BIOC 705 Syllabus

Biochemistry 705 - Dental Biochemistry

Spring Semester, 2017

Departmental Information

Department: Biochemistry
Course Title: Dental Biochemistry
Course Number: BIOC 705
Credit Hours: 5
Semester: Spring 2017
Curriculum Level: 2 Semester/1 Year


Lectures: Drs. Mike Gunther (Course Director), Drew Shiemke, Roberta Leonardi, and Peter Stoilov, all from the Department of Biochemistry.
Clinical Correlations: Drs. Weaver, Gunther, Sheil; Leonardi; for others, see Friday information.

Course Overview

Taught in conjunction with General Biochemistry (BIOC 531), the main lecture part of this course is designed to be a general introduction to biochemical compounds, processes, and concepts for students in the dental and related health professions. Through additional topics such as nutrition/effects of nutrient deficiencies, blood clotting, AIDS, diabetes, tooth and bone composition, hydroxyapatite solubility behavior, critical pH, saliva and fluoride protection, dental erosion and caries, connective tissue, and local anesthetic action, special emphasis is placed on biochemistry for dental students as part of their background training for the practice of dentistry, including passage of the National Dental Board exam.

Instructional Format, Class Meeting Times and Class Sizes

The lecture portion of the course consists of four lectures per week, including clinical correlations, and meets Monday and Wednesday from 10–11:50 a.m. along with BIOC 531. The lecture class size is approximately 70 students. In addition, nine 1½-hr. separate Friday Sessions for Dental students only (approximately 60 students) will focus on topics directly related to dentistry along with nutrition. More information on these sessions, which will meet each Friday, 10-11:30 a.m., except for exam days and Spring and Good Friday Breaks, will be given out separately. This information will be posted after each session under "Links" on the BIOC 705 Website.

Required Textbook/Handout Packets

The required textbook for this course is Principles of Biochemistry by Moran, et al. (5th Ed., 2012). The lecture schedule and lecture material to be covered have generally been designed to follow the text, with some change in order. Additional textbooks will be on reserve in the library, if needed, for the few lectures like Blood Clotting that are not covered in Moran. Posted under "Course Information" on the BIOC 705 Website, is the schedule of lectures, clinical correlations, Friday Sessions, and examinations for the semester. The lecture outlines and visual aids which accompany each lecture for PART I of the course (Lectures 1-15 and 17) are downloadable from the BIOC 531 Website. The materials for PART II and PART III will be available for download later in the semester. Materials for the Friday Sessions will be available on the SOLE site.

The instructors for Biochemistry 705 will be readily available to provide student assistance or consultation regarding the course. Students are encouraged to clarify areas of confusion without delay, and to review lecture material daily to "keep up" with the course. A page on "Some Tips for Studying Biochemistry" is posted on this Website's "Links" page.

Course Prerequisites

BIOC 705 prerequisites are general and organic chemistry, and admittance into the Dental Program at West Virginia University.

Program Competencies

The lectures, clinical correlations, and Dental Friday sessions help students to achieve the following Competencies for the Graduating Dentist, WVU School of Dentistry (2001):

  1. Scientific Process: The graduating dentist must acquire, critically evaluate and assimilate scientific information necessary for the evaluation, diagnosis, treatment, management and prevention of oral health problems.
  2. Examination of Patient: The graduating dentist must be able to perform an examination that collects the medical, physical, psychological and social information needed to evaluate the systemic and oral condition(s) of patients of all ages (infant through older adult) or with special needs, (including, but not limited to, persons with developmental disabilities, complex medical problems and physical limitations), manage behavioral factors which affect oral health, and use the information to implement strategies that facilitate the delivery of oral health care.
  3. Diagnosis: The graduating dentist must be able to determine a differential, provisional or definitive diagnosis by interpreting and correlating findings from the history, clinical and radiographic examination and other diagnostic tests.
  4. Treatment Planning: The graduating dentist must be able to develop, present, and discuss individual treatment plans for patients of all ages consistent with the patient’s condition, interest, goals and capabilities.
  5. Prevention of Disease and Maintenance Health: The graduating dentist must be able to provide care for patients of all ages that emphasizes prevention of oral diseases and supports the maintenance of existing systemic and oral health.
  6. Diversity Awareness: The graduating dentist must be able to discuss cultural factors that impact oral health and provide culturally-sensitive care to persons with varying individual characteristics and backgrounds.
  7. Control of Pain and Anxiety: The graduating dentist must be able to employ techniques to manage orofacial discomfort and psychological distress.
  8. Caries Management: The graduating dentist must be able to treat and manage caries in the primary, mixed and permanent dentition.
  9. Stomatology Therapy: The graduating dentist must be able to manage limited or common non-life threatening oral mucosal diseases or disorders.
  10. Ethics: The graduating dentist must be able to discern and manage the ethicolegal issues of dental practice.

