Master in Biopharmaceutical Sciences

Metabolic Biochemistry



Learning outcomes

The curricular unit Metabolic Biochemistry (MB) aims to advance the understanding of metabolic processes in the human organism.

This learning module will help students to:
- Develop skills to gain in-depth knowledge on the endogenous intermediary metabolism, with particular emphasis on oxidative processes of proteins, lipids and carbohydrates.
- Understand and characterize specific groups of inherited metabolic disorders (IMD)
- Characterize the role of cellular bioenergetics and mitochondrial metabolic processes in cell function and dysfunction relating them to representative pathologies, including IMD
- Describe examples of the intricate relationship between the endogenous metabolic pathways and potential interactions with drugs or their products
- Define biomarkers and recognize their diversity
- Understand the importance of research and analysis of metabolites to the diagnosis and monitoring of diseases, including IMD, and also in pharmacokinetics, toxicokinetics or R & D of drugs


I - Metabolism: general concepts. Activation/inhibition in enzyme catalysis. Nexus with regulation of gene expression and epigenetics.
II – Inherited Metabolic Diseases (IMD) and pathophysiology. Disorders involving amino acid and nitrogen metabolism, fatty acids and carbohydrates: genotype and clinical phenotype. Energy metabolism and mitochondrial disorders. Fatty acid beta-oxidation and oxidative phosphorylation. Homocysteine and B-group vitamins: their connection with cellular methylation reactions, including those of DNA and proteins.
III - Metabolic interactions, therapeutic targets and drug biotransformation. Orphan drugs and therapies for IMD. Characterization of biomarkers for the research in IMD.
I - Amino acid analysis: study of amino acidopathies.
II - Bioenergetics and mitochondrial homeostasis: in silico models
III – Metabolomics and Mass Spectrometry: biomarkers in IMD research.
Workshops and presentations of scientific publications.