Microorganisms have been used by human society for millennia to enhance people’s quality of life. From aiding in the production of food to generation of clean energy, bacteria, fungi, and viruses have proven to be invaluable tools for modern civilization. This course will provide an overview of how microorganisms are currently utilized in a number of different industrial and medical settings. The theory for why and how microbes are used will be discussed to provide a conceptual foundation for students interested in the industries discussed in this course.
Upon the completion of this course, students will be able to:
- Apply the principles of recombinant DNA technology to design the production of protein products of interest from prokaryotic and eukaryotic sources.
- Explain how synthetic biology can be used solve novel problems.
- Discuss the challenges faced with developing vaccines against a variety of pathogens, including the theory and practical applications of DNA-based vaccines.
- Explain how to harness various properties of viruses for gene therapy and targeted delivery of macromolecules to cells/tissues.
- Discuss the current issues related to antibiotic / antimicrobial resistance development.
- Obtain an understanding of current antiviral drug development pipelines.
- Explain how diagnostics for infectious diseases are performed.
- Describe successful applications of microorganisms in processes such as food production, soil management, and environmental cleanup.
- Explain how microorganisms can be harnessed to produce bioenergy / fuels.
Dr. Brian Geiss
Dr. Brian Geiss is an Professor in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Pathology at Colorado State University. He received his PhD from Saint Louis University School of Medicine in 2002. His research interests lie in developing translational technologies toward infectious diseases, including development of antivirals, vaccines, and novel pathogen diagnostics. Dr. Geiss has been teaching since at CSU since 2006, and has taught MIP 613 as a lecture course since 2013. Dr. Geiss is an advocate for development of critical scientific thinking skills, and creative application of scientific principles and effective communication of practical applications are strongly encouraged in his courses.