and Favism. ·    Two phases of pentose phosphate pathway or hexose mono-phosphate shunt (HMP-shunt), oxidative and interconversion phase. ·    Biochemical significance of HMP-shunt in certain tissues. ·   Biosynthesis of NADPH and ribose-5-phosphate. Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency and hemolytic anemia, G6PD variants.3Eleventh week
Glycogen Metabolism, Regulation, Glycogen Storage Diseases. ·    Glycogen biosynthesis (glycogenesis), steps, key enzymes. ·    Glycogen degradation (glycogenolysis), steps, key enzymes. ·    Regulation of each of glycogenesis and glycogenolysis. ·    Hormonal and allosteric regulation of glycogenesis and glycogenolysis. ·   Glycogen storage diseases.3Twelfth week
Biological Oxidation and Electron Transport Chain Structure and organization of complexes. Enzymes and coenzymes in oxidative phosphorylation, ATP synthase. Inhibitors of respiratory chain, Uncouplers, and inhibitors of oxidative phosphorylation.3Thirteenth week
Metabolic interrelationship in well fed state and starvation. ·   Biochemical roles of insulin and glucagon. ·   Metabolic integration during well fed state. ·   Hormonal balance : Insulin / glucagon. ·   Early starvation : Duration and fuel utilization. ·    Intermediate starvation : Duration and fuel utilization, glucose , alanine and fatty acid cycle. ·   Stages of starvation and hormonal balance.3Fourteenth week
Free Radicals and Antioxidants Oxidants, Oxygen and nitrogen reactive species, Properties, Free radicals, Non-free radicals, Generation of oxidant molecules, Anti-oxidants, Enzymatic antioxidants, Non- enzymatic antioxidants, Oxidative stress3Fifteenth week

Experimantal Part

1. Lab management

2. Principles of spectrophotometry

3. Case scenario on Lactose intolerance.

4. Case scenario on glucose tolerance test

5. Case scenario on glucose level estimation

6. Case scenario on G6PD

7. Case Scenario of NADPH roles

8. Case scenario on glycogen storage diseases

Second Year –  Second Semester (BIOC-202)

