Course Description

This course provides an introduction to the molecular virology of virus infection and progeny virus production and spread. It details molecular mechanisms of virus entry, replication, transcription, translation, and propagation in the host. Starting with the molecular structure of select viruses, the course will focus on strategies used by various viruses for successful infection and propagation, including molecular mechanism of host defense and its evasion by the viruses. Select viruses important to human health (e.g., influenza virus, papillomavirus, HIV) will be considered in detail, highlighting recent advances in the understanding of their biology and pathogenesis. The lectures will include discussions of current strategies for vaccine development and viruses as vectors for gene transfer in functional genomics and gene therapy.


Understanding of biochemistry, molecular biology, and microbiology or permission from the instructor.

Learning Objectives:

  • Acquire fundamental and practical knowledge of virology from the molecular perspective
  • Revisit the question of whether viruses are living organisms throughout the course
  • Discuss how viruses infect a host, and the molecular determinants of infection and pathogenesis
  • Identify gaps in our knowledge of virology and discuss how to fill those gaps
  • Discover how the study of viruses is helping usher in the age of synthetic biology


Textbook Information

Textbook Information

There is a recommended textbook for MICR 317/318 that can be purchased through FAES or on your own. The name of the book is: Principles of Virology, 5th ed. The fee for the book is $180.00. If you would like to purchase the book through FAES, please register for the section (MICR 317-002) that includes the book. Upon receipt of payment and fulfillment of your book order, your book can be picked up at the FAES Bookstore in Building 10 on the main NIH campus.

If you are unable to pick up the book at the FAES bookstore and would like the book mailed to you, please contact FAES at (301) 496-7976 or registrar@faes.org. There is a $10 charge for mailing the book.

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