SLE222 - Biochemical Metabolism


2024 unit information

Enrolment modes: Trimester 2: Burwood (Melbourne), Waurn Ponds (Geelong)
Credit point(s): 1
Previously coded as: SBB222
EFTSL value: 0.125

SLE152 or SLE155



Incompatible with: Nil
Study commitment

Students will on average spend 150 hours over the teaching period undertaking the teaching, learning and assessment activities for this unit.

This will include educator guided online learning activities within the unit site.

Scheduled learning activities - campus

1 x 2 hour lecture per week, 1 x 1 hour lecture per week, 5 x 3 hour practical experience (laboratory) per trimester, 1 x 3 hour online practical experience (workshop) per trimester, 8 x 1.5 hour online seminars per trimester.


Biochemical metabolism is the study of chemical processes within and relating to living organisms. In this unit, students will apply their fundamental knowledge of chemistry, physics, math and biology to understand the chemistry, as well as the energetic and regulatory principles that govern biochemical pathways. Students will analyse catabolic and anabolic pathways of carbohydrates and fatty acids and the overlapping biochemical concepts of cellular respiration and photosynthesis. Likewise, they will dissect how energy consuming reactions are coupled to energy releasing reactions in order to drive the synthesis of biological macromolecules. The central role played by photosynthesis to enable life in our world will be highlighted. The interconnectedness of pathways and their combinatorial regulation via hormone signalling in humans will be evaluated at the level of cells, tissues and the entire organism. In practical sessions, students will learn essential skills in biochemical experimentation. They will be required to apply knowledge of chemical and physical principles to investigate the chemistry of biomolecules in food, the role of coenzymes as carriers of cellular energy, key metabolites that serve as diagnostic markers in health and disease and photosynthetic pigments in plants. Classes will complement student learning of the principles underlying biochemical metabolism.

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