Course Catalog & Syllabi

Course Syllabi

You may feel free to look at our course syllabi here under the following semesters:
All of our course syllabi are gathered in our Georgetown Box Folder. You will need to log into Box with your Georgetown email and password. Please feel free to contact the department's program coordinator for any further questions in regards to courses.
NOTE: Not all courses are offered every semester or every year. Please refer to your specific program curriculum to see what is offered each semester. Feel free to also look here for more information on our courses being offered (you must be logged into MyAccess).

Fall and Spring Department course catalog


This course explores on the medical effects and response to a nuclear/radiological, chemical, biological threat attacks. Additionally, the course will include a current analysis of the capacity of the U.S. system to withstand the effects of a major CBRNE attack. It will also evaluate the H1N1 Pandemic Influenza as a case study for preparedness. This course will move from addressing the threats presenting to individuals to threats presenting to communities (local, state, national) based on the potential medical and system outcomes for both. Specificially, it will address both individual medical outcomes and treatment strategies of disease, and larger community, state, and national outcomes and response strategies for an attack.
3 credits, S. Kappler

CBTA 595: Community Resilience (ONLINE) 

The impacts of disasters on a community are not necessarily determined by the scale of a disaster but are significantly influenced by the preparedness of the community. Community resilience is the capacity of groups to withstand, recover from, and respond positively to crisis or adversity. Community resilience is often described as having three properties: resistance, recovery and creativity.

  • Resistance – the degree of disruption that can be accommodated without the community undergoing long-term change. A highly resilient community can withstand considerable disruption before undergoing long-term change.
  • Recovery – the community’s ability to pull through or bounce back to its pre-disaster state. A highly resilient community returns to its pre-disaster state, or moves beyond that, quicker than a less resilient community.
  • Creativity – the community’s ability to build on lessons of a crisis or disaster, to gain an improved level of functioning and increased levels of resilience. A highly resilient community will adapt to its new circumstances and learn from the disaster experience.

This online course is designed to assist graduate students working in the area of social work, community development, and public health to understand and apply concepts of resilience to building the capacity of communities to successfully weather disasters whether naturally occurring or manmade. How do planners measure, foster, organize, evaluate and implement the tools, processes and programs that seek to foster resiliency in urban communities? Particular attention will be paid to the role of community‐level initiatives aimed at educating graduate students to think critically at how a community can prepare for, cope with, and recover from the adverse social, health and community impacts of disasters through the interrelated domains of prevention, preparedness, response and recovery with the end goal of achieving resilience. Emphasis will also be on identifying federal, state, local, private sector and non-governmental agency plans to enhance community resilience for health security threats and describe options for building community resilience.
3 credits, L. Rosenthal, P. Scaglini & J. Stiefel


This beginning course will cover the basic principles of microbiology for graduate students with a wide variety of backgrounds who need a basic understanding of microbiology including bacteriology, virology, and immunology. Introductory lectures on these topics will precede a more in-depth review of biological threat agents and emerging infectious diseases. Issues of Public Policy and Advocacy with respect to biohazardous agents will also be addressed. 
3 credits, L. Rosenthal & Staff

MICB 516: Biological & Radiological Safety 

This course will cover the biological safety levels (BSL) for containment working with biological agents - both recombinant DNA and emerging infectious diseases. Radiological safety - will discuss the issues of dirty bombs, containment, and health issues associated with radioactive materials that bioterrorists might employ. 
2 credits, S. Martin & C. Kovats

MICB 517: Bioterrorism (Both Online and Resident Course)

This course explains terrorism in its modern form, and why the use of these weapons is more likely today. In addition, the course presents the major biological and other weapons thought most likely to be used, discusses techniques to use these weapons, and discusses the techniques to prevent and control the effects of these weapons. 
3 credits, W. Daddio

MICB 519: Sociological Perspectives on Biodefense (Both Online and Resident Course)

This course will critically examine political and organizational controversies about recognizing and defending against biological threats to human well being. The first third of the course will study historical case studies of biological threat, including threats from food and infectious diseases such as cholera and the flu. This section of the course will demonstrate how biosurveillance, the systematic identification and acknowledgement of a biothreat, depends upon broad social, economic and political factors as well as its biological characteristics. This section of the course will close with a detailed review of the pandemic influenza plans of the US government. The second third of the course examines the debate about reforming our government bureaucracy responsible for responding to biothreats, including but not limited to terrorists. Why did we not recognize the emerging threat of the 9/11 attacks? What principles should we apply in reforming our intelligence and homeland defense organizations? How should we think of natural biothreats from an intelligence perspective? The course concludes with close examination of sociological perspectives on designing effective organizations for responding to threats including biothreats using the US government's pandemic flu plans as a case study. Why do organizational failures occur even in organizations capable of responding to novel threats and unanticipated events? We will close the course by examining how one society responded to a major biological catastrophe, the explosion of the Chernobyl nuclear plant in Ukraine. By the end of this course, students should gain an appreciation of the fundamentally political character of biodefense. 
3 credits, J. Collmann

