Biochemistry B | LEB


Biomedical Engineering

Curricular Unit (UC)

Biochemistry B

Scientific Area BS Category  

Course category: B - Basic; C - Core Engineering; E - Specialization; P - Complementary.

Year: 1st Semester: 2nd ECTS:6 Total Hours: 150
Contact Hours T: 30 TP: 15 PL:15 S: OT:2
Professor in charge

 Rita Isabel Dias Pacheco

T - Lectures; TP - Theory and practice; PL - Lab Work; S - Seminar; OT - Tutorial Guidance.

  • Learning outcomes of the curricular unit

    1. Know about the Biochemistry fundamentals and its relationships with other sciences.

    2. Understand the principles of terminology and nomenclature in Biochemistry..

    3. Have capacity for establishing the relationship between structure, reactivity and biological function of the more important biomolecules and its aggregates.

    4. Knowledge about the fundamental concepts in Microbiology.

    5. Knowledge about the mechanisms of enzymatic catalysis and its regulation

    6. Have capacity to understand the chemistry of the main biological process.

    7. Understand the mechanisms of genomic DNA replication and transcription and its importance on cell activity.

    8. Understand the protein synthesis.

    9. Have capacity for applying the acquired knowledge in the research of new subjects in Biochemistry domain with autonomy

  • Syllabus

    1. Introduction to the Chemistry of living systems. Water properties and biological role. Nucleotides. Nucleic acids and genetic information.

    2. Structure and functions of biomolecules: Amino acids and proteins; Proteins sequencing; Techniques of protein purification and analysis; Carbohydrates; Lipids and biological membranes; Molecular visualisation by PyMOL.

    3. Cellular architecture: Prokaryote and eukaryote cell. Methods for microorganisms identification. The major groups of microorganisms. Kinetics of microbial growth and death. Control of microorganisms.

    4. Structure, nomenclature and classification of enzymes. Enzymatic kinetics and inhibition. Regulation of enzymatic activity.

    5. Metabolism and metabolic regulation: Glycolysis and fermentation; Citric acid cycle. Electron-transport and oxidative phosphorylation. Lipid metabolism. Amino acid metabolism.

    6. Gene expression and replication: Nucleic acid structure; Mechanisms of DNA replication; Mechanism of transcription and post-transcriptional processing; Protein synthesis.

  • Demonstration of the syllabus coherence with the curricular unit's objectives

    The Biochemistry syllabus includes fundamental concepts and its relationships with other scientific areas (Objective 1).
    The major issues of terminology and nomenclature used in Biochemistry are also present in the syllabus (Objective 2).

    In chapter 2, the explanation is supported by consulting databases of biomolecules and using molecular construction and visualization in PyMOL (Objective 3). In chapter 3, the students learn the major groups of microorganisms, its identification tests as well as the methods of controlling the microbial growth (Objective 4).

    In chapter 4, the theoretical sessions on enzymatic kinetics and inhibition are accompanied with exercises solving. Examples of regulation mechanisms of enzyme activity are also presented (Objective 5).

    The chapter 5 includes the main metabolic pathways, its regulation and possible interconnections (Objective 6).

    In the chapter 6, the fundamentals of  Molecular Biology are presented, providing the main mechanisms of expression and transmission of genetic information (Objectives 7 and 8). The fundamental concepts included in this course unity allow the students to develop their knowledge in Biochemistry with autonomy (Objective 9).


  • Teaching methodologies (including evaluation)

    Teaching methodologies:

    Theoretical, theoretical-practical and laboratory teaching with 62 contact hours in one semester. The total student working hours is 129. The student can opt for an evaluation during the semester, solving three written tests or a final exam. In these two types of evaluation, the result of the laboratorial evaluation (L) contributes with 25% for the final mark and must be at least 7.5.

    Continuous evaluation:

    Three tests (T1, T2 and T3): T1 >= 7.5,  T2 >= 7.5 and T3 >= 7.5

    Laboratorial evaluation (L): L>=7.5

     NF = (T1+T2+T3+L)/4

    Approval: NF>=9.5

    Final exam evaluation:

    Final Exam (EF): EF>=9.5

    Laboratorial evaluation (L): L>=7.5

    NF =0.75*EF+0.25*L

  • Main Bibliography

    1. Voet, D., Voet, J. G. (2011). Biochemistry (4th ed.). John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

    2. Quintas, A., Freire, A. P., Halpern, M.J. (2008). Bioquímica - Organização Molecular da Vida. Lidel.

    3. Nelson, D. L., Cox, M. M. (2013). Lehninger Principles of Biochemistry (6th ed.). W H Freeman & Co LTD.

    4. Prescott, L.M., Harley, J.P., Klein, D.A. (6th ed.). Microbiology, Mc-Graw Hill.

    5. Lodish, H., Berk, A., Kaiser, C.A., Krieger, M., Scott, M.P., Bretscher A., Ploegh H., Matsudaira, P. (2008). Molecular Cell Biology. (6th ed.). W.H. Freeman & Co LTD.