83169 - Clinical Biochemistry

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2019/2020

Learning outcomes

Describe the clinical biochemistry skills and techniques to evaluate the functional state of organs and tissues, using liquid and solid samples from patients.

Course contents

  • Course introduction
  • Clinical biochemistry
  • Biomarkers
  • Laboratory medicine: the pre-analytical, analytical and post-analytical phases
  • Variability and standardization of laboratory testing
  • Performance of a laboratory test: sensibility, specificity, predicting values and ROC curves
  • Hints of computer-aided diagnosis techniques (support vector machines, neural networks, etc.)
  • Principle of epigenetics
  • The use of genetic and epigenetic biomarkers in oncology and neurological disorders
  • The assessment of diagnostic and prognostic tests with examples from new assays based on Next Generation Sequencing
  • Personalized medicine: liquid biopsy to monitor the evolution of the cancer genome through a minimally invasive technique


Lecture slides and scientific literature will be provided.

Teaching methods

Frontal teaching

Assessment methods

Final evaluation will be performed by means of a joint test on all topics covered in the integrated course. The test will be based on 40 multiple choice questions (4 available answers, only one is correct). In general, at least 5 questions from each different teaching module will be included in the test. The exam is passed (score 18) when at least 24 questions are correctly answered. When all the questions are answered correctly the final score will be 30, with honours.

Teaching tools

Lecture slides will be made available.

Office hours

See the website of Luca Morandi