The Department of Medical Biochemistry was established in 1974 as a foundation department of the Medical School of the Flinders University. It is located within the Flinders Medical Centre which was designed to combine under one roof the teaching, research and clinical functions of a Medical School and a 500-bed general hospital serving the southern suburbs of Adelaide.
In keeping with the original objective of close integration of teaching, patient care and research, University staff with suitable qualifications hold appointments within the Flinders Medical Centre and Hospital appointees with appropriate background hold academic appointments within the University.
The Department of Medical Biochemistry (originally called Clinical Biochemistry) is responsible for teaching basic and clinical biochemistry to medical students and to students in a variety of other courses. Members of the Department also contribute to the biochemical testing and other diagnostic tests for patients at the Flinders Medical Centre and Flinders Private Hospital.
In research, the Department has been very successful over the years in attracting funds from external granting bodies, such as NHMRC and ARC. Its staff are involved in clinical trials, acting as the central laboratory for two major studies of cardiovascular disease coordinated by the NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre in Sydney. The liaison between basic and clinical research led to the development of enzymatic methods for the determination of sodium and potassium ions in plasma.
In teaching, Biochemistry content is tailored to the needs of specific professional programs (Medicine, Environmental Health, Medical Science) with an emphasis on problem-based learning.