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Department of Human Biology

Welcome to the Department of Human Biology

The Department of Human Biology is one of the pioneers in the Basic Medical Sciences in Sri Lanka. It is an integration of the disciplines of ANATOMY, PHYSIOLOGY and BIOCHEMISTRY.

Our Department is primarily involved in the teaching of the Phase I curriculum of the MBBS undergraduate Degree program and teaching/learning sessions of integrated modules (anatomy, physiology and biochemistry) for the first and second year undergraduates of  BSc Honours in Nursing Degree program.

The main objective of the Department is to provide medical and nursing students with a basic understanding of the normal structure and functions of the human body at all levels of organization. We aim to prepare our students for future careers where an interdisciplinary education would be an asset in health profession.

The curriculum includes a number of system-oriented modules that are horizontally integrated covering multiple disciplines like anatomy, physiology and biochemistry. Students are introduced to basic clinical skills as part of the vertical integration of the curriculum. The students also learn by small-group discussion sessions that involve a clinical scenario and adopt the problem-based learning strategy. Practical sessions are also included to introduce students with practical skills.

Phase I modules are conducted in three semesters for the first and second year of the MBBS degree program and the integrated modules of BSc Honours in Nursing Degree program is conducted for the 1st, 2nd and the 3rd semesters. The teaching-learning methodologies include formal interactive lectures, tutorials with problem-solving approach, practical sessions, dissections and student presentation seminars. Examinations are held at the end of each modules as End of Module Exam and as the first professional examination is held at the end of Phase I for medical undergraduates. Examinations for the nursing undergraduates are conducted as mid-semester and end semester exams. External Examiners are involved to assess the standard of the examinations.

Discipline of Anatomy

Human Anatomy is one of the basic essential sciences of medicine. It is the branch of biology concerned with the study of the structure of organisms and their parts. Anatomy (Greek anatomē, “dissection”) is a branch of natural science dealing with the structural organization of living things. It is an old science, having its beginnings in prehistoric times. 

The discipline of anatomy is divided into macroscopic and microscopic anatomy. Macroscopic anatomy, or gross anatomy, is the examination of human body parts using unaided eyesight. Microscopic anatomy involves the use of microscopes in the study of the tissues of various structures, known as histology, and also in the study of cells.

Discipline of Physiology

Human physiology is the science of the mechanical, physical, and biochemical functions of humans, and serves as the foundation of modern medicine. As a discipline, it connects science, medicine, and health, and creates a framework for understanding how the human body adapts to stresses, physical activity, and disease. Human physiology is closely related to anatomy, in that anatomy is the study of form, physiology is the study of function, and there is an intrinsic link between form and function. The study of human physiology integrates knowledge across many levels, including biochemistry, cell physiology, organ systems, and the body as a whole.

Discipline of Biochemistry

Biochemistry is the study of chemical processes within and relating to living organisms. It explains all cellular or biological events in chemical terms. The scope of biochemistry is as vast as life itself. Every aspect of normal life such as birth, growth, reproduction, ageing and death involves biochemistry. The biochemical studies contribute to the diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of diseases.

At the department of Human Biology, the discipline of biochemistry mainly cover the following areas; the details of biomolecules of the human body, key chemical processes in the human body, biochemical structure, synthesis and mechanisms of hormone action, digestion, absorption of nutrients and metabolism and integrative aspects of metabolism, nutrition and elements of molecular biology.

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