M.S. & Ph.D. Courses

Microbiology 460 [3 cr.]

Eukaryotic Microbiology. Course Director: Tom Moore. This upper level undergraduate course which can be taken for graduate credit with permission will cover the biology of eukaryotic microbes and the environments in which they live. Eukaryotic microbes include single-celled protozoa, multi-cellular helminths (worms), and fungi. This course will cover the complex life cycles (intermediate hosts, insect vectors) required for survival of many protozoa and helminths. Eukaryotic microbes are also a significant cause of human disease throughout the world (e.g. Malaria, Leishmaniasis, Trypanosomiasis, Giardiasis, Histoplasmosis, Blastomycosis). We will examine the evolutionary relationship between eukaryotic pathogens and their mammalian hosts, including the complex relationship between host immunity and pathogen immunoevasion. We will also discuss the renewed interest in Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs). NTDs are a group of diseases causing substantial illness in more than one billion people globally. The most common NTDs include Lymphatic Filariasis (Elephantiasis), Onchocerciasis (River Blindness), Schistosomiasis, Soil-Transmitted Helminths, and Dracunculiasis (Guinea Worm Disease). This course is cross-listed as INTMED 460. Fall term only.

Pharmacology 502 [2 cr.]

Introduction to Scientific Communication. Course Director: Lori Isom. This course introduces graduate students to essential scientific communication skills. Beginning with the relatively easy task of learning to search the literature over the Internet and ending with the challenges of writing an NIH style grant application and giving a short seminar, each student will develop confidence in both written and spoken scientific communication. Class meetings alternate between presentations by local experts on various topics and student presentations of their work in progress. In-depth analysis of student writing and presentation skills will be provided in class by the instructor, by other students working in small groups, as well as by guest scientists. Through a series of assignments, each student will write a grant over the course of the term on a topic of his or her choice. By the end of the term each student will have polished and revised the proposal to a high quality product that will be presented both orally and in written form to the rest of the class. Finally, each student will participate in a mock study section to constructively evaluate each other's grants. Prerequisite: Must be in the second year or higher of a PIBS-related graduate program. Winter term.
(link is external)

Microbiology 599 [1-8 cr.]

Independent Non-Dissertation Research for Graduate Students. Permission of instructor. Students may undertake independent library or laboratory research study under the supervision of an appropriate faculty member. May be taken any term as a pre-candidate, for a letter grade.

Microbiology 607 [2 cr.]

Microbial Pathogenesis. Course Director: Vern Carruthers.  Prerequisite: Introductory microbiology or permission of course director. Topics include regulatory mechanisms of pathogens, toxins and toxinogenesis, secretion, adherence and invasion. The course is literature-based, although each session begins with a discussion by the instructor to provide context and background for papers under discussion. Primarily covers bacterial pathogens. Winter term.

Microbiology 612 [3 cr.]

Microbial Informatics. Course Director: Pat Schloss.  Prerequisites: Graduate standing and undergraduate Microbiology, Biochemistry, Cell Biology, or Genetics. Increasingly, microbiologists are generating large and varied datasets and must be integrated with data from traditional approaches to test hypotheses and identify new avenues of research. This course will give microbiologists the background they need to design robust experiments, implement traditional statistical approaches for small and large datasets, and utilize statistical programming software. Course is taught in fall and includes lecture and laboratory components. Contact instructor for timing as this is often taught over a short time frame.

Microbiology 615 [2 cr.]

Molecular and Cellular Determinants of Viral Pathogenesis. Course Directors: Christiane Wobus, Adam Lauring and Andrew Tai. Concepts of viral pathogenesis and controls. Early events, entry, receptors, tropism determinants. Replication and interactions with host defenses. Transmission in populations; smallpox as a paradigm. The format includes a combination of lecture and critical analysis of primary literature. Winter term.

Microbiology 619 [1 cr.]

Special Topics:  These one-credit courses will be one-time offerings, each covering an area of current microbiology, immunology or related research, to be held 4 weeks of winter or fall term, respectively. 

Human Genetics 630 [1 cr.]

Short Course—Special Topics in Genetics. Lectures are open to anyone interested, but only Genetics Training Grant students and CMB students may register for this course. Please contact the Cellular and Molecular Biology(link sends e-mail) department for fall term schedule and the Human Genetics(link sends e-mail) department for winter term schedule.

Microbiology 640 [3 cr.]

Molecular and Cellular Immunology. Course Director: Malini Raghavan. This three-credit course is focused upon molecular and cellular aspects of vertebrate immunology. Topics covered include: Mechanisms of antigen recognition in innate and adaptive immunity, antigen processing and presentation, the MHC, generation of diversity in immune receptors, B and T cell development, activation, differentiation, death and effector functions; mechanisms of homeostasis and immunosuppression; NK cells and other innate immune cell types, immunological tolerance and its breakdown; microbial immunity; and immune cell signal transduction. The course includes both didactic lectures and discussion-type seminars based upon contemporary research papers. A previous introductory course in immunology is recommended and summer learning information can be provided if needed. Fall term.

Microbiology 641 [1 cr.]

Advanced Immunology. Course Director: Cheong-Hee Chang. Prerequisite or corequisite: MICRBIOL 640. Mechanisms that regulate immune cell development and function in health and disease will be covered in this advanced level immunology course, primarily through discussion of contemporary research papers. Together with MICRBIOL 640, this course is expected to lead to an in-depth understanding of the immune response at molecular and cellular levels.

Microbiology 812 [1 cr.]

Microbiology Seminar. Microbiology and Immunology Graduate Students. An analysis of advances at the frontiers of microbiology. Every microbiology graduate student is required to enroll in this course each term. Students give one seminar per year on a journal article or their own research. All terms, taken for a letter grade.

Microbiology 813 [1 cr.]

Science in the Clinics. Prerequisite or corequisite: MICRBIOL 607, 615, 640 or permission of instructor. Course Directors: Vern Carruthers and Adam Lauring. This course brings students into the real world of infectious diseases to help them connect basic pathogenesis research and training with clinical and therapeutic features of infectious disease medicine. The sessions are run by two faculty members, a physician and a basic scientist. Each class begins with a case presentation by the physician, who takes the class through ID cases, including history, laboratory and physical findings, etc. During this discussion, students learn and discuss the meanings of specific clinical findings, learning why different tests are performed and how physicians ultimately build a differential diagnosis. Following the case presentation, an assigned paper is covered in detail by the basic scientist through discussion with the students. The discussion is aimed at interpreting the findings with regard to their basic science implications, in addition to clinical implications in light of the case discussions just carried out.

Microbiology 995 [8 cr.]

Candidate Dissertation Research. Prerequisite: Graduate School authorization for admission as a doctoral candidate. Election for dissertation work by Microbiology and Immunology doctoral students who have been advanced to status as candidates. All terms, taken as an S/U course.