Biochemistry (2024)

Course manager

Samuel McEwen Walsh

Semester schedule

Spring (13-week period)



Language of instruction


Course type



Competences corresponding to participation in the course General and organic chemistry. 


The students will acquire a basic insight into, and understanding of, the main aspects of biochemistry, thus enabling them to apply this knowledge in the solution of bio- and chemical technological problems. 


  • Macromolecules, membranes and subcellular structures 
  • The macromolecular organisation of the cell: The construction of proteins, polysaccharides, lipids and nucleic acids from small biomolecules
  • The spatial structures and functions of macromolecules, comprising the reactive centres of enzymes, coenzymes and catalytic mechanisms, enzyme kinetic and general regulation
  • The cell's metabolism: The decomposition of proteins, carbohydrates, and lipids, and energy conversion in electron transport and phosphorylation. Regulation of metabolic networks
  • Metabolic engineering

The purpose of the laboratory element (corresponding to 1 ECTS) is to illustrate the theoretic principles through practical exercises comprising e.g. protein purification, enzyme assays and spectroscopic measurement methods.

Learning targets

On completion of the course, the student is expected to be able to: 


  • Describe the structure of the cells monomeric building blocks (nucleotides, amino acids, saccharides, and lipids) and explain the chemical and physical chemical principles behind the stabilisation of macromolecular structures (DNA & RNA, proteins, polysaccharides, and membranes)
  • Explain how the structure of macromolecules (DNA & RNA, proteins, polysaccharides, and membranes) enables macromolecule function
  • Understand simple enzyme kinetics and the thermodynamics of enzyme catalyzed reactions
  • Understand the bioenergetics and thermodynamics of metabolic pathways
  • Describe how anabolic and catabolic reaction pathways within central metabolism lead to the exploitation of chemically bound energy and the construction of the monomeric precursors of macromolecules 
  • Explain the biochemical logic for key points of regulation in metabolic pathways
  • Explain the respiration chain's transport of electrons from NADH to oxygen and the formation and exploitation of the proton gradient outside the cell membrane (uninhibited, inhibited, and uncoupled)
  • Explain the interaction between various reaction pathways in the context of the cells surroundings
  • Explain principles behind the methods of protein purification and structural determination


  • Understand the chemical and physical chemical basis to interactions between proteins and other cellular macromolecules (including DNA & RNA, polysaccharides, and membranes
  • Explain the general principles and strategies of metabolic engineering
  • Explain the protein chemical descriptions of substrate binding, catalysis and regulation (activation and inhibition) by way of concepts such as specificity, affinity, induced fit, allosteric, cooperativity, covalent modification, and reversibility
  • Explain and set up simple mass and energy balances


  • Be capable of performing, concluding and making perspectives on minor experimental trials within the topics of the discipline
  • Be capable of performing simple mathematical calculations related to the laboratory exercises
  • Understanding common biochemical units and their conversions

Teaching method

Seminars, problem solution, and laboratory exercises 

Qualifications for examination participation

  • Participation in laboratory exercises and passing the associated mandatory assignments
  • Participation in all planned company visits
  • Participation in all planned activities with external lecturers

All course work is to be performed following the guidelines set out by the course manager.

Examination and aids

Written examination. Duration of examination: 2 hours.

Permitted aids: Paper materials including, but not limited to, textbooks, notes and laboratory reports. A scientific calculator.

The form of examination at a 3rd attempt may vary from the above. 




The 7-point grading scale