Topics course. This seminar focuses on the study of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) and parasitic and viral diseases that are of great concern in the public health community. The spread of diseases such as Ebola, Chikungunya, Dengue Fever, West Nile, SARS, avian influenza, malaria, river blindness and many other parasitic infections is also a worrisome trend. What can we learn from the great pandemics of the past (the great influenza of 1918, the Black Death of the Middle Ages, the typhus epidemic of 1914?21, and others)? How can modern biotechnology be applied to the development of new drugs and vaccines to prevent such pandemics in the future? In addition to natural infections, we now must also be concerned with rare diseases such as anthrax and smallpox that may be introduced to large populations by bioterrorism. The challenges are great but new tools of molecular biology (genomics, proteomics, RNA interference, next-generation sequencing and others) provide unprecedented opportunity to understand infectious diseases and to develop new strategies for their elimination. Prerequisite: BIO 152 or permission of the instructor.