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BIOL 3128: Genomics and Infectious Disease Dynamics

Events such as the emergence of avian flu have increased public awareness about the need for incorporating ecology and evolution in decision-making processes that involve infectious diseases. It is evident for the public health community that molecular information, together with concepts from ecology and evolutionary biology, allows for testing of hypotheses and exploration of scenarios that otherwise could not be investigated by traditional epidemiological approaches. Understanding the ecological and evolutionary dynamics of infectious diseases requires the integration of information across organizational levels at various temporal and/or spatial scales. This requirement, together with novel molecular evolution, genomics, and mathematical modeling approaches, has positioned research on Genomics and Infectious Diseases Dynamics at the forefront of Public Health Genomics. The goal of this class is to discuss some of the biological processes leading to the emergence and re-emergence of infectious diseases stressing on evolutionary concepts within an epidemiological context. Basic concepts will be provided by the instructor as part of formal lectures. Our general objective (integrating evolutionary biology into epidemiology) will be fulfilled by discussing research articles. Such discussions will take place during the second half of the semester. "Emerging" perspectives such as One Health and Public Health Genomics will be integrated into the lectures and discussions.

Credits: 3