Science Prerequisites for Health Professionals

CHEM 1005: Medical Biochemistry

Credits - 4


This online course is designed for Pre-Physician Assistant, Pre-Medical and other students who are entering a medical profession. This course differs from most traditional biochemistry courses in several ways. The focus is human medical biochemistry. The course is limited to what is known about humans and disregards plant and most microbial systems. It emphasizes human metabolism. Students develop an appreciation of metabolism during the fed, fasting and starved state. A substantial number of medical cases are included to demonstrate the relevance of biochemistry to health and disease. The goal of this course is to learn the core concepts of biochemistry that apply to human health and disease and to cite specific examples of their application. The student will be able to analyze and evaluate the most common biochemistry cited in medical literature. Furthermore, these basics will facilitate further learning in biochemistry and the health sciences. Course pre-req: one semester of college biology and one year of college chemistry that includes one semester of organic chemistry.



Rodwell VW, Bender D, Botham KM, Kennelly PJ, Weil PA. Harper’s Illustrated Biochemistry. 31st ed. USA: McGraw-Hill Education; 2018.

  • Note: the textbook associated with this course available electronically through the UNE Library. You will need to login using your UNE email to gain access but otherwise, the full version of the 31st Edition is there as a resource. Click on the link to access.

Webcam and Whiteboard


Learning Objectives and Outcomes

Course Objectives

Upon the completion of this course the student will be able to:

  • Evaluate how enzymes facilitate chemical reactions and the necessity of metabolic cofactors or vitamins in these reactions; relate how enzyme activities and concentrations may be used in clinical diagnosis.
  • Evaluate the different mechanisms by which hormones signal and influence metabolic pathways allowing for homeostasis within the body.
  • Describe the metabolism of carbohydrates (glucose, galactose and fructose) and their role in generating ATP for the cell.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of lipid metabolism, transport and storage in the fed and fasted conditions.
  • Relate how amino acids are used in the processes of protein synthesis, precursors for synthesis of necessary compounds and as substrates for glucose production; determine the role of the urea cycle in coordinating amino acid catabolism and nitrogen disposal.
  • Describe the synthesis of nucleotides from carbon donors and how this process is coupled with DNA synthesis and nitrogen metabolism.
  • Interpret the role and regulation of the metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, and nucleic acids in normal physiological conditions and the changes that occur in disease processes.

Learning Outcomes for Science Prerequisites for Health Professions Program

In lecture courses, students should be able to:

  1. Communicate scientific concepts and information clearly.
  2. Illustrate fundamental laws, theories, and principles of scientific disciplines.
  3. Apply knowledge and critical thinking skills to scientific problems.

In lab courses, students should be able to:

  1. Ask a question or define a problem that can be tested.
  2. Hypothesize possible result(s).
  3. Plan and/or conduct an investigation individually and/or collaboratively to produce data to serve as the basis for evidence.
  4. Analyze data using tools, technologies, and/or models (i.e. computational, mathematical, graphical, etc.) in order to make valid and reliable scientific claims or determine an optimal design solution.
  5. Communicate the results by constructing an explanation based on multiple pieces of valid and reliable evidence obtained from a variety of sources (including students’ own investigations, models, theories, simulations, peer review) and the assumption that theories and laws that describe the natural world operate today as they did in the past and will continue to do so in the future.
  6. Apply scientific ideas, principles, and/or evidence gained from various experiments, as well as other observations and/or research, to provide an explanation of phenomena and solve design problems, taking into account possible unanticipated effects.


On the course start date, students will have access to orientation. This must be completed to be able to gain access to the first module in the course. Students must complete the first module to gain access to the next one. We recommend that students spend about 15 hours per week to complete a course in 16 weeks. When trying to complete the course in less than 16 weeks, we typically see students do this successfully within 12-14 weeks. Instructors will be timely in grading and feedback, but it will not be instant.


*Please Review the academic integrity agreement below before completing any assignments to ensure they are completed in accordance with this policy and the requirements of each assessment outlined below.

Lectures and Laboratories


This course is designed to be completed in a 16-week period, just like an on-campus Biochemistry course.  One week in this online course is equivalent to three fifty-minute lectures in a traditional classroom setting. The general rule of studying for science courses is to spend three hours studying for every one hour that you are in class. Therefore, the suggested study time for each week is nine hours above and beyond the time it takes to listen to the lecture. Please refer to the schedule below for the suggested schedule of lectures. Students may complete the course in fewer than 16 weeks. With the exception of Weeks 8 and 16, each week consists of:

  • Weekly objectives
  • Textbook Reading
  • Topic Lectures and associated slides
  • Additional learning resources
  • Weekly practice evaluation



Weekly Practice Evaluations

With the exception of Weeks 8 and 16, each week has an end-of-week evaluation. These are in the form of an 8-question multiple-choice quiz. These quizzes are timed, non-proctored and are closed book and closed notes. You will have 35 minutes to complete each quiz. The quizzes will be taken online through the Brightspace course site. These quizzes do not contribute to your final overall grade, but they must be completed.  The questions for these assessments are pulled from a pool of questions used for the formative Unit exams.  Doing well on the quizzes will help prepare you for both the non-proctored formative exams and the proctored summative exams. You can only take each weekly quiz once, and these assessments can be reviewed through the grade book after completion.

