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BIO3219 Biochemistry of Human Diseases

Semester 1, 2020 On-campus Toowoomba
Short Description: Biochemistry of Human Diseases
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences
School or Department : School of Health and Wellbeing
Student contribution band : Band 2
ASCED code : 010900 - Biological Sciences
Grading basis : Graded
Version produced : 29 February 2020


Examiner: Sarah Myer


Pre-requisite: BIO2119


This course further develops the approaches, concepts and knowledge imparted in BIO2119 Biochemistry of Nutrition by exploring the biochemical basis of human disease particularly the roles of lipids, proteins, and carbohydrates.


This course, set within a context of human health, focuses on advanced study of lipids and carbohydrates in health and disease, including topics such as cell membrane structure and functions, obesity and disorders of lipid and carbohydrate metabolism and transport. It also considers normal and disordered amino acid and nucleotide metabolism in the context of health and disease. Current and future treatments that target biochemical pathways as well as the ethics of diagnosing and treating human diseases based on dysregulated biochemical pathways will be explored.


On completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. explain the impact of normal and disordered amino acid and nucleotide metabolism in human health and disease;
  2. describe the nature and impacts of disorders in lipid and carbohydrate metabolism such as aberrant lipid transport and obesity;
  3. employ literature retrieval and judgement skills to explore ethical issues in diagnosing and treating human diseases.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Lipids and carbohydrates in health and disease, including topics such as cell membrane structure and functions, obesity and disorders of lipid and carbohydrate metabolism and transport. 40.00
2. Normal and disordered amino acid and nucleotide, including topics such as impacts of disorders of various amino acids, as well as disorders of serum protein metabolism. 40.00
3. Ethical issues in diagnosing and treating biochemical disorders 20.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

Nelson, DL & Cox, MM 2017, Lehninger principles of biochemistry, 7th edn, WH Freeman, New York.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
Devlin, TM 2011, Textbook of biochemistry with clinical correlations, 7th edn, John Wiley and Sons, New York.
Elliott, WH & Elliott, DC 2018, Biochemistry and molecular biology, 6th edn, Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Osgood, M & Ocorr, K 2017, The absolute, ultimate guide to Lehninger principles of biochemistry - study guide & solutions manual, 7th edn, WH Freeman, New York.

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Assessments 20.00
Online Lectures 13.00
Private Study 106.00
Tutorials 26.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Objectives Assessed Notes
Assignment 1 20 20 21 Apr 2020 1,2,3 (see note 1)
Assignment 2 20 20 19 May 2020 1,2,3 (see note 2)
Examination 60 60 End S1 1,2 (see note 3)

  1. The examiner will advise the requirements for assignments.
  2. The examiner will advise the requirements for assignments.
  3. This will be a restricted examination. The total working time for the examination is 2 hours. The examination date will be available via UConnect when the official examination timetable has been released.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the students' responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities (such as lectures, tutorials, laboratories and practical work) scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks. Students do not have to satisfactorily complete each assessment item to be awarded a passing grade in this course. Refer to Statement 4 below for the requirements to receive a passing grade in this course.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course (i.e. the Primary Hurdle), and have satisfied the Secondary Hurdle (Supervised), i.e. the end of semester examination by achieving at least 40% of the marks available for that assessment item.

    Supplementary assessment may be offered where a student has undertaken all of the required summative assessment items and has passed the Primary Hurdle but failed to satisfy the Secondary Hurdle (Supervised), or has satisfied the Secondary Hurdle (Supervised) but failed to achieve a passing Final Grade by 5% or less of the total weighted Marks.

    To be awarded a passing grade for a supplementary assessment item (if applicable), a student must achieve at least 50% of the available marks for the supplementary assessment item as per the Assessment Procedure (point 4.4.2)

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the weighted aggregate of the marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    Candidates are allowed access only to specific materials during a Restricted Examination. The only materials that candidates may use in the restricted examination for this course are:
    writing materials (non-electronic and free from material which could give the student an unfair advantage in the examination);
    calculators which cannot hold textual information (students must indicate on their examination paper the make and model of any calculator(s) they use during the examination).
    Students whose first language is not English, may take an appropriate unmarked nonelectronic translation dictionary (but not technical dictionary) into the examination. Dictionaries with any handwritten notes will not be permitted. Translation dictionaries will be subject to perusal and may be removed from the candidate's possession until appropriate disciplinary action is completed if found to contain material that could give the candidate an unfair advantage.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Any Deferred or Supplementary examinations for this course will be held during the next examination period.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. Students should be aware that the originality of any submitted assignment submitted will be checked by the USQ service, "Turnitin". An originality index must be generated and will be checked - an acceptable Turnitin similarity index is <15%.

  2. Harvard (AGPS) is the referencing system required in this course. Students should use Harvard (AGPS) style in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The Harvard (AGPS) style to be used is defined by the USQ Library's referencing guide.

Date printed 29 February 2020