Pathogens and Human Diseases – MSCI 680

CG • Section 8WK • 07/01/2018 to 12/31/2199 • Modified 08/19/2021

Course Description

A comprehensive study of microorganisms that cause human disease and the basic principles of pathogenesis, including the molecular basis of infectious disease, how microorganisms establish infections, gain nutrients, cause damage to the host and disease, evade host defense mechanisms.

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.


This course builds upon the framework established by introductory microbiology classes, focusing on those microorganisms responsible for important infections in humans. Diseases caused by the four main microbial communities are defined: viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites. In addition to describing the microorganisms and diseases that they cause, the pathophysiology of these diseases and how body sites are altered in response to these infections are addressed.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, a student will be able to:

A.  Identify medically relevant microorganisms and their clinical presentations.

B.  Describe the structure and replication strategies of microorganisms discussed.

C.  Define the term tumor suppressor genes, describe how the corresponding gene products are involved in normal cell growth control, how tumor suppressor gene products intersect growth control/survival pathways, and how tumor viruses interact with these products and their intersecting pathways.

E.  Describe the processes involved in the anti-tumor effects of “anti-tumor” viruses.

F.  Integrate experimental strategies learned in the context of individual viral systems into the design of experiments involving other systems.

G.  Interpret data from experiments that utilize methodologies described and draw conclusions from the data.

Course Assignment

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview.

Discussions are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to create a thread in response to the provided prompt. Each thread must be 450–500 words, demonstrate course-related knowledge, and include at least 1 biblical principle or scientific reference. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to 1 other classmate’s thread. Each reply must be 300–400 words.

Each quiz will cover the Learn material for the previous and assigned Module: Week. Each quiz will be open-book/open-notes, contain a various number of true/false, multiple-choice, matching, short answer and essay questions, and have a 2-hour time limit.