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Mental Health and the Gut

Summer Inst. term
Mental Health
2 credits
Academic Year:
2022 - 2023
Instruction Method:
Asynchronous Online with Some Synchronous Online
Mon 05/30/2022 - Fri 06/17/2022
Auditors Allowed:
Grading Restriction:
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Course Instructor:
Calliope Holingue
Frequency Schedule:
One Year Only

Are you curious about how the microbiome, gastrointestinal symptoms, and gut health are linked with psychiatric disorders? This course investigates how the gut and microbiome are emerging as important contributors to the incidence, presentation, and treatment of psychiatric disorders.

Explores the strong, bidirectional communication between the gastrointestinal tract and the brain. Reviews the role of the microbiome in shaping brain health, the link between gastrointestinal symptoms and mental health, and new and seminal research on the brain-gut connection in specific psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, depression, and autism spectrum disorders. Develops students’ skills in reading and critiquing literature on this subject and demonstrates the basics of designing and analyzing studies on the microbiome and mental health.

Learning Objectives:

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

  1. Describe the basic roles of the gut and microbiome in influencing health
  2. Critically read and evaluate basic studies on the human microbiome and mental health
  3. Describe the most seminal research to date on the gut and mental health
  4. Illustrate the basics of designing and analyzing studies of the microbiome and mental health
  5. Explore the development and future of the field of mental health and the gut
Methods of Assessment:

This course is evaluated as follows:

  • 50% Participation
  • 50% Final Paper

Instructor Consent:

No consent required

Special Comments:

Students are required to complete pre- and post-course assignments. The final project will be due on June 30, 2022. Students are required to have completed the required Introduction to Online Learning module before they can begin the class.