2023-2024 / BIOC0320-6

General biochemistry


35h Th, 20h Pr, 3h AUTR

Number of credits

 Bachelor in biomedicine4 crédits 


Lucien Bettendorff

Language(s) of instruction

French language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the first semester, review in January


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

The aim of this course is to present an overview of the chemical reactions going in living cells. The program is divided in four parts :
1. Molecular constituants of living cells, including proteins and nucleic acids
2. Biochemical reactions: energetics, kinetics, enzymes and mechanisms, transport
3. Cellular metabolism
4. Storage and transfer of information

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

At the end of this course, the students should be able:
1. To recognize the main molecular components of living organisms, their characteristics and their chemical properties.
2. To understand the basic chemical reactions occurring in living cells, their bioenergetics, the importance of enzymes that catalyze these reactions as well as the required cofactors.
3. To give an overview of the main techniques used in biomedical laboratories and to understand their principles.
4. To acquire enough knowledge to be able to follow the courses of human and pathological biochemistry.
5. To be able to understand the biochemical aspects in the scientific literature and to discern established facts from hypotheses and critically examine published literature in the field of general biochemistry.

Prerequisite knowledge and skills

General biology and physics. Good knowledge in general chemistry (reaction kinetics, oxido-reduction, pH, thermodynamics, chemical equilibrium, dilution calculations) and in organic chemistry (chemical functions and their properties).

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

Program and schedule are detailed in the Vade-mecum.
Lectures The material will be delivered through lectures. The active participation of the students is encouraged. During the lectures, the topics will be illustrated through examples, learning strategies and exercices to allow a better understanding of the course.
Practicum Four half-day sessions will be organized during the first semester. They are focused on techniques important for studying proteins: extraction, purification of proteins on ion exchange resins, proteins quantification, determination of enzyme activities and gel electrophoreses.
The students are invited to work by groups of two. The participation is compulsary. Each absence must be justified by a medical certificate and students much catch up every missed session with another group.

Mode of delivery (face to face, distance learning, hybrid learning)

Face-to-face course

Additional information:

The teaching is scheduled to be face-to-face. The slideshows, complete course notes and knowledge tests are accessible via eCampus.
The students are encouraged to ask questions before, during and after the lectures.
Exercise sessions will be intercalated in some courses so as to recapitulate the basics of the course and to give the students the possibility to ask questions.
The presence during the practical work is compulsory. Notes and audiovisual capsules are available via eCampus. So are the composition of the different working groups of two and the order of passage for the oral presentation of the results.

Recommended or required readings

Students can access complete course notes through the eCampus website along with all supporting material (slide shows...). The slideshows presented during the course will be available through eCampus a couple of days before the course if possible.
Recommended reading (available through the library of Life Sciences): Principles of Biochemistry, 4th edition, 2012 Donald Voet, Judith G. Voet, Charlotte W. Pratt.
Biochemistry: Concepts and Connections, 2016 Dean R. Appling, Spencer J. Anthony-Cahill, Christopher K. Mathews
Additional reading: Singularités: Jalons sur ses Chemins se la Vie, Christian de Duve (2011)

Exam(s) in session

Any session

- In-person

written exam ( open-ended questions )

Additional information:

A written examination on the matter seen during the lectures and the practical works will be organized according to the general program of the studies. This exam consists of two parts: the theoretical part accounts for 85% of the total test score and the questions relative to the practical works account for 7.5% of the total score. In addition, the students will present the results obtained during the practical works orally under the form of a slideshow. This oral presentation also accounts for the remaining 7.5% of the total score. The results will be presented by groups of two, but each student will be évaluated individually. The students keep this note for the September session.
There are no exemptions. The students that have failed at their examination (score < 50/100 for the global test combining the written examination and the oral presentation) must redo the whole exam (practical sessions, oral presentation and written exam). The only exception can be granted to those students having obtained a note of at least 5.25/7.5 (14/20) for their oral presentation. They can be exempted form this part exclusively (but not from the practical part of the written exam).
Injustified absence at 25-50% the practical sessions will lead to a score of 0/7.5 for the oral presentation (sanction valid for the January and September sessions). If the unjustified absence exceeds 50%, the student will have a score of 0 for the presentation and 0 for the practical part of the written examination (sanction valid for the January and September sessions)

Work placement(s)

Organisational remarks and main changes to the course

The fortuitous absence at a practical session must be notified to Mrs Christel Péqueux (c.pequeux@uliege.be) as soon as possible and accompanied by a medical certificate.
Each predictable absence (medical appointment...) must be anticipated and notified to Mrs Christel Péqueux (c.pequeux@uliege.be) as soon as possible.
Every session missed must be made up with another group


Professor Lucien Bettendorff, Research Director F.R.S.-FNRS
GIGA-Neurosciences, GIGA-Research
Tour de Pharmacie (B36), level 1 L.Bettendorff@uliege.be
Tel.: 04 366 5967
Supervisors responsible for practicum : Laurence Delacroix (ldelacroix@uliege.be), Christel Péqueux (C.Pequeux@uliege.be) et Sabine Wislet (S.Wislet@ulg.ac.be).
Secretary : Nastasia Lacroix (04 366 25 24) (Nastasia.Lacroix@uliege.be)

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