Title: Molecular and medical microbiology of infectious diseases

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Molecular Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases (LMP2120H)
Course Coordinators:
Drs. Nahuel Fittipaldi and Roberto Melano
Tel: (647) 792 3429 - Email: [email protected]
Tel: (647) 792 3430 - Email: [email protected]
Course Objectives:
With particular emphasis on new laboratory techniques, the goal of this course is to provide
students with the scientific basis for how these techniques help us understand the epidemiology of
infectious diseases, their current impact on human medicine and their role in the detection and
characterization of etiologic agents causing diseases.
The major course objectives are:
 To learn the common microorganisms associated with specific clinical diseases.
 To understand how genomics and proteomics have been applied to the diagnosis, control and
management of infectious diseases.
 To provide knowledge of both practical and theoretical aspects of the specialist area of medical
microbiology and the necessary skills to undertake individual and collaborative research in this
field.
 To be introduced to recently developed and constantly improving techniques such as new
generation sequencing and high resolution proteomics and how they can impact our
understanding and control of important infectious diseases.
Curriculum:
Molecular Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases is a course that provides an introduction to
medical bacteriology, virology, mycology and parasitology. The course consists of lectures from
specialists in each topic, and discussions on selected papers. Students should be familiarized with
concepts pertaining to basic molecular biology principles and techniques for understanding various
contemporary areas of research in clinical microbiology and their applications. This programme
covers these areas, together with training in research skills.
Prerequisite:
A background in infectious diseases, microbiology and molecular biology is expected.
Evaluation and Guidelines:
 35% of the mark will be based on a student presentation of a current research paper.
 35% will be based on a take-home research proposal (maximum 5 pages in length) including the
following sections: (I) Background & Rationale, (II) Hypothesis & Significance, and (III) Research
Design & Methods, that will involve critical and creative thinking (report will be due 60 days
after assignment).
 20% will be based on two written critiques of scientific papers discussed in lectures.
 10% of the mark will be based on participation.
(Note: late submissions will incur a penalty of a 5% reduction in marks for each day late.)
Course Format and Guidelines:
Each class will be structured as follows (3h session per week):
1. Introductory lecture # 1 by a professor (40 min + up to 5 min question period).
2. One student will present a pre-assigned paper (20 min). This will be followed by a question
from a student in the audience assigned to write a critique on the paper in advance (these
critiques should be collected by the professor before the start of each class). The professor
will then ask the presenter up to two questions. The entire question period should be less
than 10 min. The professor will lead a general discussion on the topic and engage students
at the end of the class.
3. Coffee break 5 to 10 min.
4. Introductory lecture # 2 by a professor (40 min + up to 5 min question period).
5. As described in 2 (above), the second student will present a pre-assigned paper (20 min).
This will be followed by a question from a student in the audience assigned to write a
critique on the paper in advance (these critiques should be collected by the professor
before the start of each class). The professor will then ask the presenter up to two
questions. The entire question period should be less than 10 min. The professor will lead a
general discussion on the topic and engage students at the end of the class.
Additional Guidelines:
For PowerPoint presentations, students are expected to start with a background to the field,
describe the methods used, and carefully analyze data (from specific experiments to overall
meaning of findings/major advances). Whenever possible, presenters should identify limitations,
suggest additional required experiments, and highlight/propose future directions. Students are also
expected to prepare high quality slides to ensure effective communication of material to faculty
and peers. For the written critiques, students are expected to follow a similar overall structure to
present a critical analysis of the paper. For the take-home research proposal, students will be
assigned one specific topic and will prepare a 5 page report according to provided guidelines.
Preliminary schedule and themes covered by the course (1 – 4) and lecture topics:
Theme
Introduction
1. Infectious
disease and
highthroughput
approaches
Date
January 14, 2015
January 21, 2015
January 28, 2015
February 4, 2015
2.
Epidemiology,
Medical
Surveillance &
Clinical
Diagnostics
February 11, 2015
February 18, 2015
February 25, 2015
3. Antibiotics
and microbial
resistance
4. Vaccines
March 4, 2015
March 11, 2015
March 18, 2015
Lecture Title
The perpetual challenge of infectious diseases
Bioinformatics and clinical genomics
Genomics applied to the study of bacterial epidemics
Speaker (starting time)
John McLaughlin (9:30)
John Nash (9:30)
Nahuel Fittipaldi (11)
New generation sequencing strategies applied to pathogen discovery
Samir Patel (9:30)
To be confirmed
(11)
General Introduction to molecular typing and epidemiology
To be confirmed
Routine and emerging methods of pathogen identification
To be confirmed
To be confirmed
Molecular methods applied to food safety
George Broukhanski
Molecular surveillance of Influenza viruses
Jonathan Gubbay (9:30)
Discovery of new antimicrobial agents
Molecular testing in routine clinical microbiology laboratories: an
epidemiologist’s perspective
Molecular evolution of antimicrobial resistance in Neisseria gonorrhoeae
Molecular dissemination of antibiotic resistance
Structure-based reverse vaccinology
Molecular microbiology and vaccine development
Gerry Wright (11)
(9:30)
(11)
Julianne Kus (9:30)
(11)
(9:30)
Gustavo Mallo (11)
Allison McGeer (9:30)
Vanessa Allen (11)
Roberto Melano (9:30)
Jeffrey Lee (9:30)
Scott Gray-Owen (11)
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