More information on these courses can be found in the current JMU catalog.

BIO/ISAT 203 Viral Discovery

An exploratory laboratory experience, designed for incoming freshmen. Students learn about the life cycle and ecology of viruses infecting bacteria. Soil samples are collected, and techniques for isolation and purification of the viruses performed by the students. Isolated viruses are visualized using electron microscopy. The genomic material is isolated and prepared for nucleic acid sequencing. 

BIO/ISAT 204 Viral Genome and Bioinformatics

A computer-based laboratory experience, designed for students completing the Viral Discovery course. Students learn to identify genes in a viral genome, compare the predicted proteins with known proteins in databases, describe the contents of the genome and notate all the relevant information for publication. Students also research the role of bacteriophages in ecology and evolution.

BIO 346 Laboratory in Bacterial Pathogenomics

A Course-Based Undergraduate Experience (CURE) lab course, in which students isolate Salmonella and other pathogens directly from environmental samples such as streams and poultry litter, identify and characterize them, then sequence their genomes. In addition to learning the laboratory techniques necessary to isolate and identify pathogens from the environment, students learn the basics of microbial genome analysis, including genome assembly, gene annotation, typing & phylogeny, and learn comparative genomics methods to study mobile genetic elements, virulence, antibiotic resistance, etc. They also learn how these methods are used in the epidemiological tracking of pathogens.

BIO 324 Human Genetics

An intermediate genetics course with an emphasis on human biology. Topics include cytogenetics, pedigree analysis, quantitative traits, mutation, epigenetics, genomics and ethical issues raised by developing technologies.

BIO 447. Evolution and Ecology of Infectious Disease

An introduction to the evolution and ecology of pathogenic microorganisms, with an emphasis on the bacteria. Topics include emerging infectious disease, pathogen evolution and pathogenomics, horizontal gene transfer, metagenomics and the human microbiome, pathogens in natural environments, virulence factors, antibiotic resistance, etc. Emphasis is placed on the study, discussion, and critique of scientific literature, as well as formal presentation of scientific information and data.

BIO 481 Genomics

An advanced biology course designed for students to learn about the structure and function of genomes, to develop facility in web-based tools and resources, and to appreciate the power and limitations of current resources and knowledge. Focus is on the biological questions that genomics can help to answer. Laboratory exercises will be sequencing and analyzing genomic DNA. 

BIO 483 Bioinformatics

Focuses on building databases and computer programs to manage and analyze biological sequence data, and secondarily on theoretical aspects. The overall objective is to learn current information about the intersection of information science and biology, to develop facility in the many web-based tools and resources for further studies and research in genomics/bioinformatics, and to appreciate the power and limitations of current resources and knowledge.

MATH 485 Introduction to Statistical Genomics

This course covers key statistical concepts and methods necessary for extracting biological insights from high throughput genomics studies such as microarray and next-generation DNA sequencing datasets.

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