Education & Outreach
Vanderbilt Undergraduate Microbiome Society (VUMS)
The Vanderbilt Undergraduate Microbiome Society (VUMS) is the world’s first undergraduate microbiome society whose aims are to educate the local community about the microbiome and the field’s latest developments, to promote social and microbial diversity, and to help facilitate the distribution of fresh produce to underprivileged persons in Davidson County. See the link for contact information and joining this exciting new program on campus.
Recent news: VUMS donates $1K to Second Harvest Food Bank
Discover the Microbes Within! The Wolbachia Project
An integrative lab series designed to bring real world scientific research to high schools and colleges worldwide. The goals are to engage students in nature and biotechnology and to contribute new scientific data on the bacterial endosymbiont Wolbacia pipientis that infects 40% of all arthropod species. These bacteria are at the forefront of vector control efforts to curb the transmission of Zika and dengue viruses.
If you are an undergraduate student at Vanderbilt University and are interested in microbiome research, please use the contact form to the right and submit a statement of interest on why you want to do research.
Students at the School for Science and Math at Vanderbilt (SSMV) work with graduate students and faculty in the College of Arts and Science and School of Engineering to help the Vanderbilt Microbiome Initiative create an app and website that will aid in data collection of patients: e.g, diet, exercise, stress level, and health.
ANTH 3346. Human Adaptation and Disease. Evolutionary perspectives on biological and cultural adaptations to physical and pathogen environments. Human variation, human evolutionary ecology, epidemiology, and evolution of disease. Specific focus on epidemiological transitions. Offered on a graded basis
BSCI 1510. Introduction to Biological Sciences.An integrative approach to the science of life for science and engineering students. Macromolecular structure and function. Cell structure, reproduction, metabolism, and energy production. Genomes, replication, gene structure, RNA, and protein synthesis. Students who have completed BSCI 1100 or 1105 will forfeit full credit for 1100 or three hours of credit for 1105 upon completion of this course. Prerequisite or corequisite: CHEM 1601.  (MNS)
BSCI 1511.Introduction to Biological Sciences. Continuation of BSCI 1510. Cell communication. Physiology, organ function and development. Mendelian and population genetics. Evolution, ecology, and speciation. Populations, ecosystems, and conservation biology. Students who have completed BSCI 1100 or 1105 will forfeit full credit for BSCI 1100 or three hours of credit for BSCI 1105 upon completion of this course. Prerequisite: BSCI 1510.  (MNS).
BSCI 2205. Evolution. Evolutionary theory, with emphasis on evolutionary mechanisms. Microevolutionary processes of adaptation and speciation and macro-evolutionary patterns. Evidence from genetics, ecology, molecular biology, and paleontology in the historical context of the neo-Darwinian synthesis. No credit for graduate students in Biological Sciences. Prerequisite: 1511.  (MNS)
BSCI 3226. Immunology. The molecular and cellular basis of immunity. Emphasis on molecular structure, the genetic origin of diversity in B-cell and T-cell receptors, antigen presentation, and the cellular interactions leading to the immune response. Tolerance, tumor and transplantation immunity, autoimmune and immunodeficiency diseases, and allergy. Prerequisite: 2201 or 2210.  (MNS)
BSCI 3234. Microbial Ecology and Evolution. Microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, and mobile genetic elements. The origins and universality of microbial life, modes of genome evolution, symbioses between microbes and animals, biotechnology, and human microbiome. Prerequisite: 1511.  (MNS)
BSCI 3236. Parasitology. Biology and epidemiology of eukaryotic parasites of medical and veterinary significance. Diagnosis, treatment, and control of parasitic protists, platyhelminthes, nematodes, and arthropods. Impact on global health. Prerequisite: 1511.  (MNS)
BSCI 3243. Principles of Human Disease. Current understanding of diseases. Genetic, molecular, and cellular biological basis of disease. Connection between basic sciences and disease insights. Focus on obesity, aging, cancer, neurodegeneration, infections, and biomedical technology.  (MNS)
BSCI 3247. Molecular Evolution. The theory of evolution at the molecular level. The evolution of DNA and RNA sequences, proteins, and genome structures will be studied using models from population genetics and comparative approaches. Molecular clocks, the evolution of gene regulation and globin genes, molecular phylogeny, and human evolution. Prerequisite: 2210 and 2205.  (MNS)
MHS 1500. Introduction to Microbiology. Diversity of bacteria and viruses. Genetics and metabolism of bacteria. Pathogenesis, host immune defense mechanisms, rationale for antimicrobial drugs. Bacteria, fungi, viruses, and parasites important to humans. No credit for students who have earned credit for NURS 1500. [3-4] (MNS)
BSCI 5226. Immunology. The molecular and cellular basis of immunity. Emphasis on molecular structure, the genetic origin of diversity in B-cell and T-cell receptors, antigen presentation, and the cellular interactions leading to the immune response. Tolerance, tumor and transplantation immunity, autoimmune and immunodeficiency diseases, and allergy. Prerequisite: 2201 or 2210. 
