Basic Medical Sciences Department Units

Anatomy:

Anatomy is the study of the structure of the body, from the submicroscopic to the macroscopic. It is conventionally divided into topographical or gross anatomy (including surface, endoscopic and radiological anatomy), histology, embryology and neuroanatomy.

Anatomy forms the basis for the practice of medicine. Anatomy leads the physician towards an understanding of a patient's disease whether he or she is carrying out a physical examination or using the most advanced imaging techniques.

Anatomy is also important for dentists, physical therapists, nurses and all others involved in any aspect of patient treatment that begins with an analysis of clinical signs. The ability to interpret a clinical observation correctly is therefore the endpoint of a sound anatomical understanding.

Physiology:

Human physiology seeks to understand the mechanisms that work to keep the human body alive and functioning, through scientific enquiry into the nature of mechanical, physical, and biochemical functions of humans, their organs, and the cells of which they are composed. The principal level of focus of physiology is at the level of organs and systems within systems. The endocrine and nervous systems play major roles in the reception and transmission of signals that integrate function. Homeostasis is a major aspect with regard to such interactions. The biological basis of the study of physiology, integration refers to the overlap of many functions of the systems of the human body, as well as its accompanied form.

Microbiology:

Medical microbiology is a branch of medicine concerned with the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of infectious diseases. In addition, this field of science studies various clinical applications of microbes for the improvement of health.

A medical microbiologist studies the characteristics of pathogens, their modes of transmission, mechanisms of infection and growth. Using this information a treatment can be devised. Medical microbiologists often serve as consultants for physicians, providing identification of pathogens and suggesting treatment options. Other tasks may include the identification of potential health risks to the community or monitoring the evolution of potentially virulent or resistant strains of microbes, educating the community and assisting in the design of health practices. They may also assist in preventing or controlling epidemics and outbreaks of disease. Not all medical microbiologists study microbial pathology; some study common, non-pathogenic species to determine whether their properties can be used to develop antibiotics or other treatment methods.

Whilst epidemiology is the study of the patterns, causes, and effects of health and disease conditions in populations, medical microbiology primarily focuses on the presence and growth of microbial infections in individuals, their effects on the human body and the methods of treating those infections.

Pharmacology:

The division of pharmacology is part of the "Basic Medical Science" department. Pharmacology is a hybrid science that shares and applies information about drugs from other basic (physiology, biochemistry, pathophysiology, and microbiology) as well as clinical (internal medicine and others) departments. It is also essential for most clinical departments to enable clinicians of safe and rational prescribing and monitoring of drug actions. At this time, the pharmacology division is concerned with teaching pharmacology to medical students at Unaizah College of Medicine.

The division of pharmacology is aiming at producing a medical graduate with sufficient knowledge in pharmacology and therapeutics to be able to prescribe drugs rationally and that enables him to pursue his future career in various circumstances.

Clinical pharmacology is the science of drugs and their clinical use. It is underpinned by the basic science of pharmacology, with added focus on the application of pharmacological principles and methods in the real world. It has a broad scope, from the discovery of new target molecules, to the effects of drug usage in whole populations.

Clinical pharmacology connects the gap between medical practice and laboratory science. The main objective is to promote the safety of prescription, maximize the drug effects and minimize the side effects. It is important that there be association with pharmacists skilled in areas of drug information, medication safety and other aspects of pharmacy practice related to clinical pharmacology.

Clinical pharmacologists usually have a rigorous medical and scientific training which enables them to evaluate evidence and produce new data through well designed studies. Clinical pharmacologists must have access to enough outpatients for clinical care, teaching and education, and research as well be supervised by medical specialists. Their responsibilities to patients include, but are not limited to analyzing adverse drug effects, therapeutics, and toxicology including reproductive toxicology, cardiovascular risks, perioperative drug management and psychopharmacology.

In addition, the application of genetic, biochemical, or virotherapeutical techniques has led to a clear appreciation of the mechanisms involved in drug action.

Biochemistry & Molecular genetics:

Biochemistry, sometimes called biological chemistry, is the study of chemical processes within and relating to living organisms. By controlling information flow through biochemical signaling and the flow of chemical energy through metabolism, biochemical processes give rise to the complexity of life. Over the last 40 years, biochemistry has become so successful at explaining living processes that now almost all areas of the life sciences from botany to medicine are engaged in biochemical research. Today, the main focus of pure biochemistry is in understanding how biological molecules give rise to the processes that occur within living cells, which in turn relates greatly to the study and understanding of whole organisms.

Biochemistry is closely related to molecular biology, the study of the molecular mechanisms by which genetic information encoded in DNA is able to result in the processes of life. Depending on the exact definition of the terms used, molecular biology can be thought of as a branch of biochemistry, or biochemistry as a tool with which to investigate and study molecular biology.

Much of biochemistry deals with the structures, functions and interactions of biological macromolecules, such as proteins, nucleic acids, carbohydrates and lipids, which provide the structure of cells and perform many of the functions associated with life. The chemistry of the cell also depends on the reactions of smaller molecules and ions. These can be inorganic, for example water and metal ions, or organic, for example the amino acids which are used to synthesize proteins. The mechanisms by which cells harness energy from their environment via chemical reactions are known as metabolism. The findings of biochemistry are applied primarily in medicine, nutrition, and agriculture. In medicine, biochemists investigate the causes and cures of disease. In nutrition, they study how to maintain health and study the effects of nutritional deficiencies. In agriculture, biochemists investigate soil and fertilizers, and try to discover ways to improve crop cultivation, crop storage and pest control.

Molecular genetics is the field of biology and genetics that studies the structure and function of genes at a molecular level. Molecular genetics employs the methods of genetics and molecular biology to elucidate molecular function and interactions among genes. It is so called to differentiate it from other sub fields of genetics such as ecological genetics and population genetics.

Along with determining the pattern of descendants, molecular genetics helps in understanding developmental biology, genetic mutations that can cause certain types of diseases. Through utilizing the methods of genetics and molecular biology, molecular genetics discovers the reasons why traits are carried on and how and why some may mutate
 
Pathology and forensic medicine:

It is a bridging discipline involving both basic science and clinical practice and is devoted to the study of the structural and functional changes in cells, tissues and organs that underlie disease. The four aspects of disease that form the core of pathology are: Etiology, Pathogenesis, Morphological changes and Clinical significance.

The department is involved in imparting teaching to various undergraduate students of Unaizah College of Medicine and Medical Sciences at Pre-Med 2, M.D 1 and M.D 2 levels of the curriculum.

Pathology is further separated into divisions, based on either the system being studied (e.g. dermatopathology) or the focus of the examination (e.g. forensic pathology and determining the cause of death).

Forensic medicine, the science that deals with the application of medical knowledge to legal questions. The primary tools for forensic medicine has always been the autopsy. Frequently used for identification of dead, autopsies may also be conducted to determine the cause of death. In cases of death caused by weapon, for example, the forensic pathologist – by examining the wound – can often provide detailed information about the type of weapon used as will as important contextual information. In death by gunshot, for example, he can determine with responsible accuracy the range and angle of fire. Forensic medicine is a major factor in identification of victims of disaster, such as landslide or plane crash. In cause –of- death determinations, forensic pathologists can also significantly affect the outcome of trial dealing of insurance and inheritance. Two other forensic specialties arose, namely, forensic psychiatry (which is used to determine the mental health of an individual about the stand trial, and, thus, his blameworthiness) and forensic toxicology. The forensic toxicology gives evidence of such topics as intentional poisoning   and drug used. The toxicologist has played   an increasingly important roles in matters of industrial and environmental poisoning.