Greetings! You are about to embark on a major component of medical training. Distance Medical Biochemistry (DPPP-368) is a four semester hour course designed to lay the foundation for other basic and clinical medical sciences. Professor Gene Yonuschot, Ph.D., who has taught medical biochemistry for 40 years, teaches this course.

The goal of this course is to learn the core concepts of biochemistry that apply to human health and disease and to cite specific examples of their application.  You will be able to analyze and evaluate the most common biochemistry cited in medical literature.  Furthermore, these basics will facilitate further learning in biochemistry and the health sciences.

Everything needed for this course is presented either on these course webpages or in the UNE elearn system.  Elearn contains the video lectures, practice examinations, and final examination.  Everything else is on these webpages. Click here for directions for entering elearn.

The Schedule webpage lists the topics and chapters in the book that you must cover before the final examination. From your start date, you have 13 to 17 weeks before your target final examination date. You should work out a schedule that fits your personal time commitment. Remember that this course will probably take as much time as any other challenging science course. Don't underestimate the effort needed. Try to leave about a week at the end for review.

Your target final examination date depends on the date you enroll and can be found next to your name or initials on the Class Roster webpage. You may finish the course before your target final examination date or you may take up to one month past your target final examination date without requesting an Incomplete (see below).

Begin by reading Chapters 1, 2 and 3 lightly. There are no objectives for these chapters and the important material will be repeated again in later chapters. Get down to business with Chapter 4. Start by reviewing the Objectives or watching the video lecture in elearn or reading the chapter. There is no set order for doing this; different students report using different techniques. In the end, you should do all three and, in addition, you should work the Assigned Chapter Questions, Assigned Review Questions, and Practice Questions for each chapter. 

Some figures that are not in the text and difficult lecture concepts are explained under Other Help.  You will find specific links to these items under Objectives and Questions>Other Help for each chapter.

The Assigned Chapter Questions (denoted by "Q:" in the textbook margins) are found in the textbook chapters and are listed under Objectives and Questions>Assignments for each chapter. The Assigned Review Questions are found at the end of each chapter in your textbook and are listed under Objectives and Questions> Assignments for each chapter.

The Practice Questions are found under Objectives and Questions for each chapter. These Practice Questions will help you check your understanding of the objectives and make up 14% of the Practice Final Examination and the Final Examination.  Practice questions are not designed to measure your performance.

It is hard to ask a classmate for their notes when taking a distance course so you have Biochemistry Wiki. This is a site shared with all other students where you can see what other students thought the answers to the objectives were.  You must go to where you can click on “log in/create accounts” near the upper right corner of the page.  For "Username", please use your first initial and last name, for example, gyonuschot.  Once registered, click on “Return to main page.”  You will find directions for using the Wiki in the left column under Help. Please feel free to edit and improve the Wiki.   Edits that eliminate extraneous material are acceptable and welcome.

After you have studied Chapter 7, prepare to take your first of six Practice Examinations. These Practice Examinations do not require a proctor and are not submitted. Only the final examination requires a proctor. Be careful to take the examination under normal examination conditions because your performance is your only measure of how well you are doing. These practice examination questions represent the type of questions on the final examination. When you finish the examination, compare your score with the mean score of over 100 students who have taken and passed the course. You will find this Mean Score stated as a percentage before the questions for each practice examination. If you get the mean score plus or minus 6 percentage points, you are doing B work. 7 percentage points above the mean to 100 percent is A work.  50 percent to 7 percentage points below the mean is C work.  There are no Ds awarded.  If you don't achieve a reasonable score on the first exam, you know that you need to change your methods. If you don't achieve a reasonable score on the second practice examination, please send me an e-mail and I will call you.

If you are taking your final examination on-campus, take the practice examinations on the Practice Examination webpages.  If you are taking a Distance Final Examination, take your practice examinations in elearn (see Distance Examinations below).  The questions and answers are the same in both places.

One of the greatest drawbacks to distance education is a lack of collegiality. Students often learn a great deal from one another before class, in the hallways, and in the cafeteria. For those of you who did not mind publishing your name, city, state, e-mail, phone number, and future profession, this information was posted on the Class Roster around the time you enrolled. Please contact each other directly. If you change your mind about publishing contact information, you can send me your request anytime and I will replace your contact information with your initials.-

If you have a problem, ask a question. You can e-mail or call me and I will try to answer your questions -, 919-240-5017. Email is preferable. If your phone call is not returned within 24 hours, please send me an email. I am usually available between 8 am and 6 pm EST, including weekends. Please don't feel inhibited. Should I make a mistake, let me know so that I can correct it. My e-mail is at the bottom of most of the webpages.

Student Learning Assistance Services, a department within Student Support Services offers help to all online students. Their Online Learning Specialist may help you with study skills, focus, studying, listening, reading, writing and test taking.

If you have specific physical, psychiatric or learning disabilities disabilities and require accommodations, please contact me before enrolling so that your academic needs may be appropriately met in a timely manner (919-240-5017 or Also, you will need to register with Disability Services prior to enrolling and receiving academic accommodations.

After you have completed all the course material, you are almost ready for the final examination. A practice final examination is included. This practice final examination has the same format and is of equal difficulty as the real final examination that will determine your grade. If you take this examination as if you were taking the real final, it should be a good indicator of your progress. If you do poorly on the practice final, contact me before taking the final examination.

At about the same time that you take the practice final, you should evaluate the course using the online Evaluation webpage. The Evaluation Page is used to offer feedback on the course. This information helps me improve this course and helps the university monitor the quality of its distance education programs. The form is sent to the course coordinator's office where your name is removed and the results are passed on to me. Once this form is sent in, you are cleared to take the final.

The Final Examination determines your grade. You may take the final examination on the Biddeford Campus or with ProctorU.  You will choose the best answer for 93 questions. There will be about 4 questions from each chapter and 13 Practice Questions.  You are allowed to use a pencil, scratch paper, and a calculator but no notes or texts. The test usually takes about 2 hours but you may have up to 4 hours.

Directions for on-campus final examinations and the dates of all on-campus examinations are found on the On-Campus Examination webpage.

For those of you who live far from Maine, there is a Distance Examination. The procedure for taking a distance final is found on the Distance Examination webpage.

Examinations taken on campus and online examinations are usually scored within three working days.  We will report your grade to you by email as soon as it is determined.  Assuming that you have sent the online course evaluation, your grade should be forwarded to the registrar's office within four days. 

Do not buy the text. It is included in the materials fees for the course and will be mailed to you within a day or two of registration. Since this is a syllabus, I will list the text. The required text is Marks' Basic Medical Biochemistry: A Clinical Approach, 4th Edition, 2012, Williams and Wilkins by Michael Lieberman PhD and Allan D. Marks. This textbook was chosen because it is both condensed and clinically oriented. If you wish to peruse a topic in greater depth than this text, other biochemistry texts can be obtained in most libraries.

This 4th Edition of your textbook was published after making the videos for this course.  Fortunately, the problems, cases, important figures, and tables are still there and in the same order.  A minor problem is that a few of the course objectives have been renumbered so they follow the order of presentation in a few chapters. If there is a difference between the numbers of the objective, the Wiki will indicate the objective number for both the 3rd and 4th Edition.

Grading Policy: You final grade will be based upon the score on your final examination and, therefore, upon the course objectives.  You will be graded on a curve constructed from the scores of over one hundred students who have taken this examination. The test is similar to national board examinations that are quite difficult. The average score on the final is about 68% and the average grade is a B. About one-third of the students passing the course receive an A or A- (75-100%), one-third receive a B-, B, or B+(62-74%), and one-third receive a C or C+ (50%-61%). No D grade is awarded.  The failure rate is about 4%. Approximately 20% of the students withdraw from the course with a withdrawal passing grade.

Please do not take the final unless you are ready. A student may request an I grade (Incomplete).  The request should be made by email to within the month following the target final examination date.  If a student takes the final examination before the expiration date of the I grade, the I grade will be converted to a letter grade and the transcript will not reflect the fact that the student was first awarded an incomplete.  An I grade expires 11 months from the enrollment date posted on the Roster webpage.  If a student does not take the final examination and does not request a WP grade (Withdrawal Passing) by the expiration date of the I grade, the I grade will be converted to an F.

Students may request a Withdrawal at any time before taking the final examination and receive a Withdrawal Passing (WP) on their transcripts.  This grade indicates that the student was passing when they withdrew but no credit is awarded.

Students who withdraw from this course during the first twenty-eight days will receive a refund.  The beginning of the refund period will be the day that payment was processed.  The withdrawal date will be the date that written notice such as Email, fax, or letter is received at the University of New England- verbal notice is not sufficient.  A portion of the student's tuition will be refunded but there will be no refund of registration or materials fees. The refunds follow:
100% of tuition returned for withdrawal within 14 calendar days.
66% of tuition returned for withdrawal from 15 and 21 calendar days.
33% of tuition returned for withdrawal from 22 and 28 calendar days.
No refund of any kind will be made after 29 calendar days.
During the first 28 days, requests for withdrawal should be addressed to:
Ms. Angela Morse
Basic Sciences Department
University of New England
Biddeford, ME 04005
Phone (207) 602-2494, Fax (207) 602-5931, email
After 28 days, requests for withdrawal should be made by contacting Gene Yonuschot at or 919-240-5017.

You can request a transcript using the UNE-University Campus Registrar’s website:  On the form, please check “Online / Distance Learning”. Fill out the form and fax it to the Registrar using (207) 602-5927 or mail it to the University Campus. If you have questions, call the University Campus Registrar’s phone number, (207) 602-2473, and press 4 to speak with a representative of Registration Services on the Biddeford Campus.

This course, Distance Medical Biochemistry, is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.