MICB 520: Agroterrorism: Animal, Plant & Homeland Defense

This course will cover historical and contemporary aspects of intentional introduction of microbial and chemical agents in the food chain with specific emphasis on animal viruses like foot-and-mouth disease, mad cow, Rift Valley fever, hog cholera, highly pathogenic avian influenza West Nile, and New Castle Disease. Plant pathogens, such as soybean rust will be covered. Moreover animal and plant agent lists will be discussed to include human crossover agents. Discussions relevant to first responders will be detailed.
3 credits, L. Rosenthal & USDA Faculty

MICB 524: Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Disease: A Multidisciplinary Approach

This course will provide a multidisciplinary introduction to emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases. The course will begin with an introduction to a set of core definitions including; factors of emergence and re-emergence and approaches to detection and prevention. The course will then review and analyze the evolving response structures at the Global level with a focus on international frameworks for addressing biological threats in humans and animals. There will be a special focus on the United States Government (USG) response apparatus. Moving into the second component of the course, we will review the basics of pathogenesis, the immunologic response and how these relate to analysis of epidemiologic curves. The third component will provide a high-level overview of clinical trials, product development, and how these intersect during disease outbreak emergencies. To complete the course, we will review specific case studies, including several cases designed to explore comparing differences in disease recognition and response. At the completion of the course, students will understand the multidisciplinary dimensions that contribute to both the emergence and the mitigation of emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases. This course will feature lectures from Rebecca Kats, PhD, MPH (Associate Professor, Department of Microbiology and Immunology) and Guest Lecturers.
2 credits, F. Apter

MICB 525: Homeland Security (Both Online and Resident Course)

This course will examine threats to the US homeland, how they might evolve over the next ten years, and the consequent implications for science, technology and homeland security. The course will examine the motivations of non-state actors to threaten the US homeland, and how those actors might use technology and exploit vulnerabilities to attack the US. The course will also examine the role of science and technology in countering these threats and securing the homeland, and the competing policy interests that affect decision-making for investments in science and technology. The course will give students insight into the nexus of science, technology, and policy, and the underlying competing interests that must be balanced to optimize the potential of science and technology to benefit and enrich the United States while protecting it.
3 credits, M. Hawkins & Staff

MICB 526: Chemical Threat Agents

The Threat of Chemical Weapons is a survey of chemical weapons issues with an eye toward health-related topics. Students will review the key institutions, individuals, and instruments involved of science and technology (S&T) policy with respect to chemical agents. 
3 credits, C. Woytowicz

MICB 549: Infectious Disease & Conflict

This course will focus on the impact of infectious disease on populations during political instability and conflict. We will review how a country's national and foreign policy positions impact health systems and assess the risk of infectious disease threats when nations become unstable due to factors such as internal state actors, man-made sources of instability, and terrorism. We will focus on why particular infectious diseases are prone to emergence or re-emergence during conflict and security. The class will review lessons learned from previous challenges including the 2003 polio vaccine boycott in Nigeria and the 2016-2018 cholera outbreak in Yemen. Lectures will cover current political and global health environments and discuss future threats for global health security and political stability. Students can expect to get an overview of recent global and political conflicts and gain an understanding of how pathogens that would once be considered controllable take their toll on a population, health system, and/or governance structure.
2 credits, E. Sorrell

MICB 550: Pathogenesis & Therapy of Bioterrorism Related Diseases (CURRENTLY NOT OFFERED)

Microorganisms and toxins that could be employed by terrorists as biological weapons have been ranked in the order of their potential threat as Category A, B and C agents by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. This course will examine the mechanisms by which the most virulent (Category A) and certain Category B and C agents cause severe illness in humans and laboratory animals and will review current approaches to the treatment of these diseases. Students enrolling for this course should have completed MICB-515 or have an equivalent background in biology and immunology.
2 credits, M. Bray

MICB 551: Seminar in Biohazardous Threat Agents

Individual topics will vary depending on the expertise of each speaker. 
1 credit, L. Rosenthal & Staff