General Course Objectives

The overall objective of Biochemistry 705 is to provide a requisite knowledge base upon which additional basic science and clinical courses can build, upon which clinical judgments will eventually be made, and upon which additional life-long learning can be achieved. General objectives are as follows:

  1. Gain the basic biochemical knowledge necessary to meet the institutional objectives and goals for clinical competency. In addition to basic biochemistry, students will acquire information emphasizing nutrition/effects of nutrient deficiencies, blood clotting, AIDS, diabetes, obesity, tooth and bone composition, hydroxyapatite solubility behavior, critical pH, saliva and fluoride protection, dental erosion and caries, connective tissue, and local anesthetic action.
  2. Gain basic biochemical information important for understanding fundamental structures, functions and interrelationships of the body in homeostasis and in conditions of disease or abnormality.
  3. Gain an appreciation of the relevance of biochemistry to dental students as the interrelationships between biochemistry and clinical practice are emphasized. Clinical examples will be given in lectures themselves, in "clinical correlation" type presentations, and especially in the Friday Dental Sessions.
  4. Supports and exemplifies ethical standards by promoting positive faculty-student interactions; encouraging open communication; straight dealing in examinations; and adjustment of the teaching to individual styles and paces of learning.


Competency will be determined by five equally-weighted, 90-minute examinations during the semester. In the course schedule, note that the first four will be given on Friday mornings, from 10:00 - 11:30 a.m., and the last (5th) exam will be given during Finals Week. NOTE that the lectures and Friday Sessions ("FSs") covered on each exam are specified in the schedule. PLEASE MARK THESE EXAMINATION DATES DOWN NOW ON YOUR CALENDARS! DUE TO THE LARGE CLASS SIZE, CLASS DIVERSITY AND ROOM AVAILABILITY, THESE DATES ARE FIXED AND WILL NOT BE CHANGED. Exams will be multiple choice in type, similar to National Board exams. Exams will be taken online at the SOLE site for the course, using the "exams" program. Students will connect using the secure browser function found on SOLE prior to starting their examinations and are responsible for bringing their own computers along with all necessary cables (i.e., power and network) for proper computer function to all exams. ONLY ANSWERS PROPERLY SUBMITTED INTO THE “EXAMS” PROGRAM WILL BE CONSIDERED WHEN SCORING EXAMS; ANY NOTES WRITTEN ON SCRATCH PAPER OR ELECTRONICALLY WITHIN THE EXAMS PROGRAM WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED.

The examinations are not technically cumulative; that is, each exam including the final will cover material primarily from specified lectures given since the preceding exam. However, some of the material covered may depend upon recall of information from previous lectures, for example, in the case of Exam 4 in which integration of metabolism is a major topic. Exams for Biochemistry 705 will cover lecture and clinical correlation material as well as Friday Sessions. Approximately 15-20% of each exam will be based upon material from the Friday Sessions.

Grading Policies

After an exam, a student will have one week, and one week only, to bring any questions regarding that exam’s grade to the faculty member involved. No grade changes will be made after this deadline. The final grade in Biochemistry 705 will consist of the average performance on the five examinations. No exam grade will be dropped. In the case of a clear and verifiable emergency which prevents a student from taking an exam, a makeup exam will be made available.

Attendance at the Dental Friday Sessions is mandatory. Any unexcused absences exceeding one throughout the semester will result in the drop of one letter grade. Absences, when necessary due to health reasons or official School of Dentistry scheduling conflicts, will be considered to be excused when cleared with the instructor IN ADVANCE. Each student is individually responsible for providing their own attendance information by signing into the class on the provided sheet.

All class assignments must be completed by the date of the final examination in order to earn a passing grade in the course.

The final letter grades in the course will be assigned according to the following scale: 90-100 = A; 80-89 = B; 70-79 = C; and < 70 = F. Normal mathematical rounding rules will be applied to round all scores to the nearest integer score [Rounding example: 89.5 = 90 (A); 89.4 = 89 (B).]

Remediation Statement

If you fail this course, your ability to repeat this course and progress normally in the curriculum will be determined by availability of this course on line at this or another institution, and the acceptability of any remediation course to the BIOC 705 Course Director and the Academic and Professional Standards Committee of the School of Dentistry. The potential for sanctions up to and including repeating the year, or dismissal, may exist.

Class Attendance

Attendance at all lectures, clinical correlations, and Friday Sessions is expected of professional students in this professional level course. Furthermore, class attendance will give you, the student, a distinct advantage in exam preparation for two reasons: exams will be primarily based upon material emphasized in lecture, and some material, esp. clinical correlation and Friday session material, is not always well-covered in biochemistry textbooks. Anyone auditing this course is expected to attend all lectures and sign in and out to certify this. Please note again that attendance of the Friday sessions is considered to be mandatory, as outlined above under "grading policies."

