Biochemistry is the science that studies the molecular basis and chemical processes of biological systems such as cells, tissues, organs, compartments and systems. It is a primarily experimental science which has undergone an important development in the last decades with the concomitant arrival of sophisticated methodologies and discoveries that have opened new areas of knowledge and generated new theories. In fact, the development of the Biochemistry, and especially the human Biochemistry, has been so great that it has led to a separation of disciplines, now independent from each other, such as Molecular Biology, Immunology and more recently Bioinformatics. Similarly, the classical Biochemistry has extended its subject of study from “physiological” phenomena towards events linked to processes of alteration of cell and tissue homeostasis. The influence of Biochemistry on Physiology, Pathophysiology, Pathology and Pharmacology has constituted an area of knowledge known as “biochemical basis of pathology”. Finally, new questions and biochemical approaches have recently emerged as a result of the completion of several “genome” projects (including not only the human genome project but spreading out to the genome of pathogen agents), the obtaining of genetically modified animals and cell lines (transgenic, “knock outs”, “site-directed mutants”) and the systemic approaches such as Postgenomic Biology (including studies of “proteomics” and “metabolomics”, among others) and the Biology of Systems which have implied the development of powerful methodological tools. Beyond the new denominations and “key words” that have emerged in the last years, it is clear that Biochemistry a) has undergone a huge enlarge in the volume of discipline’s knowledge, b) has led to the foundations and development of emerging disciplines, c) has been decisively integrated into the study of health-disease processes, and d) is enriched by and integrated to related and developing areas through multiple connections.




Role of the Department of Biochemistry


In the general context of development of this discipline, the Department of Biochemistry of the School of Medicine in the Universidad de la República constitutes an essential academic environment in the training of the medicine student, postgraduate and medical doctor. Also, our Department has a strong impact in the teaching activities of other Schools such as Science and ChemistrySchools.

Teaching Biochemistry in MedicalSchool must focus, besides the rigorous central aspects of basic biochemistry, in the link between the biochemistry and the processes of health and disease and incursion in subjects of biochemistry with high medical projection. Also, is specially relevant, in the medical formation, to link, coordinate and integrate the biochemical knowledge with other areas such as biophysics, cytology, histology, physiology, immunology, physiopathology, pharmacology, biomathematics and biostatistics.


Interaction with other institutions


The Department of Biochemistry of the School of Medicine has very active interactions with other departments of the MedicalSchool itself and the Schools of Science and Chemistry, as well as the Institut of Biological Research “Clemente Estable” and the Institut Pasteur of Montevideo. It also has several scientific collaborations with many international universities and research centers.