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Course Information

Instructor Info:Megan Dobro
Office Extension x5541
TA Info:Erica Lupinacci
Term: 2012F
Meeting Info: Tuesday Thursday
10:30 AM - 11:50 AM Cole Science Center 333
10:30 AM - 11:50 AM Cole Science Center 333

When the HIV virus was first identified as the cause of AIDS, people never imagined there would still be no cure 30 years later. In this seminar, we will read about the milestones of HIV research and discuss why finding a cure or vaccine has proven to be very difficult. Students can expect to learn about the life cycle of the HIV virus, methods of transmission, current tools for research, and social and political issues associated with the epidemic. We will examine different approaches to studying HIV and assess what is still unknown about its biology. At the end of the course, students will use what they have learned to develop their own ideas for curing AIDS.

Course Objectives:
  1. Understand the basic molecular biology and immunology of HIV infections.
  2. Discuss the history, ethics, stigmas, and global social issues associated with HIV infection.
  3. Discuss available tools for research and treatment methods, and think of new ideas for curing the epidemic. 

This is largely a discussion-based course. We will be exploring the history and global issues of HIV/AIDS and talking about our ideas. We will use news articles, primary literature, movies, and books as fuel for our discussion. Everyone's opinions will be valued and if a positive, inclusive atmosphere can be maintained, we'll have fruitful debates. These readings and discussions will lead to a final project in which students will independently write about a plan for a cure or vaccine for HIV/AIDS. 

Evaluation Criteria:

Class attendence

Completing the assignments and participating in all discussions

Having an attitude of inclusion and respect toward peers

Asking questions

Academic honesty

Participating in Journal Club presentations

Final paper

Self evaluation

Additional Info:

There is no required textbook, but there will be required reading throughout the course. Some readings may cost money to access, but I will try to keep costs down as much as possible.