Introduction to Bio-medical Molecular Virology
This course is expected to run but has not yet been scheduled.
The focus of this course is on the molecular biology that allows interactions between a virus and its host cell. We will begin with the fundamentals: a discussion of the basic composition of a virus particle and how the macromolecules from which a virus is composed allows it to interact with a specific host cell. The interaction between virus and host will then be further discussed with an emphasis placed on the phases of infection that constitute a successful viral infection: attachment, uncoating, synthesis, assembly, and egress. Once the general principles common to most viruses have been establish, the course will then focus on unique infection strategies utilized by specific virus species and how these strategies illustrate the co-evolution of virus and host species. This section of the course will also include a detailed description of the major virus classifications and the resultant human diseases that are characterized by different virus species. Viral immunology will be discussed briefly toward the end of the course. Students will be given background on general immunology terms and concepts and will be taught how these concepts relate to defense against viral infection. The course will also discuss common molecular techniques used for virus identification, virus propagation, detection of viral gene expression, and gene modification/silencing.
By the end of the course, students will be able to recognize and understand the molecular basis of replication strategies utilized by a variety of virus species; to recognize and articulate the differences in replication strategies utilized by virus whose genomes are composed of different types of nucleic acids; and be familiar with several types of disease in which viruses are the causative agent and understand the role of the virus and of the host immune system during disease progression. Students will also become familiar with commonly used techniques and instruments found within a molecular research laboratory
A general high school level Biology course is the only prerequisite for this course.