Advanced Virology Syllabus:
Advanced virology (MICR825) is a paper-based course for and by PhD students who have already completed the Principles of Virology course (MICR802) or who have acquired an equivalent level of education in virology previously. The goal of the course is to help students to bring their knowledge/training in virology to a new more sophisticated and advanced level.
During the course, the students with the help of the advisor(s), will read, present and critically discuss published in peer-reviewed journals papers that represent original experimental research on various important topics in the field of modern virology. They will critically review the manuscripts (accessing the rationale of the study, its significance for the field of virology; critically analyze the approach, addressing the advantages and limitations of the experimental strategies; and comparatively analyze the data generated versus interpretations offered). An important part of the course is a participation in the class, which will include the following components: (a) being familiar with the papers discussed, (b) ability to generate questions related to the topics discussed, (c) ability to initiate and support discussion of the material presented by other students.
Another integral part of the course is becoming familiar with the research in the field of virology that is conducted by other virologists on the KUMC campus. For this purpose, Drs. E. Stephens, J. Qiu, M. Mir, S. Gudima and S. Weinman each will each give a presentation describing the research that is being conducted in their labs, and during a second session, will discuss with the students a manuscript on the topic from their research field. For the midterm exam, the students will make a presentation of a manuscript of choice, which will include a critical analysis of the paper and leading the discussion of the paper in the class.
For the final exam, the students, will write initial parts of a grant application (in an NIH R21 format), which will include the Title, Abstract, Specific Aims, Significance and Innovation, and will then defend their proposals at the presentation during the exam. The specific topics of the course include, but are not limited to the mechanisms of viral replication, antivirals, virus infection and induced host response, and viruses and microRNAs.