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Unit of study_

MICR3021: Microbes in Health and Disease

Microorganisms are vital to life on Earth. By examining the role of microbes in healthy ecosystems, and high-profile recent cases in emerging infections, students will gain perspective on the critical role that microbes play in health and disease. This Unit is structured along three themes: 1. Microbes in the anthropocene: you will evaluate the role of microbes in healthy and disturbed ecosystems and how epidemiology and surveillance can track disease outbreaks; 2. Emergence of microbes: you will explore how and why infectious diseases emerge and re-emerge to cause current problems; 3. Current challenges and new approaches: you will evaluate the role of microbes in chronic diseases and diseases of unknown cause, and how new drugs and treatments are developed and used. The integrated practical component teaches advanced practical skills in culture, microscopy and molecular biology in the PC2 laboratory context that are relevant to the microbiology profession. Workshops and professional tutorials are provided to relate the material to the real world. This unit sits at the forefront of modern medical microbiology and will equip you for a career in microbiology in areas including fundamental research, industry, biotechnology, hospital services, policy and teaching, among others.

Code MICR3021
Academic unit Life and Environmental Sciences Academic Operations
Credit points 6
6cp from (MIMI2X02 or MEDS2004 or MICR2X22 or BMED2404)
MICR3011 or MICR3911 or MICR3921
Assumed knowledge:
Fundamental concepts of microorganisms, biomolecules and ecosystems

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. Assess, analyse and evaluate the role of microbes in our environment, how they can act to provide healthy ecosystems, water, food, animals and people, and how this can be disrupted, resulting in disruption leading to disease outcomes.
  • LO2. Evaluate how microbes might emerge or re-emerge to impact on global health, using specific illustrative examples.
  • LO3. Evaluate the ways in which important microbes pose ongoing challenges to human and planetary health, and new approaches to meet these challenges.
  • LO4. Interpret microbiology laboratory findings, analyse data and assess and validate methodologies.
  • LO5. Demonstrate high-level practical dexterity in the biosafety context and knowledge and skills relevant to the microbiology profession.
  • LO6. Critically evaluate the research literature and communicate ideas and knowledge relating to microbes in current real-world challenges.

Unit outlines

Unit outlines will be available 1 week before the first day of teaching for the relevant session.