Spring 2014

Seminar in Microbiology: Host-Microbe Interactions

Listed in: Biology, as BIOL-414

Formerly listed as: BIOL-48


Alexandra E. Purdy (Section 01)


In this seminar, we will examine the molecular mechanisms that underlie a broad range of interactions between diverse bacterial species and their multicellular hosts. We will begin the course by exploring the complex molecular "conversations" that help establish mutually beneficial symbiotic relationships. These often involve exchange of metabolites, small molecules, and other cellular components that lead to drastic changes in the physiology, development, and gene expression of both the host and microbial partners. While many examples of such positive interactions exist in nature, as humans, we are perhaps most aware of the bacterial world as a source of disease-causing pathogens. In this context, we will then explore mechanisms of bacterial pathogenesis and draw parallels with mutualistic interactions discussed earlier.  We will focus on bacterial pathogens of humans, particularly as they must survive in the presence of sophisticated innate and adaptive immune responses. This course will rely extensively on readings from the primary literature and will involve a research project and oral presentations.  Three hours per week.

Requisite: BIOL191 and either BIOL 271 or permission of the instructor.  Limited to 15 students. Spring semester. Professor Purdy.

If Overenrolled: Preference given to seniors and juniors


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2014