About The Course
Welcome Message

Welcome to the CoursePlus Web site for MOLECULAR BIOLOGY OF PANDEMIC INFLUENZA (120.603.01), a course offered by the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Course Description

Explores how molecular biology has been used to define the biological basis of a public health catastrophe, the 1918 Spanish Influenza Pandemic. Students examine the biological basis of the virulence of more recent influenza viruses. Topics include: use of molecular techniques to resurrect the extinct 1918 pandemic virus, the use of molecular techniques to identify why specific mutations in the genome made the 1918 virus so virulent, the use of sequence analysis to identify the origin of new strains of influenza virus, and the analysis of the immune response of an infected host to the 1918 virus. Students also examine the molecular biology of the more recent H1N1 pandemic and the H5N1 bird flu viruses. Students discuss ethical and policy issues that must be considered in managing the response to a pandemic.

Course Learning Objectives

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

  • Describe modern molecular biology techniques
  • Explain how these techniques can be applied to a major public health problem
  • Interpret data generated by these techniques
  • Describe the molecular basis for the pathogenesis of specific strains of influenza
  • Read and present original papers in this area

Course Time

Tue Thu   2:00 PM to 2:50 PM

Course Faculty
Intended Audience

Graduate students who are interested in learning about the molecular biology of influenza and/or are interested in the application of molecular biology to major public health problems.

Grading Policy & Grading Restrictions

Grading Policy: Evaluations of oral presentations by students and a midterm and final examination.

Grading Restrictions: Letter grade

Administrative Contact

Wright, William
E-mail: bwright@jhmi.edu