Thursday, 19 May 2011


Currently listening to: Sunday Bloody Sunday - U2

After a ten day interval today was my third exam, Endocrine Physiology and Biochemistry. Traditionally a subject feared by biomeds, biochemists, pharmaceutical chemists and other life sciences students for its complicated chemical pathways, intricate physiological details and the sheer workload, I approached revision for this subject with some trepidation. Progress was slow and it soon became abundantly clear that much like my first exam, Cellular Pathology and Haematology, I wouldn't be able to learn everything. So I decided to concentrate particularly on learning the pancreas, cardiovascular hormones, the adrenal glands and steroidogenesis, and the associated signal transduction pathways. The thyroid, male and female reproductive systems took a back seat as I prioritised and hoped to god that these would not come up in the exam. Three essay questions to answer, though luckily for this exam there was free choice of questions (i.e. unlike CP&H). And even more luckily some decent questions came up:

1) "Peptide hormone synthesis is simple. One gene, one hormone". Discuss.

6) Discuss the role of the pancreas in glucose homeostasis.

7) Give an example of a vasoconstrictor and a vasodilator, giving details of their biosynthesis and mechanism of action. Describe the problems associated with damage to the endothelium.

A pretty good line up. Having conducted my exam post-mortem I covered the majority of my points for questions 1 and 7, and all my points for question 6. Question 6 was a dream come true, open ended, broad and straight-forward. I feel I did best in that, followed by 1, followed by 7. All in all I'm pleasantly surprised about how painless this exam was...let's hope the results reflect this!

I am now halfway through my finals, with three exams to go next week. Time to press on with Cancer Biology revision!


  1. Woo! Well done :) Thanks for your lovely comment. I'm doing much better (now I'm just at the slightly lower threshold for being weepy phase). This has been a stressful week so I'm very glad it's Friday tomorrow. Best of luck for your final three, hope they continue to go your way and your question spotting :p

  2. YAY! sounds like you had a really good paper and you're half way there! Good luck for the last 3! ^^