Courses of Study 2019-2020 
    Sep 30, 2020  
Courses of Study 2019-2020 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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BIOMI 6000 - Antibiotics: Probing the Biology of Life and Death

Spring (weeks 1-7). 1 credit. Letter grades only.

Prerequisite: graduate standing in microbiology or a related field, an undergraduate general microbiology class (BIOMI 2900  equivalent), or permission of instructor.

A. Hay.

Though it puts millions of lives in peril from infectious diseases, antibiotic resistance has played a critical role in helping scientists elucidate the mechanistic underpinnings of macromolecular biosynthesis in microorganisms. This class examines the biology of prokaryotic life through the lens of antibiotics.

Outcome 1: Explain, evaluate, and effectively interpret factual claims, theories and assumptions in the sciences – Students will gain practice in reading, analyzing, and critiquing primary literature and reviews that pertain to antibiotic impacts on macromolecular biosynthesis in microorganisms.

Outcome 2: Find, access, critically evaluate, and ethically use information – Students will learn to find, retrieve, and analyze, and interpret data sets from online data repositories specializing in antiobiotic resistance such as CARD ( and MegaRes (, as well as more general resources like IMG, NCBI, SRA etc.

Outcome 3: Integrate quantitative and qualitative information to reach defensible and creative conclusions – Students will write a 5-page paper or on a macromolecular process impacted by antibiotics in which they will evaluate the validity of methods and data interpretation upon which conclusions are made and integrate the available information to identify opportunities for future research. Alternatively, the student may elect to write a research proposal or analyze a publically available omics data set and produce a report detailing the biological impact of the antibiotic on the organism(s) exposed.

Outcome 4: Communicate effectively through writing, speech, and visual information – In addition to the writing assignment mentioned above, students will be required to give both formal and inform oral presentations, produce accompanying graphics that highlight mechanism of antibiotic action, explain them to others, and defend their interpretation of the data.

Outcome 5: Demonstrate the capability to work both independently and in cooperation with others – Students will work in groups to discuss literature, they will also be required to review a peer’s research paper prior to its submission and review one another’s oral presentations.

Outcome 6: Apply concepts of sustainability to the analysis of one of more major challenges facing humans and the Earth’s resources – The students will be required to understand and discuss the inherent inevitability of antimicrobial resistance and thoughtfully offer suggestions for more sustainable practices that could prolong the useful lives of antibiotics in clinical practice.

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