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Public Health Biology

The course offers an integrative molecular and biological perspective on public health problems. Explores population biology and ecological principles underlying public health and reviews molecular biology in relation to public health biology. Modules focus on specific diseases of viral, bacterial, and environmental origin. Specific examples of each type are used to develop the general principles that govern interactions among susceptible organisms and etiologic agents. Special attention is devoted to factors that act in reproduction and development. Emphasis placed on common elements encountered in these modules. These may include origin and dissemination of drug resistance, organization and transmission of virulence determinants, modulation of immune responses, disruption of signal transduction pathways, and perturbation of gene expression. The role of the genetic constitution of the host is considered as well.

At the conclusion of the course, students will be able to: List and explain the biological principles required to understand the distribution of infectious and non-infectious diseases of public health importance; current research related to public health problems; and the methods for the prevention and control of disease . Illustrate the application of biological principles in attacks on diseases of public health significance. Highlight areas of public health where recent biological research is likely to be of particular importance.