KNUST Level 400 Course Structure in Biochemistry
Year Four: Semester One
BCHEM 451 – ANIMAL NUTRITION
Historical overview of animal nutrition. Chemistry of nutrients.
Metabolic role of nutrients. Nutrient content and energy values of
foodstuffs. Qualitative and quantitative requirements of nutrients. Economics
of malnutrition. Methodology of nutritional needs. Human nutritional
assessment (children, adults, pregnancy and lactation) and therapeutic
BCHEM 453 – ENZYMES 1
Historical perspective and application of enzymes. Classification and
nomenclature of enzymes. Enzyme isolation and purification. Criteria for
purity of enzymes. Enzyme kinetics and inhibition. Factors affecting
BCHEM 455 – MOLECULAR GENETICS
Structure, properties and role of DNA and RNA. Biosynthesis of DNA and
RNA (replication and transcription processes). Protein biosynthesis
(translation). Genetic code. Mutations. Regulation of protein synthesis.
Control of gene expression. Introduction to manipulation of nucleic
FTECH 481: Food Processing Technology I
Cleaning of food raw materials, Communition (size reduction),
Expression, Solid-Liquid Extraction, Mixing, Emulsification, Mechanical
Separation processes: Filtration, Screening and Centrifugation. Membrane
Separation processes such as Ultrafiltration, Reverse osmosis and
BCHEM 461 – PLANT TISSUE CULTURE METHODOLOGY
Historical Background. The basis of plant cell and tissue culture:
totipotency. Requirement for in vitro culture: tissue culture
laboratory, nutrient media, hormones, etc. Culture of plant materials:
ex-plant culture, callous formation and organogenesis, root and shoot
culture. Plant regeneration from tissue culture. Protoplast culture and
regeneration of whole plants. Applications of plant tissue
culture: agriculture, micropropagation, forestry, horticulture and industry.
BCHEM 465 – MEDICAL BIOCHEMISTRY
Mechanism of disease, cell injury and protection. Biochemistry of
cancer. The anaemias, including sickle cell. Bilirubin metabolism and
jaundice. Inborn errors of metabolism.
Students opting for this elective will have practical exposure at the Clinical Analysis Laboratory.
BCHEM 471 – IMMUNOLOGY
Biological nature of immune system. Diversity in the recognition
theories of antibody – antigen reaction. Abnormal immunoglobulins. Cells
and tissues of the immune systems. Humoral and cellular immunity.
Tolerance induction. Autoimmune diseases. Blood group substances: ABO
and Rh systems, blood typing, cross matching in blood transfusion.
Transfusion reactions and causes. Histocompatibiliy antigens, tissue
graft and graft rejection. Complement system in immune response.
Hypersensitivity. Monoclonal antibodies.
BCHEM 485 – DESIGN AND STATISTICAL COMPUTING
Estimation and hypothesis testing: chi-square tests, regression and
correlation analysis, non-parametric influence. Introduction to
designing of experiments. Experiments involving paired data. Analysis of
variance. Special designs. Complete randomized design. Randomized block
design. Latin squares and paired orthogonal Latin squares.
Incomplete block design. Factorial experiments including confounding and
fractional replication. Analysis of covariance.
Statistical packages for the various stages of the analysis of experiments in Biosciences. Data management and handling techniques. Application softwares (Excel, Access, SPSS)
BCHEM 487 – MICROBIAL AND ENZYME BIOTECHNOLOGY
Review of microbial genetics. Control mechanisms for biosynthesis of
protein in micro-organisms. Sources of micro-organisms and growth
conditions for production of natural products such as organic acids,
amino acids, B-vitamins, etc. Production of microbial enzymes for use in
food, fermentation and pharmaceutical industries. Study of some
examples of food and fermentation industries that use commercial
BCHEM 491 – BREWING SCIENCE
Sources of raw materials for beer, wine and other alcoholic beverages
production; Cleaning and disinfection in the brewing industry; Yeast
biology and handling; Brewing water; Wort production; Hops; Wort
treatment; Hop utilisation,; Wort cooling; Yeast pitching and aeration;
Fermentation; Maturation/Conditioning; Bright beer filtration.
BCHEM 479 – SEMINAR AND LIBRARY PROJECT
This course will consist of four parts and each part will be assessed by oral examination and/or written examination.
one: A series of 12-14 hours of lectures and visits to library as well
as browsing n the internet will introduce the students to carrying out a
complete literature review on a research project through the use of
reference books, book of abstracts, scientific journals and scientific
information from the Internet. Scientific report writing in the form of a
thesis and scientific papers will be covered.
Part two: Each
student will be assigned a library project by supervisor to carry out a
complete literature review on the project and submit a report. The
project may involve collection of information through surveys.
Part Three: Information and data collected in part two will be presented in the form of a seminar.
Part four: The literature review in the form of a report on the research project from BCHEM 480 will be assessed.
