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MELS301 Diagnostic Chemical Pathology

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A study of systematic chemical pathology, including the major organ systems, their diseases and biochemical abnormalities, metabolic diseases, and the molecular basis of inherited diseases including basic analytical techniques, instrumentation and data-processing.

Chemical pathology, also known as clinical chemistry or clinical biochemistry, involves the investigation of the biochemical and molecular changes that occur as part of the disease process. This involves the analysis of the biochemical components of various types of patient samples, such as blood and urine. Results may be obtained via the use of specialised manual techniques or by utilising large, complex, automated analysis systems. All of the major body systems and their associated biochemical markers are explored, including proteins, enzymes, liver function, electrolytes, blood gases, lipids, endocrinology, therapeutic drug monitoring and genetics.

Paper title Diagnostic Chemical Pathology
Paper code MELS301
Subject Medical Laboratory Science
EFTS 0.25
Points 30 points
Teaching period Semester 2 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $2,140.25
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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Limited to

Students must have passed all second-year Medical Laboratory Science papers


Teaching staff

Paper Convener: Cat Ronayne

Paper Structure
The paper covers the following key modules:
  • Proteins
  • Laboratory practice
  • Enzymes
  • Liver function
  • Electrolytes, water and gases
  • Diabetes
  • Calcium
  • Lipids and lipoproteins
  • Thyroid and adrenal cortex
  • Endocrine B
  • Therapeutic drug monitoring and toxicology
  • Genetics

To be advised. Please contact the school for more information.

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Communication, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Ethics, Information literacy, Research, Self-motivation, Teamwork.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete this paper will develop

  • A good understanding of the fundamental theoretical concepts of chemical pathology and how these relate to the biochemical abnormalities observed in disease
  • A good understanding of the various laboratory techniques used during the analysis of clinical specimens and their limitations
  • A good understanding of quality assurance and how this relates to the chemical pathology laboratory
  • The ability to interpret data from laboratory investigations and integrate these with relevant clinical information and pathophysiology
  • An understanding of professionalism and ethical practice

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Semester 2

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system

Computer Lab

Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Friday 15:00-15:50 29-34, 36-40


Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
A1 Thursday 10:00-12:50 28-34, 36-40
A2 Wednesday 14:00-16:50 28-34, 36-40
A3 Thursday 14:00-16:50 28-34, 36-40

Other Teaching

Stream Days Times Weeks
D2 Monday 14:00-14:50 29-34, 36-41


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Monday 09:00-10:50 28-34, 36-41
E1 Friday 09:00-10:50 28-34, 36-41