Unit Exams

There are four non-proctored exams after Units 1 – 4. These exams consist of 30 questions and will be taken through Brightspace. These exams consist of material restricted to a single unit and contain questions very similar to the weekly quizzes. You will have up to 1 hour to complete these exams and once started you must complete the assessment. Exams should be taken closed notes, closed books and in accordance with the academic integrity agreement. You can only take these once and these can be reviewed through the grade book after completion.

For all exams, you must review the Proctored Examinations information and requirements in the Policies section of this syllabus.

Midterm and Final exams

There will be two summative exams taken through ProctorU. You must purchase the Official UNE External Webcam to take your proctored examinations. Remember to order your webcam at least three weeks prior to scheduling your first proctored exam.

The midterm will cover content from Units 1 and 2, and the final exam will cover content from Units 3 and 4. Each exam will consist of 50 multiple choice questions and will be taken using the outlined proctoring procedure below; you will have 90 minutes to complete this assessment. These are closed book and closed notes exams. You may use a UNE-authorized whiteboard during the exam. A calculator is not necessary for this or any of the course assessments. If using the UNE authorized whiteboard, you must first show your proctor that your whiteboard is clear at the beginning of your testing session. You must also erase your whiteboard in front of the proctor before disconnecting from your session. If you do not do this, your exam will not be credited. You will not have access to any material saved on your or any other computer. No access to the internet or other communication devices are allowed during these exams. These exams are closed for review. You will not be able to review exams at any time. Please contact your instructor for specific feedback.

Retaking a Midterm or Final Exam

You have the option of retaking either the midterm or final exam if requested. You may retake only one of these exams. You must contact your instructor in order to exercise this option. You will be responsible for rescheduling the exam with Proctor U and paying the cost of the proctoring. Your final grade for the assessment will be the average of the two scores, regardless of the scores received. We strongly encourage students who score below 50% on the midterm to retake this assessment, as this background is fundamental to the other two units.

Discussion Board Posts (Introduction and Pathway Responses)

There are five required discussion board posts. The first is an introduction post in which you practice using video screencasting that you will need to complete assignments later in the course. The other four are Pathway Responses at the end of each unit. Pathway responses should be completed prior to taking each Unit Exam.

Instructions for Pathway Response discussions are detailed in Brightspace and consist of two parts. Briefly, you will be required to do the following:

  1. Post a problem or question on the discussion board that your peers can respond to critically.
  2. Respond constructively to two questions posted on the discussion board by peers. You should not respond to your own posted question.

Please see Brightspace for a full description of the assignment. This assessment is designed to help with critical thinking skills and to identify any key misconceptions you may have over the material.

Case Connections

There are four required application exercises — one for each unit — called “Case Connections.” The Case Connections assignments for Units 1 and 3 are written assignments. The Case Connections assignments for Units 2 and 4 are video presentations with accurate scripts. In all cases, assignments should be original work. These are to be submitted through drop boxes in each unit before the end of each unit. The problems for these assessments require the application of knowledge gained in the course, and you can utilize resources to help address the questions asked. You will be assessed for both the correct answer as well as for the quality of your rationale for choosing or not choosing an answer.  Do not use these connection questions as part of your discussion board posts. Further details can be found within the course.

Grading Policy

Your grade in this course will be determined by the following criteria:

Grade Breakdown

Weekly Evaluations (fourteen required 8-question practice quizzes)0%
Unit Exams 1-4 (four 30-question unit exams)30%
Midterm and Final Exams (two 50-question exams; one covering Units 1 and 2, and one covering Units 3 and 4)40%
Discussions: Introduction & Video Practice Discussion Board and Four Pathway Response Discussion Boards (5 @ 2 points each)10%
Case Connections (one after each unit)20%

Grade Scale

Grade Points Grade Point Average (GPA)
A 94 – 100% 4.00
A- 90 – 93% 3.75
B+ 87 – 89% 3.50
B 84 – 86% 3.00
B- 80 – 83% 2.75
C+ 77 – 79% 2.50
C 74 – 76% 2.00
C- 70 – 73% 1.75
D 64 – 69% 1.00
F 00 – 63% 0.00



Below is a general outline of the material.  For more detailed readings please follow the weekly instructions within each weekly module in Brightspace.

