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Digestive, Endocrine and Metabolic Systems Block


This 10 week interdisciplinary course in the Fall semester integrates clinical and basic science topics related to the normal function and diseases of the gastrointestinal and endocrine systems. The biochemistry and physiology of nutrient metabolism in health and disease will also be covered.

Block Directors:
John Tentler​, PhD
Virginia Sarapura, MD
Daniel Bessesen, MD

Anesha Williams (303-724-2069)

Course Goals (PDF with Objective​s)
  • Describe the normal gross structure, histology and physiology of the digestive organs (salivary glands, esophagus, stomach, small bowel, colon, gall bladder, exocrine pancreas, and liver) and endocrine organs (endocrine pancreas, hypothalamus, pituitary, adrenal, thyroid, and parathyroid glands).

  • Discuss the key biochemical regulatory steps in the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and amino acids, and their role in maintaining the body’s energy balance.

  • Discuss the normal nutritional requirements of the body and how energy imbalance can result in common diseases and clinical conditions such as obesity, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, and osteoporosis.

  • Describe the causes (genetic, developmental, microbiologic, autoimmune, metabolic, toxic and traumatic) of digestive, metabolic, and endocrine dysfunction.

  • Describe the altered structure (pathology) and function (pathophysiology) of digestive and endocrine organs as seen in common diseases and clinical conditions.

  • Apply the principles of pharmacology, therapeutics and therapeutic decision-making to digestive, endocrine, and metabolic dysfunction.

  • Discuss how the principles of genomics, proteomics and bioinformatics can be used to better understand health and dysfunction of the digestive, metabolic, and endocrine systems.

  • Discuss the scientific principles and limitations of laboratory and radiologic diagnostic methods in ​the diagnosis of digestive, metabolic, and endocrine dysfunction.​