MICB 560: Principles and Applications of Drug Discovery (CURRENTLY NOT OFFERED)

This is an elective multi-disciplinary course and focuses on various human diseases for which development of therapeutics are needed. In the first part of the course, the course will cover basic principles of medicinal chemistry, strategies and techniques used in structure activity relationship and pharmacore identification. The course will also cover synthesis, selection and optimization of drug-like compounds using a variety of modern techniques such as molecular docking based on known three-dimensional structures of therapeutic targets as well as structure determination of target/ligand complexes by using X-ray crystallography, NMR. and/or proteomics. In the second part of the course, applications of drug discovery to specific human diseases. This part will include development of new antibiotics to combat drug-resistant bacteria, anti-fungal, antivirals (HIV-1, HBV/HCV, Flu, HPV and flaviviruses), and anti-malaria drugs as well as drugs against CNS disorders and human cancers. 
2 credits, B. Korba & R. Padmanabhan

MICB 577: Defense Threat Reduction Initiatives

 This elective course is focused on exploring the various aspects of how the US government, specifically the Department of Defense, works to safeguard America and its allies from weapons of mass destruction (chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and high yield explosives) by providing capabilities to reduce, eliminate, and counter the threat, and to mitigate its effects. An initial analysis of the current and potential nuclear/radiological, biological and chemical threat will set the stage; and the medical effects of these weapons will be briefly reviewed. Various threat reduction strategies and their medical consequences including the Chemical Weapons Convention and the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty will be surveyed. Moreover, elimination efforts such as the Chemical Demilitarization Program will be covered. Public health and medical consequences related to the enormous task of mitigating the effects of a WMD will be covered. The course will consist primarily of lecture/discussion format with readings designed to enhance student knowledge and provoke discussion; and subject matter experts from various government agencies will present their respective roles in this realm.
2 credits, R. Suh & J. Jacocks


This course will prepare students in both health sciences and public policy to quickly adapt to this emerging paradigm shift, while cultivating and directing their fresh innovative ideas in areas of environmental health policy. 
2 credit, T. Steen


This course will provide a comprehensive view of animal health as it relates to the concept of “One Health” for the betterment of an increasingly global society. Through lecture, students will be presented with material related to specific zoonotic diseases, such as Avian Influenza, Rabies, MERS-coV, Nipah, and West Nile, and the lessons learned through the emergence and re-emergence of these diseases in animals. Course participants will also be encouraged to follow mass media current events on relevant subject matter as a means to stimulate discussion. Other topics explored will include: the cultural and socioeconomic factors influencing human-animal interaction, the increasing interface with wild and domestic animals, animals as sentinels of human disease, and the impact of urban agriculture. The breadth of knowledge pertaining to animal health gained in this course should allow the students to apply a sharp analytical insight to very complex “Global One Health” issues.
2 credit, J. Witthoff

MICB 603: Science & Technology in the Global Arena

This course is an introduction to how science and technology affect foreign affairs, and how international affairs influence science and technology. It is the gateway course required of SFS juniors majoring in science, technology and international affairs (STIA), and College science majors taking the STIA certificate. It may also be taken by undergraduates and graduate students from anywhere in the university without special permission. It has no prerequisites, and is suitable both for the policy generalist and for students with backgrounds in science. The course uses examples drawn from environment, security, nuclear policy, information, communications, energy, homeland defense, health, and manufacturing technology, and explores issues of sustainability, scientific risk and uncertainty, the links of science and technology with economics and geopolitics, scientific advice to governments, and government support to research and innovation. It explores the role of technological innovation in increasing productivity and competitiveness, and in solving critical social problems. 
3 credits, C. Weiss

MICB 606: Public Policy for Scientists

This interdisciplinary course will provide introductory lectures in a variety of fields that pertain to biomedical science policy & advocacy. Lectures will cover relevant federal agencies, prominent science advocacy groups and techniques, principles of health economics, funding of research activities, the interaction of science & industry, as well as some controversial issues in science policy such as biodefense, stem cell research, and climate change. Students will be left with a multi-faceted understanding of the environment that shapes biomedical science policy and the scientists' role in this arena. 
3 credits, R. Calderone & D. McBride

MICB 608: Fundamentals of Medical Immunology & Microbiology (CURRENTLY NOT OFFERED) 

This course introduces the fundamental concepts of Medical Microbiology and Immunology with emphasis on host defense mechanisms and the role of microorganisms in infectious diseases. Lectures will cover basic principles and clinical applications of immunology, bacterial physiology and genetics, and the role of pathogenic bacteria, fungi and viruses in human diseases. 
2 credits, R. Cihlar & M. Cole