Course Week Weekly Assessments Unit Assessments Associated Reading

UNIT 1 – Enzymology and generation of ATP

Week 1: Basics of enzymes and clinical uses

Introduction Discussion

Video Practice Assignment

Weekly Evaluation

Unit 1 exam (formative)


Case Connection – Written Response

Pathway Response (Discussion Board)

Ch. 5 SECTION: Four Orders of Protein Structure Secondary Structure

Ch. 6 SECTION: The Allosteric Properties of Hemoglobins Result from their Quaternary Structures

Ch. 7

Week 2: Enzyme kinetics and regulation Weekly Evaluation Ch. 8 and 9
Week 3: Free energy and electron transport chain Weekly Evaluation, Unit 1 Assessments, & Unit 1 Exam Ch. 11 and 13

UNIT 2 — Carbohydrate metabolism

Week 4: Overview of metabolism and hormone signaling Weekly Evaluation

Unit 2 Exam (formative)


Case Connection – Video Presentation and Script

Pathway Response (Discussion Board)


Midterm Exam

Ch. 14 and 42
Week 5: Glycolysis and the TCA Weekly Evaluation Ch. 16 and 17
Week 6: Glycogen synthesis, degradation, and gluconeogenesis Weekly Evaluation Ch. 18 and 19
Week 7: Pentose Phosphate Pathway, Galactose, and Fructose Metabolism Weekly Evaluation Ch. 20
Week 8 Unit 2 Assessments, Unit 2 Exam, & Midterm Exam No Additional Reading

UNIT 3 — Lipid metabolism

Week 9: Beta oxidation and ketogenesis Weekly Evaluation

Unit 3 exam (formative)


Case Connection – Written Response

Pathway Response (Discussion Board)

Ch. 22

Ch. 25, SECTION: Adipose Tissue is the Main Store of Triacylglycerol in the Body

Week 10: Fatty acid synthesis Weekly Evaluation Ch. 23
Week 11: Lipoprotein metabolism Weekly Evaluation Ch. 25
Week 12: Cholesterol synthesis and regulation Weekly Evaluation, Unit 3 Assessments, & Unit 3 Exam Ch.26

UNIT 4 — Nitrogen metabolism

Week 13: Protein turnover and the urea cycle Weekly Evaluation

Unit 4 Exam (formative)


Case Connection – Video Presentation and Script

Pathway Response (Discussion Board)


Final exam

Ch. 28
Week 14: Special products from amino acids Weekly Evaluation

Chapter 27: SECTION Biosynthesis of the Nutritionally Nonessential Amino Acids: Cysteine, Tyrosine

Chapter 29: SECTION Additional Amino Acids That Form Acetyl-CoA: Tyrosine, Phenylalanine, Methionine

Chapter 29: SECTION Metabolic Disorders of Branched-Chain Amino Acids

Chapter 30: SECTION L-α-Amino acids: Methionine, Tyrosine

Chapter 44: SECTION Vitamin B12 is Found Only in Foods of Animal Origin and There are Multiple Forms of Folate in the Diet

Week 15: Purine and pyrimidine synthesis Weekly Evaluation Ch. 33
Week 16  Unit 4 Assessments, Unit 4 Exam, and Final Exam No Additional Reading

Student Resources

Student Portal: Your Best UNE Resource

We created the UNE Online Student Portal, specifically for you, to be a useful collection of information to support you as you navigate your online course(s).

From the UNE Online Student Portal, you can access:

  • Blackboard/Brightspace
  • Technical Support
  • Library
  • Bookstore
  • UNE Email
  • U-Online

The portal also features:

  • Dates to Remember
  • Support and Services
  • Contact information for your Support Specialist
  • Academic Resources - links to the Academic Calendar, Registrar and Academic Calendar
  • Financial - links to eBilling, Financial Aid and Student Accounts

Instructor and Support Contact Information

Check Blackboard/Brightspace for specific instructor and support specialist contact information.

Further Assistance

Your student service advisor monitors course progression and provides assistance or guidance when needed. They can assist questions regarding ordering course materials, University policies, billing, navigating the course in Blackboard/Brightspace, and more.

Student Lounge

The Student Lounge Discussion Board is a designated support forum in which students may engage with each other and grapple with course content. Feel free to post questions, seek clarification, and support each other, but be mindful of UNE's Academic Integrity Policy.

Your instructor will monitor this forum. However, if you are seeking specific and timely answers to questions about course content or your personal grades, please contact your instructor via course messages. For questions about course materials, program policy, and how to navigate and proceed through the course, please contact your Student Service Advisor through the Student Portal.


Any student who would like to request, or ask any questions regarding, academic adjustments or accommodations must contact the Student Access Center at (207) 221-4438 or Student Access Center staff will evaluate the student's documentation and determine eligibility of accommodation(s) through the Student Access Center registration procedure.