Academic Year2020 – 2021
Course TitleBiochemistry and Metabolism
Credit Hours3 Credit Hours Theory 2 Credit Hours Practical Work  or Clinical Case Studies
Duration Time15 Weeks
Credit Units4 Credit Units
Digestion and Absorption, Storage and Mobilization of fats ·   Digestion of lipid, lingual and gastric lipase. ·   Pancreatic lipase and formation of micelle. ·   Role of bile salts and bile acids, emulsification of fats. ·    Absorption of lipid from intestinal cells and release as chylomicron into lymphatic system. ·    Site and biosynthesis of TAG: liver and adipose tissues. ·   Steps and regulation of storage of fats.3First week
Lipid Metabolism β-Oxidation of Fatty acids, Refsum’s disease. ·   Transportation of fatty acids into mitochondria. ·   β-Oxidation of fatty acid, steps, energetic, regulation. ·    Saturated, unsaturated and odd carbon fatty acid oxidation. ·   Lipolysis : steps and key enzyme. ·   Hormone sensitive lipase, regulation of lipolysis. ·    Clinical correlation: Refsum’s disease , genetic deficiency in carnitine transportation of fatty acids into mitochondria. Ketone Body Metabolism. ·   Ketogenesis, site, steps. ·    Ketolysis, site, steps for utilization, ketonemia, ketonuria. ·    Regulation of ketogenesis and ketolysis, Starvation and ketosis. ·   Clinical correlation : Diabetic ketoacidosis.3Second week
Fatty Acid Biosynthesis. ·    Transportation of acetyl-CoA from mitochondria into the cytosol. ·   Fatty acid synthase complex. ·    Energetics, mechanism of regulation of fatty acid biosynthesis. ·    Elongation reactions of palmitic acid, desaturation of fatty acids. ·    Polyunsaturated fatty acids, prostaglandins , biochemical roles and their clinical correlations.2Third  week
Ethanol Metabolism1
Cholesterol Metabolism, Regulation, Bile Acids ·   Sources, distribution, and balance in tissues. ·   Structure, cholesterol biosynthesis. ·   Key enzyme, HMG-CoA reductase and regulation. ·    Factors regulating cholesterol biosynthesis and degradation. ·   Bile acid and bile salts, clinical correlations.3Forth Week
Lipoprotein Metabolism, Hyperlipoproteinemia. ·   Transport of lipids, lipoproteins. ·    Classification and functions of lipoproteins and apoproteins. ·   Metabolism and degradation of chylomicron and VLDL. ·   Metabolism and uptake of LDL. ·   HDL metabolism. ·   Lipid profiles ·   Hyperlipidemias and cardiovascular diseases3Fifth  week
Digestion and Absorption of Protein, Catabolism of Tissue Protein, Protein Degradation ·   Digestion of protein, absorption of amino acids. ·    Gastric and intestinal peptidases, pancreatic peptidases. ·   Amino acids transport across intestinal cells. ·    Nitrogen balance, positive and negative nitrogen balance, causes. ·    Degradation and transport of intracellular and tissue protein.3Sixth  week
Amino acid Metabolism ·   Essential and non-essential amino acids. ·   Amino acid biosynthesis. Transamination reactions, role of pyridoxal-5- phosphate.3Seventh week
·   Amino acid catabolism. ·   Ketogenic and glucogenic amino acids. ·    Transport of ammonia to the liver and kidney, neurotoxicity associated with ammonia. ·   Urea cycle, transport of urea and excretion, regulation. ·   Clinical correlations: – Metabolic disorders of urea biosynthesis. – Deficiency of urea cycle enzymes3Eighth week
·   Metabolic fate of some amino acids, amino acids and TCA cycle. ·    Biosynthesis of some important of amino acids derivatives: – Tyrosine – derived neurotransmitters. – Tryptophan-derived neurotransmitters. ·   Inborn error of metabolism : site of metabolic defects : – Alkaptonuria. – Albinism. – Tyrosinosis. – Parkinson’s disease. – Maple syrup disease. ·    Creatine, Glutathione, polyamines, biosynthesis and functions. ·   Nitric oxide , biosynthesis and functions3Ninth week
Nucleotides Metabolism ·    Biosynthesis of purine nucleotides, de novo and salvage pathways. ·    Regulation of purine biosynthesis, degradation of purines. ·   Hyperuricaemia : primary and secondary ·   Biochemistry of gout Lesch-Nyhan syndrome3Tenth week
·    Biosynthesis of pyrimidine nucleotides, regulation, orotic aciduria. ·   Degradation of pyrimidine nucleotides. Deoxyribonucleotide biosynthesis.1Eleventh week
Genetic code and translation ·   Protein biosynthesis and genetic code Inhibitors of protein biosynthesis2
Hemoglobin, Porphyrins, Heme Biosynthesis and Porphyrias      · Hemoglobin (structure, oxygen and carbon dioxide) · Heme biosynthesis, porphyrias.3Twelfth week
Liver Function Tests ·   General liver functions ·   Liver function tests ·    Bilirubin metabolism, hyperbilirubinemia, clinical correlations. ·   Jaundice, classification of jaundice ·   Liver function test based on synthetic function ·    Serum enzyme activity levels as markers of hepatobiliary diseases3Thirteenth week
Biochemistry of Cancer and Tumor Markers Etiology, chemical carcinogens, antimutagenes, oncogenes, proto-oncogene, onco-suppressor genes, growth factors, tumor kinetics, tumor markers, anticancer drugs.3Fourteenth week
Renal Function Tests Renal function tests, functions of the tubules, renal threshold, protein urea, clearance tests, inulin clearance, creatinine clearance test, urea clearance test, tests for tubular function, osmolality, urinary acidification.3Fifteenth week

Experimantal Part

Case scenario for each week related with the theoretical lecture.

1. Principle of ELIZA techniques

2. Lipid profile

3. Liver function tests

4. Case studies

5. Renal function test

6. Case studies

7. Bilirubin determination

8. Uric acid determination

9. Case studies

10. Tumor markers

11. Case studies


1.  Lehninger Principle of Biochemistry, 4th   ed. 2005.

2.  Lippincott’s Reviews of Biochemistry, 3rd   ed. , 2018.

3.  Textbook of Biochemistry (For Medical Students) , 3rd ed. 2013, Vasudevan, DM

and Sreekumari, S.

4.  Basic Medical Biochemistry: A Clinical Approach, 1996.

5.  Harper’s Biochemistry, 27th   ed. 20016.

6.  General , Organic , and Biological Chemistry, 5th edition , H. Stephen Stoker, 2010.