Description: This laboratory course provides an opportunity for students to become familiar with approaches and techniques to studying microbial diversity. Techniques to describe microbial diversity at the structural, behavioral, and ecosystem level will be addressed. Emphasis will be placed on approaches to understand diversity within the human microbiome and environmental systems as well as the interactions between them.
Course Goals: The course has three main goals:
(1) Familiarize students with techniques to study the microbial diversity of the human body as well as the diversity of specific environmental systems that interact with the human body. These include drinking water biofilms and microorganisms in food. Research techniques that will be studied include culturing and sampling techniques, genetic approaches (e.g. cloning, 16S rRNA gene sequencing), microscopy and imaging as well as use of model systems such as Robbins devices and flow cells.
(2) Introduce the concept of functional microbiomics, and describe and perform laboratory techniques to investigate microbial diversity. Approaches to discover and interrogate cell-cell interactions between microorganisms will be introduced.
(3) Support students in the development of a model system or project in order to perform a discovery-based or hypothesis-based study of the microbial composition of an polymicrobial environmental sample.
Competencies: 2.A. Biological Variability
1. The nature and complexity of inter-individual variability (biological, biochemical, and physiological) as it affects the study of a disease process.
2. D. Human Physiology and Pathology
1. The biochemical and cellular basis for normal and pathological functioning
2. Interaction among anatomical systems and organs in health and disease.
3. The most important chronic, infectious, and degenerative diseases of humans in terms of the public's health
4. Pathobiology of major diseases integrated with the principles of epidemiology.
5. The impact of host characteristics (e.g., immune response, nutrition, presence of other diseases or infections) on disease outcomes
Learning Objectives: Three learning objectives include:
(1) Learn and perform laboratory techniques to describe microbial diversity as well approaches to analyze the results of experiments.
(2) Realize the impact microbes on the environment as well as on the human microbiome and understand how these communities may interact with one-another.
(3) Participate in a scientifically-based class debates and contribute towards the formulation of laboratory experiments.
This course is cross-listed with Pilot course so not yet cross-listed but upper-level undergraduate students and graduate students from other departments will be considered. in the Pilot course so not yet cross-listed but upper-level undergraduate students and graduate students from other departments will be considered. department.