MGT 471 – PRINCIPLES OF MANAGEMENT
The objective of this course is to equip students (without basic
knowledge in Management) with the tools of decision-making, organization
and management of decision-making organization and management of firms
and organizations. It covers: Nature and scope management; managerial
functions; organizational theories; goals of business
organization economic and social responsibilities of management;
decision-making techniques and influence; Organizational behaviour/human
relations-interpersonal and group processes; application of concepts,
like leadership, motivation, communication, morale to management of
people and organization; time management; analysis of causes of change,
managing change, innovation; management control.
Year Four: Semester Two
BCHEM 454 – ENZYMES II
Enzyme specificity. Mechanisms of catalysis of enzymes. Identification
of active site amino acid residues. Regulatory enzymes including
isozymes; Enzyme cofactors, enzyme immobilization.
BCHEM 456 – MOLECULAR BIOLOGY AND BIOTECHNOLOGY
Basic definitions. Gene cloning and tools required; screening and
isolation of recombinant molecules. cDNA synthesis and isolation
of expressed genes. Genomic and cDNA libraries and their uses.
Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) and its applications Restriction
Fragment Length Polymorphism (RFLP) in gene characterization and disease
diagnosis. DNA sequencing methods. Applications of genetic engineering in medicine, agriculture etc.
BCHEM 458 – METABOLISM OF DRUGS AND HEALTH RISK TOXICANTS
of foreign compounds/non-nutrients/toxicants. Principles of the
absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion of foreign
compounds/toxicants. Factors affecting disposition of foreign
compounds/toxicants and the types of toxic effect they may cause.
Specific examples of toxicity and their underlying mechanisms.
Measurement of toxicity and of toxicants. Prevention of toxicity.
FTECH 482 Food Processing Technology II
Water in beverage and food processing: water quality, steam generation,
Blanching, Pasteurization, Drying rates, Humidification and
Dehumidification, Roasting, Freeze drying, solar drying, tray driers,
drum driers, spray drying, microwave cooking, canning, extrusion of
BCHEM 462 – PLANT BIOCHEMISTRY AND MEDICINE
Secondary metabolism of plants; medicinally important secondary
metabolites (e.g. glycosides, alkaloids, saponins, flavonoids). The
biochemical basis of action, extraction and characterization of
bioactive compounds from plants.
BCHEM 464 – HORMONE ACTION AND HEALTH
Structure and biological function of the following endocrine glands;
pituitary, thyroid, parathyroid, adrenals, testes, ovaries and pancreas.
Hypo- and hyperactivity of these glands and their health implications.
Intestinal hormones, cAMP as secondary messenger. Integration and
control of endocrine function. Methods of study of endocrine function.
Biosynthesis and regulation of selected hormones.
BCHEM 468 – FOOD BIOTECHNOLOGY
Definitions; biotechnology and traditional fermented foods,
contribution of modern biotechnology to the improvement on traditional
fermented foods. Enzymes in food processing and new products
development, impact of biotechnology on food flavour and colour
industry. Plant biotechnology and genetically modified foods; meat
quality improvement through biotechnology applications. Biotechnology
and food safety. Public perception of genetically modified foods.
FTECH 487– FOOD PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT
Overview of the role and functionality of food constituents and
ingredients: proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, and additives.
Introduction to food product development-Classification of food products
as basis for innovation, the sociological and technological aspects of
food product development. Concepts of new product development,
developing an innovation strategy, criteria for new products, key
factors in product success. The role of consumer in product
development. The food product development process. Food standards.
BCHEM 484 – PARASITE BIOCHEMISTRY
Pathophysiology of the following tropical parasitic diseases: Malaria,
trypanosomiasis, filarasis, schistosomiasis and gastrointestinal worm
infestations. Biochemistry of the causative parasites with emphasis on
host-parasite interrelationships: Metabolic processes that can be
utilized in chemotherapeutic attack of the parasites; biomembranes.
BCHEM 496 – TRENDS IN BIOTECHNOLOGY
Topics of special interest not covered in other courses
in the programme in the area of biotechnology will be covered in this
course. As advances are made in this area the topics may change
depending on the speciality areas of staff at post. Examples of topics
to be covered could be: (1) advances in production of microbial enzymes
and their various applications, and (2) advances in nutraceutical
BCHEM 480 – SEMINAR AND RESEARCH PROJECT
This course will consist of two parts:
one: Independent and original research project under
the supervision of a member of staff will be assigned to students.
Assessment of the research project will include a thesis report and oral
Part two: Pertinent areas and key aspects of research will be presented in a seminar.
MGT 472 – PRINCIPLES OF MANAGEMENT II
The entrepreneur-definition; entrepreneur background and
characteristics; creating a new venture; personal factors in starting a
business; forms of business organizations; intellectual property;
sources of capital; business plan.
BCHEM 492 – TRENDS IN MOLECULAR AND CLINICAL BIOCHEMISTRY
Topics of special interest not covered in other courses in the program
in the area of molecular and clinical biochemistry will be covered in
this curse. As advances in these areas are made the topics may change
depending on the specialty areas of the staff at post. An example of
topics t be covered could be advances in molecular methods for the
treatment of some molecular diseases such as HbS. This course may also
be taken for postgraduate credits.