Spring 2007

SCIE 680
The Molecular Biology of Emerging Infectious Diseases

McAlear,Michael A.

01/22/2007 - 05/05/2007
Tuesday 06:00 PM - 08:30 PM

Shanklin 201

A few decades ago it seemed that modern medicine was winning the battle against many of the bacterial and viral diseases that afflicted mankind. But, recently we have seen the emergence, and reemergence of a host of deadly, infectious pathogens.

This course will focus on a subset of these diseases, including antibiotic-resistant bacteria, mad cow disease, West Nile virus, anthrax, and Ebola. The majority of the course will deal with how these infectious agents work at the molecular level, and how they can be treated (if at all). We will also consider how changes in populations, social practices, and environments have contributed to their emergence.

Readings will include review articles, primary scientific literature, and books on the different diseases.

Students will be expected to research one of these topics in depth, and to give an in-class presentation as well as submit a paper. Students will also get the opportunity to learn and perform a modern diagnostic technique (PCR) that is used to identify infectious agents.

A background in basic molecular biology (equivalent to introductory college level biology) will be assumed knowledge.

A syllabus for this course is available at:

Michael McAlear (B.S., Ph.D. McGill University) is associate professor of molecular biology and biochemistry. His research focuses on DNA replication, DNA repair, and rRNA metabolism in yeast, and his articles have appeared in the journals Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology, Genetics, Molecular Genetics, and the Journal of Biological Chemistry. Click here for more information about Michael McAlear.


Consent of Instructor Required: No

Format: Seminar

Level: GLSP Credits: 3 Enrollment Limit: 18

Texts to purchase for this course:

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