MICB 612: Immunology

The course will focus on the cells, organs and molecules of the immune system and how they contribute to discrimination of self from non-self. The paradigm used in the course will be the host response to infectious agents. Hypersensitivity, autoimmunity, graft rejection and tumor immunity will be considered as variations in the basic protective function of the immune system. 
3 credits, M. Cole

MICB 613: Introductory Bacteriology: Laboratory (CURRENTLY NOT OFFERED)

Laboratory section taught concurrently with MICB-610. Lab work includes general methods associated with the culture and identification of medically important bacteria and fungi. Laboratory fee is required of students not enrolled in departmental degree programs.
1 credit, M. Cole

MICB 614: Bacteriology & Mycology

The course will focus on principle human pathogenic bacteria and fungi. The host-pathogen relationship and antimicrobial therapy will be grounded in an understanding of the structure and physiology of medically important prokaryotes and lower eukaryotes. 
3 credits, M. Cole

MICB 619 Biology/Biochemistry of Viruses 

This course will cover the general principles of virology. Topics will include: the effects of viruses on human health and disease; laboratory approaches to studying viruses; virus structure and mechanisms of replication; host responses to virus infection and viral counter-responses; virus engineering - including vaccine development and gene therapy; the role of virus ecology in emerging viral diseases. The focus will be primarily on viruses that affect human health. 
3 credits, J. Casey

MICB 622: Advanced Techniques in Microbiology I

Practical course in the application of modern molecular methods to the study of infectious diseases. Limited to Department of Microbiology and Immunology graduate students; advisor/instructor permission required. Please note that for MICB 622, students will be required to take the laboratory safety course before taking MICB 622. To learn more about the laboratory safety course, please look here. You will need to look on their website to find out the next available times that the laborartory safety course will be offered in the TRB Auditorium. If you wish to sign up for this lab safety course, please do so here.
2 to 6 credits, W. Fonzi

MICB 623: Internship Experience

Internships are a critical part of the academic and professional development of students in the Biomedical Policy & Advocacy and the Biohazardous Threat Agents and Emerging Infectious Diseases Masters Programs. This course allows students to enhance their professional, technical, and networking skills through a planned, supervised, and evaluated internship experience. During this 2-credit elective, the student works 60 hours, or a minimum average of 6 hours per week for 10 weeks, on-site at a sponsoring agency or organization under the direct supervision of a Site Preceptor. The internship site, specific learning objectives, and activities are determined by the student and the site preceptor, with the approval of the MICB Course Directors. Students will work with the Course Directors to develop learning objectives for the internship. Students are expected to apply their academic knowledge and demonstrate enhancement of professional and analytical skills during the internship. The internship course is open to full-time students in their second semester of study, or those who have completed at least 12 credit hours of coursework, with at least a 3.0 (B average). Limited to Department of Microbiology and Immunology graduate students; advisor/instructor permission required.
2 credits, R. Calderone & J. Fischer

MICB 629: Mechanisms of Microbial Pathogenesis

A course designed to explore the varied ways pathogenic bacteria overcome natural host defense, to describe host responses to infection, and to discuss the network of interactions between pathogen and man at the molecular and cellular level.
3 credits, R. Calderone & W. Fonzi

MICB 660: Concepts of Immunotherapy

This course focuses on therapeutic approaches that target various features of the immune system to infections, cancer or immune based diseases such as autoimmunity. The course will feature lectures by invited experts in various fields related to immune therapy and therapeutic vaccine development. Topics will include fundamental concepts of immunology as these apply to therapies, and different types of immunotherapy including biologics, cell-based therapies, and therapeutic vaccines. The course will also provide overviews of different immunotherapeutic approaches, specific examples of therapeutic targets featuring both licensed and experimental small molecules, the challenges of immune-based therapies, and overviews of the development, features, and challenges of therapeutic vaccines. Students are encouraged, but not required, to take MICB-612 (Immunology) or an equivalent, prior to this course.
3 credits, B. Korba & M. Catalfamo 

MICB 701: Legal Foundations of the Regulatory Process

This course is intended to introduce students to the legislative, regulatory, and judicial processes and how science is used during these activities. The course starts by describing the legislative process including the role of the Library of Congress in providing scientific advice to both the House of Representatives and the US Senate. Subsequently, the application of Administrative Procedures Act and other laws in promulgation of regulation is addressed including the role of the National Academy of Sciences in providing scientific advice to the executive branch. The course also includes a brief description of how courts decide scientific issues. An important part of the course is how relevant laws including the Information Quality Act and Freedom of Information Act are used.
2 credits, L. Jaeger

