Pathogens & Parasites

Send by email
Fall semester

This course will apply cell biology, microbiology and immunology to the study of disease-related microorganisms. Students will become familiar with the mechanisms by which bacterial, fungal, viral, and parasitic infections cause disease. The course will also address the progression of infection, disease development, and cellular responses to pathogens. To complement their scientific understanding, students will also consider the historical and social impact of disease.


Unit Essential Questions Content Skills and Processes Assessment Resources
Pathogens & Parasites

What are the biological factors that cause disease?

How can we characterize parasites?

How can we characterize the host-parasite relationship? 

What adaptations do disease-causing organisms use to evade attack by the host?

How do organisms, humans and others, combat disease?

How does disease affect entire populations of organisms?



Understanding the essential structure and function of prions, viruses, bacteria, fungi, protozoan, and metazoan parasites

Investigation of microbes in our surrounding environment 

Complexity of the human microbiome

Understanding of molecular biology techniques such as PCR, gene sequencing, bacterial transfection

Antibiotic production by bacteria and fungi

Plant defenses against parasites

Mechanisms of innate and acquired immunity in humans

Epidemiology of cholera and HIV 

New pharmaceutical drug development

*Thinking critically through scientific reasoning

*Learning to work collaboratively

*Experimental design

*Using a computer to organize data

*Representing data visually as graphs, figures, charts, etc.



 *Tests and quizzes

*Laboratory work and lab reports
*Class participation


Biology  (Campbell, AP 8th edition)

current media resources

scientific journal articles

various news and data websites