Proctored Examinations

The University of New England has contracted with ProctorU to provide students with the most convenient online exam proctoring system. This system provides a simple, no cost to the student, secure, online proctor for exams and allows the student to take all the exams at home and on their own schedule.

Upon enrollment into the course, each student will register with ProctorU and establish a login name and password. This will give the student access to all of ProctorU's services. When ready, students will schedule each of their proctored exams with ProctorU. Exams must be scheduled at least 72 hours in advance to avoid fees. Prior to taking their exams, students must be sure that they have downloaded the ProctorU Chrome or Firefox extension and are using the most current version of Chrome or Firefox. They must also be sure their testing site's connection meets the minimum requirements by using ProctorU's "Test It Out" utility.

Upon the exam day and hour, students will log in to ProctorU and click on "exams". After following the procedures outlined at ProctorU's web site, the student will log in to Blackboard/Brightspace and locate their correct exam. The proctor will then allow student access to that exam.

Students must use ProctorU and must follow all proctoring requirements for their exams to be credited.

Proctored exams are not available for review at any time. You will not be able to see the questions, nor the answers you've given, after completing the exams. Please contact your instructor for specific feedback.

Course Discussions

Discussion board assignments cover interesting current events or materials related to this course that contribute to a deeper understanding of key concepts and allow you to interact with your classmates and the instructor. Each assignment may require you to conduct internet research, read additional materials (a short journal or magazine article), visit a specific webpage, AND/OR view a short video prior to writing a response following the specific guidelines in the assignment.

To earn full credit: you will need to post a response to the discussion topic, respond to the original posts of at least two other students, and then contribute meaningfully to an ongoing discussion. You will need to post your initial response before you will see any posts from your classmates. Please keep in mind that only this initial response is included in your assignment grade, so make sure you have followed all of the guidelines and written a complete response prior to submitting the post. For special cases where one or two students are accelerating faster through the course, the instructor will participate in the discussion so that everyone has the opportunity to interact.

Please see Blackboard/Brightspace for a full description, along with specific guidelines, for each assignment. Discussion board assignments should be completed, along with all other assignments in the course, in the order that they appear. Due to the course design, you may be unable to take a proctored exam if you do not complete all assignments that appear prior to that exam.

Please also refer to the Grading Policy/Grade Breakdown section of the syllabus to learn the percentage of your grade that each discussion board assignment is worth.

Technology Requirements

Please review the technical requirements for UNE Online Graduate Programs:

Course Length

A schedule of lectures and assignments is included in this syllabus. This is, however a self-paced course and you can complete the course in less time.

  1. Courses in the SPHP program are equivalent to one-semester courses designed to be completed in 16 weeks
  2. Enrollment in the course begins the day your section opens which is listed in the Academic Calendar found on the Student Success Portal.
  3. Course start and end dates are in respect to Eastern Time.

Withdrawal and Refund Policies

Please visit this page to review the withdrawal and refund policies.

Grade Policy

Students are expected to attempt and complete all graded assignments and proctored exams by the end date of the course. To view the incomplete grade policy, please click here.


Due to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, only the student may request official transcripts. This may be done online by going to the University of New England Registrar website and following the directions on the page.

To view your unofficial UNE student transcript:

  1. Log into uonline at
  2. Select Student Services
  3. Select Student Records
  4. Select Academic Transcript

To request your official UNE student transcript:

Please review your Unofficial Transcript prior to requesting an Official Transcript.

  1. Log into uonline at
  2. Select Student Services
  3. Select Student Records
  4. Select Request Printed/Official Transcript
  5. Follow the prompts

After you click Submit Request, your official transcript will be put into the queue to be printed in the Registrar’s Office.

Academic Integrity

The University of New England values academic integrity in all aspects of the educational experience. Academic dishonesty in any form undermines this standard and devalues the original contributions of others. It is the responsibility of all members of the University community to actively uphold the integrity of the academy; failure to act, for any reason, is not acceptable.

Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to the following:

  1. Cheating, copying, or the offering or receiving of unauthorized assistance or information.
  2. Fabrication or falsification of data, results, or sources for papers or reports.
  3. Action which destroys or alters the work of another student.
  4. Multiple submission of the same paper or report for assignments in more than one course without permission of each instructor.
  5. Plagiarism, the appropriation of records, research, materials, ideas, or the language of other persons or writers and the submission of them as one's own.

Charges of academic dishonesty will be reviewed by the Program Director. Penalties for students found responsible for violations may depend upon the seriousness and circumstances of the violation, the degree of premeditation involved, and/or the student’s previous record of violations. Appeal of a decision may be made to the Dean whose decision will be final. Student appeals will take place through the grievance process outlined in the student handbook.