Science at the heart of medicine

7015 Viruses

COURSE DESCRIPTION: The study of viruses helped lay the foundation of modern molecular biology, and continues to provide new insights into the biology of cells and organisms. Moreover, we live in an increasingly interconnected and crowded world in which “new” viruses can emerge and spread throughout the globe seemingly overnight, and are being discovered at an ever-accelerating pace through cutting-edge genome sequence-based technologies. At the same time, “old” viruses such as HIV-1 remain a global threat and viruses we thought we had defeated, such as measles, are resurgent. Therefore, a sophisticated and broad-based understanding of animal viruses is needed more than ever. In this course, we will study how viruses are put together, how they multiply in their hosts and cause disease, how we find new viruses and characterize them, and how we exploit them as tools for basic research and therapy.

'Viruses' will be kicked off with a lecture by a noted virologist. This will be followed by didactic lectures featuring Einstein’s own virology faculty complemented by invited outside speakers. All speakers are international experts in different areas of the study of viruses. The course is organized into 6 units and the lectures will cover virus structure, mechanisms of virus entry and replication, regulation of viral and host gene expression, virus assembly, virus egress, host responses to viral infections, and viral pathogenesis and evolution. ‘Viruses’ will demonstrate how these basic principles offer opportunities for diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of prevalent and emerging viral diseases, and for the development of new applications that utilize viruses as tools.


- A computer to access email and internet.

- Principles of Virology 4th Edition. by S.J. Flint, V. R. Racaniello, Rall, G. and A.M. Skalka (2015) ASM Press. ISBN # 978-1-55581-9330.

RECOMMENDED PREREQUISITES: Biochemistry, Gene Expression and Molecular Genetics courses are recommended, but not mandatory.

STUDENT PREPARATION: Information covered in the course requires a reasonable level of background in contemporary molecular biology, biochemistry and cell Biology.


UNIQUE TRAINING OFFERED IN THIS COURSE: This course will impart students the ability to understand how viruses evolve, replicate and cause disease. They will be able to appreciate the basis for antiviral drug discovery and the molecular bases of vaccine design and development. All lectures are taught by faculty who are experts on the particular virus being discussed giving the students a unique opportunity to learn directly from the practitioners. A special feature includes several expert virologists from outside Einstein will be teaching the course.

STUDENT ASSESSMENTS: There will be two exams: a mid-term and a final exam. In addition, classroom participation will carry 20% of the total marks.