Courses offered in CTEGD

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  • IDIS/CBIO 3100/3100H: People, Parasites and Plagues
  • CBIO 4500/6500, CBIO 4500L/6500L: Medical Parasitology
  • IDIS 8080L: Advance Techniques in Molecular Parasitology
  • MIBO/PBHL/IDIS/BHSI 8260: Global Perspectives on Tropical and Emerging Infectious Diseases
  • CBIO 8500: Biology of Parasitism
  • CBIO/BCMB/MIBO 8520: Topics in Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics of Parasites

People, Parasites, and Plagues (IDIS/CBIO 3100/3100H)

This 3 credit course takes a multidisciplinary approach to examining the impact of infectious diseases on our world. Epidemic (both past and present), emerging and zoonotic diseases, and how they are identified, studied and combated, are discussed. Topics also include the sociological, psychological, historical, ecological and economic implications of infectious diseases. The course is equally suitable for life science and non-life science majors. Students are expected to master the concepts of disease, how scientific investigation is done, and the various mechanisms by which infectious diseases impact individuals and the societies in which they live.

The course is designed to be a challenging and stimulating for all students regardless of academic background or career goals. Non-science majors find themselves challenged to see the world of parasites (a term used loosely in this course in reference to any organism that takes damaging advantage of another) through the eyes of a scientist. Science majors are compelled to appreciate the implications of parasitism beyond the biology of parasitizing organisms and host/parasite interactions. By the end of the course, students can expect to have a good grasp of the global implications (literally and figuratively) of parasitic diseases and be capable of sharing this fascinating and often scary world with others both within and without the academic community.

The course is largely organized in a topical fashion, generally with single lectures covering one disease or organism or health/science issue. The lectures are divided into four major sections that move forward in time. Because some infections have been around for a long, long time, some of those discussed early on might be very familiar. Experts are brought in to cover several of these topics, so students benefit from the expertise and excitement that these individuals have for their respective fields of work and study.

  • Evaluation: Students’ grasp of concepts of disease, how scientific investigation is done, and the various mechanisms by which infectious diseases impact individuals and the societies in which they live are evaluated in three short answer/multiple choice/essay examinations and a non-cumulative final examination. Students are also required to attend two of four “Global Diseases: Voices from the Vanguard” lectures, sponsored by CTEGD and the College of Journalism, and to participate in a round-table discussion to review and further explore the topics covered in the two attended lectures. Attendance is strongly suggested and participation is recorded and graded.
  • Honors option: A 4 credit honors option is available. The Honors option requires that students attend a weekly one-hour discussion group in addition to regularly scheduled lectures and other course activities.
  • Prerequisite: BIOL 1103 and 1103L or BIOL 1107 and 1107L
  • Offered: Spring semester odd years
  • Coordinator:


Medical Parasitology (CBIO 4500/6500, 4500L/6500L)

Parasites are responsible for classical tropical diseases and emerging opportunistic infections in the United States. You will be introduced to many principles of parasitology, in most cases illustrated with medically important species. We will discuss the biology of parasites, their vectors and hosts, and the pathogenesis of parasitic diseases with special emphasis on modern molecular concepts. The class will also provide information on epidemiology, control, prevention, and treatment of important human diseases caused by parasites.

  • Prerequisite: BIOL 1108 and 1108L
  • Offered: Spring semester every even-numbered year
  • Coordinator:


Advanced Molecular Techniques (IDIS 8080L)

Current techniques in molecular analysis of pathogens. Emphasis is placed on bioinformatics and procedures for genomic analysis, rapid isolation and characterization of parasite molecules, and the detection and identification of parasites in host vector. The course stresses “hands on” rather than lecture, with 1-2 hours of lecture per day, and 6 hours of lab work each week. Students will prepare a paper outlining application of the methods learned to a real or hypothetical problem, and present it to the class.


  • Transfection
  • Gene isolation/characterization
  • Mutation detection
  • Sequence analysis/bioinformatics
  • Heterologous expression of parasite proteins
  • RT-PCR
  • Pulsed field gel electrophoresis
  • Evaluation: 2 quizzes and a final exam, 1 paper with presentation. Lab notebooks will be graded for organization and completeness
  • Offered: Maymester every even-numbered year
  • Coordinator: Dr. David Peterson

For more information, please contact David Peterson at

Global Perspectives on Tropical and Emerging Infectious Diseases (MIBO/PBHL/IDIS/BHSI 8260)

Global status, epidemiology and control of parasitic, viral, and bacterial diseases of major public health importance. Emphasis will be on scientific, policy, and economic aspects of past, current, and future public health approaches to deal with these globally challenging infectious diseases from multiple and integrative perspectives.

  • Offered: Maymester every odd-numbered year
  • Coordinator: Dr. Daniel Colley

For more information, please contact Dan Colley at

Biology of Parasitism (CBIO 8500)

Diseases caused by eukaryotic parasites like malaria still are a major threat to human health in large parts of the world. Parasites are also fascinating scientific models, and we will discuss parasitism on the cell and molecular level. Parasites have proven to be formidable challenges to drug and vaccine development. Why is this, and how might recent advances in parasite cell biology, biochemistry, and genomics help to overcome these challenges? The class will meet every week for two lectures and a seminar focusing on recent original literature. Lecturers will include faculty from CTEGD, CDC, Emory University and additional speakers. Students with interest in the molecular biology of infectious diseases without prior training in parasitology are welcome.

  • Prerequisite: None
  • Offered: Spring semester every even-numbered year
  • Coordinator: 


Topics in Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics of Parasites (CBIO/BCMB/MIBO 8520)

Molecular genetics, cell biology, and biochemistry of parasites. Systems of unique significance to parasites will be emphasized.

  • Offered: Not offered on a regular basis
  • Pre or Corequisite: CBIO 8100 or BCMB 8020 or GENE 8930