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Course Information

Instructor Info:Megan Dobro
Office Extension x5541
TA Info:Finley Janes
Mary Pless
Term: 2013F
Meeting Info: Monday Wednesday
10:30 AM - 11:50 AM Cole Science Center 316
10:30 AM - 11:50 AM Cole Science Center 316

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.

Please note: This is a science course. We will have discussions about the social and political aspects because they are important in understanding why biology is not enough in the fight against AIDS. However, the focus of assignments will mostly be on biology. 




Course Objectives:
  1. Understand the basic molecular biology and immunology of HIV infections.
  2. Be able to explain the history of HIV and why there is no cure.
  3. Discuss the history, ethics, stigmas, and global social issues associated with HIV infection.
  4. Discuss available tools for research and treatment methods, and think of innovative ideas for curing the epidemic.
  5. Be able to conduct independent research and write concise, cohesive papers. 
Evaluation Criteria:

Course evaluations are based on attendance, respect for peers, academic honesty, assignment quality and timeliness, the final report, and participation in class discussions and World AIDS Day events. Please use office hours whenever you need extra help. You should be pushing yourselves to learn as much as you can, and so the evaluation will note your starting point and your efforts to reach the limit of your learning. 

Additional Info:

See the syllabus attached below for details about the academic atmosphere and expectations.

There is no required textbook, but here is a free download of an HIV Medicine textbook for your reference.