Linking Science and Social Issues

Fall Semester:
Protein structure, stability, and folding illustrated by amyloid B protein
Taught through Alzheimer's disease

Alzheimer\'s Reading Assignment (Microsoft Word 29kB Aug4 09)

Enzyme kinetics and mechanism illustrated by HIV protease
Taught through HIV/AIDS

Central metabolic pathways - glycolysis, citric acid cycle, ATP synthesis
Taught through Malaria and other parasitic diseases

Additional metabolic pathways including gluconeogenesis, glycogen metabolism, and fat metabolism. Finally, integration of metabolic pathways is examined by looking at the biochemical basis and consequences of diabetes, obesity, and malnutrition
Taught through diabetes and malnutrition

Spring Semester:
Protein structure, stability, function, and glycoproteins by examining the functions of hemagglutinin and neuraminidase from influenza virus, designing a flu vaccine, and new antivirals
Taught through Avian influenza
Influenza Reading Assignment (Microsoft Word 30kB Aug4 09)

Transport across membranes illustrated by the molecular mechanisms for multidrug resistance in TB
Taught through multidrug resistant tuberculosis

TB Reading Assignment (Microsoft Word 29kB Aug4 09)

Signal transduction by various pathways illustrated by the biochemical basis of various neurological disorders including some examples of mental illness (schizophrenia, Parkinson's, depression)
Taught through mental illness

Signal transduction, DNA replication, and transcription (both mechanism and regulation) illustrated through the biochemical consequences of damaging DNA or incorrectly turning on/off proteins (such as estrogen receptor) that are involved in signal transduction or regulate transcription
Taught through cancer and the environment

Public health topics are used in several ways in these courses:
1. Wherever possible, illustrative examples used in class would be drawn from public health topics rather than the examples found in textbooks that had been used for many years.
2. At various points in the course, I would ask students to read and respond to articles that focused on the broader societal context of these public health issues.
3. Students would work in small groups to develop a final "capstone project" on a public health topic of their own choosing. This capstone would provide an opportunity for integrative learning in a student-driven framework.