BSCI 5234. Microbiology. Microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, and mobile genetic elements. The origins and universality of microbial life, modes of genome evolution, symbioses between microbes and animals, biotechnology, and human microbiome. No credit for students who have earned credit for 3234. 
BSCI 5236. Parasitology. Biology and epidemiology of eukaryotic parasites of medical and veterinary significance. Diagnosis, treatment, and control of parasitic protists, platyhelminthes, nematodes, and arthropods. Impact on global health. No credit for students who have earned credit for 3236. 
BSCI 5243. Principles of Human Disease. Application of genetics, cell biology, and molecular biology to the study of human diseases. Genomics, gene mapping, and molecular techniques. Animal models of disease. Chromosomal abnormalities, single-gene and multifactorial diseases, and epigenetics. No credit for students who earn credit for 3243. 
BSCI 5267. Molecular Virology. Application of genetics, biochemistry, molecular and cell biology to the study of viruses. Virus structure and classification, viral strategies of gene expression, genome replication, particle assembly. Host defenses against viruses. Comparisons with other infectious agents. Discussion of real-world outbreaks. No credit for students who have earned credit for 4267. 
M&IM 8327. Experimental Methods in Microbiology. Laboratory work concerned with (a) regulation of gene transcription; (b) signal transducing molecules and pathways; (c) entry and replication of mammalian viruses; (d) techniques in nucleic acid and peptide chemistry, rapid methods of DNA sequencing, gene knock-out in transgenic animals, design of probes, antigens, and synthetic vaccines; and (e) structure-function analysis of ligands, receptors, toxins, and transcription factors. Available only to M&IM students. Admission to course, hours, and credit by arrangement. FALL, SPRING, SUMMER. [2-4].
M&IM 8328. Molecular Virology. This course focuses on interactions of animal viruses with their host cells, discussed at the molecular and cellular level as model systems. Special emphasis is placed on current literature and methodology. Prerequisite: IGP 8001 or an undergraduate course in biochemistry or microbiology. FALL.  (Aiken)
M&IM 8329. Principles of Immunology and the Immune System in Disease. The immune system plays a vital role to protect from pathogens and is intimately linked to a wide range of diseases. The goal of this course is to provide an introduction to the basics of immunology through discussion of principles of immunobiology and clinical cases where the immune system plays a key role in the disease process. Topics to be covered include principles of innate and adaptive immunity, antigen recognition and signaling, immune disease processes, discussion of clinical cases including immunodeficiencies, autoimmunity, inflammation, and tumor immunology. SPRING. 
M&IM 8332. Foundations in Microbiology and Immunology I. The objectives of this course are to alert students to important original research articles in microbial genetics and pathogenesis, to apply methods of scientific logic for critical analysis of the knowledge presented in the articles, and to help students present complex data and conclusions to an audience. SUMMER. 
M&IM 8334. Role of the Gut Microbiota in Health and Disease. One of the most striking recent advances in science is the discovery that the gut microbiota, the largest microbial community inhabiting our body, fulfills important functions for human health such as protection against infection, nutrition and regulation of our immune system. Therefore, the imbalance in the intestinal microbial community (known as “dysbiosis”) has emerged as a key player in the pathogenesis of a variety of diseases, ranging from cardiovascular disease and cancer to neuropathies and much more. This class will combine lectures and paper discussions to introduce the exciting field of the microbiome. We will cover the role of the gut microbiota in promoting human health, how gut dysbiosis occurs, and the implications of gut dysbiosis in infectious and noncommunicable diseases. SPRING. (Byndloss)
M&IM 8350. Bacteriology Through the Lens of NanoMachines. The objective of this course is to provide learners with in-depth knowledge on core processes of bacterial physiology in the context of bacterial motors and machines that drive them. In addition, examples will be provided in which such bacterial motors are deployed and regulated (to the benefit of the bacteria) during the course of infection. FALL.  (Hadjifrangiskou)
PATH-GS 8339. Foundations of lmmunology. This course is a comprehensive study of Immunology in the Molecular Pathology and Immunology Ph.D. program. Students in other programs may enroll with consent of the course director. Instructor: Luc Van Kaer [2-3] Fall. PATH-G