Virology (Biology 388)
Viruses cause significant diseases in humans, such as AIDS, influenza, and Ebola hemorrhagic fever. On the edge between living and non-living things, viruses invade, take over and alter cells in order to reproduce and transmit. Virus structure, replication and pathogenesis, major viral diseases, the immune response to viruses, and vaccination are major topics of discussion.
Viruses, bacteria and parasites use host organisms to complete their lifecycle. These infectious agents are masters of host manipulation, able to hijack host processes to replicate and transmit to the next host. While we tend to think of infections as just making us sick, they are also capable of changing our behavior. In fact, many infectious agents are able to mediate host behavior in ways that can enhance transmission of the disease. In this inquiry driven course we explore the process of host behavior mediation by infectious agents, combining aspects of multiple fields including infectious disease microbiology, neurobiology, epidemiology and animal behavior. Mathematical models and computer simulations are used to address questions that arise from class discussion. Co-taught with Mr. Holloway.
Introduction to Microbiology (Biology 205)
An introduction to the world of microbes, including bacteria, fungi, and viruses. The study of bacteria is stressed. Studies of the morphology, physiology, and genetics of bacteria are followed by their consideration in ecology, industry, and medicine.
Microbial Wars (Biology/Science Technology and Society 172)
This course explores our relationship with microbes that cause disease. Topics including bioterrorism, vaccinology, smallpox eradication, influenza pandemics, antibiotic resistance, and emerging diseases are discussed to investigate how human populations are affected by disease, how and why we alter microorganisms intentionally or unintentionally, and how we study disease causing microbes of the past and present. The use of new technologies in microbiology that allow us to turn harmful pathogens into helpful medical or industrial tools are also discussed.
Viruses and their Hosts (Biology 105)
This course explores the fundamentals of biology through the study of viruses and the organisms they infect. Viruses invade host cells and take control, using host structures and processes to their advantage. By investigating how viruses replicate, transmit, and evolve, we can learn a great deal about cell biology, molecular biology, genetics, physiology, and evolution. We will also explore the role of viruses in cancer, the importance of viruses in ecosystems, the impact of viruses on human evolution, and the use of viruses in classical experiments in biology.