Chemistry of biomolecules deals with the nature, structure, function, and reactions of biomolecules like carbohydrates, proteins, lipid and nucleic acids. It also briefly discusses the role of vitamins and enzymes in medicine.
Structure, composition and functions of biological membranes. Isolation, characterization and classification of membranes; chemistry and biosynthesis of membranes. Molecular organization of membrane components. Natural and artificial membrane bilayers - the unit membrane hypothesis. Membrane transport system - active versus passive transport systems. Transport of sugars and amino acids; ionophores. Essential elements of cellular transduction mechanisms that allow signaling from the cell surface to the nucleus. Synthesis of peptide signals, receptors and receptor trafficking, second messengers, protein kinase cascades, cell cycle regulation and the regulation of transcription factors. Membrane receptors and diseases.
DNA as genetic material. Nature of the gene, genetic code, degeneracy, colinearity, mutation, substitution, deletion. Experimental and historical evidence for genes, role of electrophoresis Transcription and translation of gene. Genetic mapping, transduction, genetic engineering. Regulation of microbial protein biosynthesis, Transcription units and operons. Techniques used to investigate the processes of transcription and translation. How living organisms control their pattern of gene expression; how patterns of gene expression respond to environmental factors during growth and development. Molecular mechanisms of disease pathogenesis; selected inherited, autoimmune and multifactorial disorders. Genetic polymorphism in humans, multiple alleles, silent alleles, sex linkage, multiple loci – genes, inborn errors of metabolism. Stem cells and gene therapy; introduction and principles.
Sources of environmental pollution, metabolism of foreign compounds, phases of xenobiotic metabolism in the body. basic principles of toxicology; poisons and the treatment of poisoning, toxins from animals, micro-organisms and plants, the toxicology of some important environmental contaminants such as heavy metals, Pesticides, Insecticides, Cyanide, how chemicals adversely affect embryo/foetal development; chemical and radiation-induced carcinogenesis, and the principles of risk assessment and management. Detoxification mechanisms. Biochemical basis of drug action, antimetabolites, antibiotics, drug of dependence factor modifying drug action. Toxicological Evaluation. Purpose and Value of ED50 and LD50 Determination.Teratology. Carcinogens, Mutagens. Systemic toxicology. Cosmetics Testing.
The cell cycle. Cell cycle regulation, senescence, apoptosis, molecular and cellular basis of cancer formation. Role of oncogenes and tumour suppressor genes in the development of human cancer. Current therapeutic strategies for cancer treatment. How technologies such bio-informatics have shaped our knowledge of the mechanism of cancer progression
A critical review of the major metabolic pathways of carbohydrates, lipids, proteins and nucleic acid plus recent advances in these areas. Structure and function of complex macromolecules e.g. glucolipid, proteoglycans, sialic acid. Advanced enzymology, advanced treatment of biological oxidation and bioenergetics. Advanced treatment of metabolic control array in re regulating metabolism.Teaching is in form of lectures, tutorials and literature work Students will be encouraged to search for recent advances in these areas.
Lecture and tutorials on selected organs of the body e.g. the brain, kidney, muscle, eye, liver. Emphasis will be on the biochemistry of its specialized function. Maximum of two organs will be considered at a time.