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    Gene and genome structure and function. DNA replication. Genetic code and protein synthesis. Concepts of DNA cloning and gene analysis in disease and forensics. Concepts of gene therapy. Concepts of energy metabolism involving carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Regulation and integration of metabolism. Cell signalling in health and disease. Role of clinical diagnostics. Metabolic processes in drug metabolism and body organ function.

    The replication of the genome of an organism in cell division and the expression of genes during the life of a cell are central to the functioning of the organism. Molecular-level understanding of the gene complement of the genome is critical for understanding health and disease processes. Understanding concepts of nucleic acid polymer and gene analysis are important in molecular diagnosis. Gene expression produces proteins, many of which catalyse reactions in metabolic pathways involved with the inter-conversion of carbohydrates, proteins and lipids that are essential for energy production and cell function. All of these cellular activities require co-ordination and control mediated by cell signaling processes. MELS 230 is complementary to and extends the biochemistry covered in the first-year paper BIOC 192, providing a foundation of biochemistry for students in the MELS programme.

    About this paper

    Paper title Biochemistry (for BMLSc)
    Subject Medical Laboratory Science
    EFTS 0.1425
    Points 18 points
    Teaching period Semester 1 (On campus)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $1,288.49
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    BIOC 221, BIOC 230 and PHCY 231. May not be taken if BIOC 223 has been passed prior to 2019 or HUNT 221 has been passed from 2019 onwards
    Limited to
    This paper provides a foundation of biochemistry, combined with BIOC 192, that is suitable for MELS students who do not advance biochemistry further in the MELS programme. MELS 230 is a terminating paper; it is not possible to pursue advanced biochemistry papers from this paper.

    Teaching staff

    Dr Nicole Power


    Campbell, Farrell and McDougall, "Biochemistry" 9th Edtn, Brooks/Cole Cengage Learning.

    Papachristodoulou, Snape, Elliott and Elliott, "Biochemistry and Molecular Biology" 6th Edition, Oxford University Press.

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

    Students who successfully complete this paper will:

    • Articulate a broad understanding of contemporary biochemistry, molecular life sciences and related scientific fields
    • Appropriately communicate biochemical concepts to both specialist and general audiences
    • Identify and critically evaluate relevant information
    • Work effectively both independently and as part of a team


    Semester 1

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught On Campus
    Learning management system


    Stream Days Times Weeks
    A1 Monday 08:00-08:50 13, 15-21
    D1 Thursday 08:00-08:50 9-13, 15-16, 18-21
    E1 Friday 08:00-08:50 9-12, 15-21


    Stream Days Times Weeks
    A1 Thursday 14:00-16:50 9-13, 15-16, 18-22
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