MICB 702: Public Health Regulatory Science

This course begins with the fundamental treatment of the unique nature of regulatory science -- how science is used in regulatory, legislative, executive, and judicial decisions and affairs and scientific and other (e.g. communication) competencies that are needed to respond to regulatory requirements. This includes an overview of the development of regulation as a living product of public administration and public policy. The course covers methodological regulatory science beginning with health risk assessment, and an overview of regulatory economics. With this as a foundation, the course provides a concentrated treatment of specific regulatory public health topics ranging from regulatory atmospheric sciences to regulatory toxicology and regulatory pharmacology.
2 credits, A. Moghissi

MICB 703: Advanced Regulatory Science and Public Health Course 

This course is an in depth treatment of a focused set of public health regulatory science issues that are introduced in MICB-702. (MICB 702 is not a pre-requisite, however.) The course begins with specific coverage of methodologies that are the substance of (A) health risk assessment and (B) risk benefit analysis. Based on a working familiarization with methodology, the course turns to a concentrated treatment of specific regulatory public health topics, including (1) regulatory toxicology, (2) regulatory pharmacology, (3) medical device regulation, (4) regulatory atmospheric sciences (as pertains to public health), and (5) regulatory nutritional sciences.
2 credits,  A. Moghissi

MICB 705: Science Diplomacy and World Health

This course will allow students to establish 1) a fundamental understanding of science policy and diplomacy by learning key components such as principles of bioethics, technology transfers, science literacy, funding merits for basic and applied research, and biomedical ethics; 2) an understanding of the practical development and application of science policy by examining how science policies are drafted and implemented by Congress 3) a knowledge of recent emerging diseases and other public health concerns including radiation effects as will be presented by the instructor or guest speakers who are leading experts in the fields. A thorough understanding of science is the crucial component for policy makers and those who are involved in preparing policies. By the end of the course, students will be able to draft policies for science diplomacy in order to address current emerging infectious diseases as well as other global health concerns.
2 credits, T. Steen

MICB 708: Immunogenetics

This course will consist of a lecture series composed of the following themes: distinction of self and non-self and why is it important, origins of innate and adaptive immunity, Generation of diversity for T-cell and B-cell receptors and for major histocompatibility (HLA) systems. The genetic and molecular basis of disease associations with HLA. Understanding why HLA is the most critical locus for so many complex diseases, the genetics of natural killer cell receptors, phases in cancer: elimination, equilibrium and escaper, cancer genome project, diver and passenger mutations, immunotherapy in cancer; and the microbiome in immunity and cancer.
2 credits, C. O Huigin

MICB 800 & MICB 801: Seminar - Global Infectious Diseases

This graduate seminar is a unique combination of presentations by experts in biomedical sciences, policy, and social science that are united by key topics in global infectious diseases. The purpose of this seminar series is to provide a venue for the discussion of interdisciplinary research and development that acknowledges how the world has become a global system for the propagation of infectious disease. 
2 credits, Staff

MICB 803: Biosafety, Biosecurity and Biodefense

This class will explore key elements of biosafety, biosecurity and biodefense. We will discuss how the past has influenced aspects of each discipline while focusing our efforts on their evolution in the current health security landscape.
2 credits, Staff

MICB 805: Emerging Biotechnologies

Emerging technologies are transforming the life sciences. In the past decade, researchers worldwide have embraced a multidisciplinary approach that combines biological techniques, elements, and systems with engineering concepts, empowered by rapidly growing global capacities to manage and analyze complex biological data and disruptive discoveries in gene editing. Current and future technologies in the biosciences – including cellular biotechnologies, synthetic biology, and genomic medicine – have the potential to transform research, medicine, and public health, with implications for the sciences, society, and security.
MICB 805 is a graduate seminar that will introduce the biological basis, hope, and hype of these emerging technologies through the review of current technical and policy literature. Students will prepare a policy brief with recommendations for policies and/or regulatory frameworks to balance the benefits and risks of these emerging technologies for science and society.
2 credits, J. Fischer

MICB 852 & MICB 853: Seminar - Microbiology & Immunology

Individual topics will vary depending on the expertise of each speaker. PhD students will attend all lectures and give seminar presentations covering progress of their work. 
1 credit, R. Calderone

MICB 900: Tutorial Internship

0-3 credit, Independent Study

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