University of Pittsburgh


Foundations of Medicine

Fuel Metabolism

October 30, 2018-November 20, 2018
16 half days

Course Director
Martin C. Schmidt, PhD
Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics

Course Description

This course focuses on energy (metabolic) pathways essential to homeostasis.

The goals of the course are:

  1. to introduce the language and fundamental concepts relevant to the metabolism of the major metabolic fuels.
  2. to provide a background in the basic concepts and principles required to understand fuel metabolism in human cells and organs at the molecular, cellular, and organ level. This provides a common foundation for the organ-based courses that follow.
  3. to understand the metabolic pathways of the principal metabolic fuels and the biochemical basis for different metabolic requirements and capabilities of specific organs and tissues.
  4. to appreciate that homeostasis is a reflection of metabolic regulation that is achieved by hormonal and enzymatic control of key biochemical processes occurring in different organs, and that disease represents an aberration of one or more of these processes.
  5. to illustrate how basic concepts can be used to solve clinical problems.

The faculty are from 10 departments: Anesthesiology; Medicine; Microbiology and Molecular Genetics; Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences; Ophthalmology; Pharmacology and Chemical Biology; Pediatrics; Pathology; Surgery; and Urology.

Educational Methods


Lectures Practice questions Review session (optional)    
Small-group    problem-based  learning sessions Simulation session Course blog    



Evaluation in this course is based on a final examination that is a combination of multiple-choice and short-answer questions and problems, and participation in small group sessions. This exam will count for 100% of the grade.

Grading: The weighting of the course grade within a block grade is based on the length of the course. Grading for the block is Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory.