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.