Science at the heart of medicine

7015 Viruses

COURSE DESCRIPTION: The study of animal and plant viruses has yielded key insights into the biology of cells and organisms and has helped lay the foundation of modern molecular biology. In the era of new and emerging viral infections (e.g., AIDS, avian flu, SARS, Ebola, West Nile), a sophisticated and broad-based understanding of how animal viruses multiply and cause disease is needed. The primary goal of this course is to foster such an understanding.

The course includes, in addition to didactic lectures by faculty, team-based learning, where students discuss research papers or other course content in a structured, faculty-monitored team-based learning. In didactic lectures, the topics to be covered include virus structure, mechanisms of virus entry and replication, regulation of viral and host gene expression, virus assembly, egress, host responses to viral infections, and viral pathogenesis. The course will demonstrate how these basic virological principles offer opportunities for diagnosis, prevention, and therapeutic intervention of prevalent and emerging viral diseases. A unique aspect of this course is that it provides training in writing scientific papers through a 'paper-writing exam' on new, unpublished data by a virologist.

The course is roughly based on the contents of the ASM book, 'Principles of Virology’ listed above. However, class lectures should be considered most up-to-date as new developments are rapidly superseding the materials in the textbook. Additional reading materials will be drawn primarily from current literature.

REQUIRED MATERIALS: Principles of Virology 3rd Edition. by S.J. Flint, L.W. Enquist, V.R. Racaniello and A.M. Skalka (2009) ASM Press. ISBN number 978-1-55581-443-4 

PREREQUISITES: There are no special requirements – but the students with mostly physical or chemical sciences or engineering training with little knowledge of biology will be unsuitable.

STUDENT PREPARATION: Knowledge of contemporary biology including molecular biology, cell biology and some biochemistry would be necessary.


UNIQUE TRAINING OFFERED IN THIS COURSE: This is the only course at Einstein that is dedicated to the study of animal viruses, their replication and pathogenesis. Minor overlap with Microbes

STUDENT ASSESSMENTS: There will be 2 TBLs, a scientific research paper-writing exam and a final exam