My goals in teaching are to emphasize basic principles and concepts about how viruses interact with their hosts and cause disease, and to convey my enthusiasm for viruses: they are, without doubt, funky, fun and fabulous! As a teacher, my challenges are to make students think about things they never thought about before, and to have student see that they can be doing research. There are two principal courses, which I teach.
BIOMI 409/VETMI 409 Principles of Virology (3 credits, Fall Semester): This is a unique course, which is designed to convey the basic principles of virus biology, and to illustrate key concepts in virus-host interactions in terms of virus replication and the pathogenesis of disease. This is not a “Virus of the Week” survey course. Rather, the course takes an integrative approach, drawing on examples of animal, plant and bacterial viruses, to focus on unifying principles and the rationale where differences may exist. As a result of this integrative approach, students become well-equipped to read about any virus and understand its replication and pathogenic strategies.
BIOPL 652.1/PLPA 662.1 Plant Responses to Pathogen Attack (1 credit, Spring Semester even years): This course emphasizes the principle concepts about how plants defend themselves against infection by viruses, bacteria and fungi, and the counterstrategies that these pathogens use to overcome plant defenses.