Description: This book presents basic biochemical concepts with an emphasis on their clinical relevance. It promotes easy learning through the use of full-color illustrations, review questions at the end of each section, and additional online resources.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide an integrated presentation of basic and clinical biochemical knowledge designed to meet the goals of evolving medical curricula.
Audience: Although intended primarily for medical students, the book could be useful to other healthcare graduate students as well as physicians looking for concise explanations or a review of key concepts. Dr. Panini is an accomplished researcher who has experience teaching biochemistry to medical students.
Features: The book is divided into five sections that touch upon important biomolecules, basic cell and molecular biology principles, and metabolism. The logical presentation is supported by exquisite illustrations. Another great feature is the series of information capsules (i.e. boxes) that highlight key fundamental, physiological, or therapeutic concepts. Each section ends with a series of multiple-choice questions that help readers assess their understanding of the material, and additional self-assessment questions and learning aids are available online. The coverage is thorough, although the section titled "Genetics and Cell Cycle" is somewhat misleading because there is very little information related to bona fide genetics (e.g. modes of inheritance are only briefly discussed in an information capsule). In appearance, some pages seem very dense with information because they contain numerous capsules (written in a smaller font), while others contain unused space.
Assessment: This book is innovative in its approach to presenting basic biochemical concepts and clinical information, is well illustrated, and is a useful learning aid for medical students being introduced to biochemistry. Although it is not equivalent to more detailed books such as Fundamentals of Biochemistry: Life at the Molecular Level, 4th edition, Voet et al. (Wiley-Blackwell, 2013), it provides a more thorough and integrated account than books such as Lippincott's Illustrated Reviews: Biochemistry, 6th edition, Ferrier (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2013). This book does not provide an exhaustive account of the biochemical origin of human diseases, but it equips readers with a solid foundation in human biochemistry.