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260.855.01 Pandemics of the 20Th Century

Molecular Microbiology and Immunology
3rd term
1 credits
Academic Year:
2019 - 2020
East Baltimore
Class Times:
  • Wednesday,  1:30 - 2:20pm
Auditors Allowed:
Yes, with instructor consent
Grading Restriction:
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Andrew Pekosz
Course Instructor s:

Focuses on major pandemics in the human population that have occurred in the 20th century and in particular, the 1918 influenza pandemic, the severe acute respiratory distress syndrome (SARS) outbreak of 2002-03 and the emergence of HIV. A discussion of ongoing concerns regarding research into viruses with pandemic potential (Gain of Function experiments) also forms part of the content. For each pandemic, discussion groups cover readings centered around a clinical- or public health-topic and a pathogen-oriented topic in order to give students a broad understanding of the pandemic, as well as to compare and contrast the key aspects of each disease. Compares and contrasts pandemics resulting from acute and chronic diseases, as well as diseases with different routes of transmission and incubation times. Provides a comprehensive overview of how each pandemic emerged, what key factors dictated spread in the population, and how each pathogen induced disease.

Learning Objectives:

Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

  1. Critically evaluate scientific literature on clinical, public health and basic science aspects of major 20th century pandemics
  2. Comprehensively describe how new diseases emerge into the human population
  3. Construct a good oral presentation
  4. Work in a team setting
Methods of Assessment:

Students will be evaluated on their preparation and presentation of reading assignments and participation in discussion. Every student will participate in both a presentation and class discussions.

Instructor Consent:

No consent required