Lateness is disruptive and will be treated as an unexcused absence.

As defined in this course, lateness is when the classroom door is closed by the faculty member. (This definition may be different for different courses.) Calling the Dean’s office (304-293-2521) to report that you are going to be tardy or absent is mandatory, but does not mean the absence is automatically excused. Excused absences are only those resulting from death in the family, hospitalization, or official University functions. Two infractions of tardiness will be treated as one absence.

Academic Dishonesty

Academic dishonesty includes but may not be limited to cheating during an examination, plagiarism, and sharing assignments. Any act of academic dishonesty will result in a grade of "F" for the course. Please refer to the SoD Academic and Professional Standards document and the Student Code of Academic and Professional Behavior.

Recording of Lectures

No videotaping of lectures is permitted in Biochemistry 705, a course policy decided upon by the instructors. Audio recording shall be permitted, for individual study, at the sole discretion of the instructor/presenter. The student must obtain verbal permission, from the instructor, prior to any such recording taking place. For any other use of the recording, whether by duplication, transcription, publication, or posting to an online environment (i.e. SOLE, the internet, etc.), written approval must be obtained from the instructor before such use can take place. Sale of any such recordings is strictly prohibited. This policy applies to the recording of lectures, laboratories, demonstrations, presentations, and guest speakers.

Confidentiality/Copyright Notice

Patient information will only be used for instructional purposes/advancement through the WVU School of Dentistry's curricular/clinical programs. This information must be held in strict confidence. Any other use/disclosure of a patient's personal/protected health information or other confidential matters is in direct violation of policy. Violation of patient privacy rights or revealing confidential information will be handled in accordance with WVU, HSC, UHA, & SOD policy and procedures and all applicable Federal/State laws. Students are not permitted to download or transport identifiable patient information to computers/networks which reside or are transported outside the school. Note: Students will receive specific training regarding privacy and confidentiality, including all applicable requirements mandated by state law and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Any student who violates these legalized patient protection procedures may be subject to appropriate disciplinary action.

You should presume that all course materials (handouts, textbooks, PowerPoint presentations, etc.) are protected by valid copyright(s); thus, specific permission from the rights holder(s) is required before any duplication or dissemination of such materials can take place. Any violation will be handled in accordance with applicable WVU, HSC, UHA, & SOD policy and Federal/State Copyright Laws.

Use of Social Networking Sites, Blogs, and Instant Messaging Policies

In accordance with HIPAA, FERPA, and WVU Health Sciences Center IT policy, please be advised that faculty, staff, residents, and students are not permitted to post confidential patient information, including protected health information (PHI), educational records protected by FERPA, institutionally-owned asset data, confidential, proprietary, or private information on any social networking sites (Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, YouTube, etc.), personal / business related blogs, and /or via instant messaging service. Make sure you understand the permanency of published material on the Web, and that all involved in health care have an obligation to maintain the privacy and security of patient records under HIPAA and that WVU fully complies with protecting the privacy of education records under FERPA policy. Always comply with the current institutional policies with respect to the conditions of use of technology and of any proprietary information such as university logos.

Examples of information that should not be shared on social networking, blog sites, and instant messaging services are:

  • Reporting on or about official medical activities and/or patient’s personal health information.
  • Requiring patients to participate in “social networking” activities to influence or maintain the provider/patient relationship.
  • Posting of and/or the discussion of student grades, evaluations, course feedback, etc.
  • Reviewing profiles of patients.
  • Participating in activities that may compromise the provider/patient or faculty/student relationship.
  • Providing medical advice on social networking sites.

HSC Information Technology Security Awareness Training is required. This training is annual and includes but is not limited to the appropriate usage of information technology resources and various forms of electronic media.

Social Justice Statement

"The West Virginia University community is committed to creating and fostering a positive learning and working environment based on open communication, mutual respect, and inclusion. If you are a person with a disability and anticipate needing any type of accommodation in order to participate in this class, please advise me and make appropriate arrangements with the Office of Disability Services (293-6700). For more information on West Virginia University's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives, please see"

Severe weather statement:

In the event of inclement or threatening weather, everyone should use his or her best judgment regarding travel to and from campus. Safety should be the main concern. If you cannot get to class because of adverse weather conditions, you should contact me as soon as possible. Similarly, if I am unable to reach our class location, I will notify you of any cancellation or change as soon as possible (by 9 o'clock/1 hours before class starts), using (MIX email) to prevent you from embarking on any unnecessary travel. If you cannot get to class because of weather conditions, I will make allowances relative to required attendance policies, as well as any scheduled tests, quizzes, or other assessments. Classes that are cancelled due to adverse weather will be covered (usually) through provision of a Camtasia recording of that material prepared by the instructor or by other provision of the intended notes to the students; the students will remain responsible for any material covered in a class cancelled due to adverse weather.