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Current Teaching

Courses Currently Taught by Dr. Webley


Outbreak: Emerging Infectious Disease and Society (Microbio 450, 3cr) Infectious diseases have many effects on the development of society, and likewise, human interactions affect the development of disease. We live in a time with very militant anti-vaccine movements and disease etiology denialists. Emerging and reemerging infectious disease is a contemporary global issue of great concern.  The course examines these interactions with a focus on the role of race, class, and economic status in the development of epidemics and pandemics. The course also covers the germ theory, disease history and ecology, microbial pathogenesis and the immune response, historic plagues, and the biological, environmental, population and social changes that contribute to disease emergence.


File:Mallon-Mary 01.jpgInfectious Disease and Defense (Microbio 320, 3cr) - I am co-teacing this course with Dr. Michelle Klingbeil. This is a sophomore/junior level lecture course designed to provide students microbiology and biology majors with a basic understanding of  the mechanisms by which microorganisms, including bacteria, protozoa, fungi, and viruses cause disease, and the mechanisms of host defense against infectious microbes. Emerging and reemerging infectious diseases and development of resistance to antimicrobial chemicals are also discussed. Specifically, students study the innate and adaptive immune responses, cells and organs of the immune system, MHC and HLA system, the mechanisms of antigen processing and presentation, immune dysfunction, hypersensitivities, autoimmune disorders, principles of vaccine development, HIV/AIDS and the immune systen as well as the role of the immune system in cancer development. Students also learn the mechanisms used by various pathogens to evade the immune response. Students also get to complete case studies involving immune dysfunction.




File:Neutrophil with anthrax copy.jpgImmunology Lab  (Microbo 542, 3 Cr) - This course explores cutting edge laboratory procedures in cellular immunology and immunochemistry,  protein chemistry of antibodies, including antibody isolation using salt precipitation, ion exchange and molecular sieving column chromatography, spectrophotometry, SDS - polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE), Western blotting, immunoprecipitation, immunodiffusion (ouchterlony technique), enzyme-linked immunoassay (ELISA) and immunofluorescence staining. Students also explore the anatomy of the lymphatic system through mouse dissection and isolation of lymphocytes from spleen and thymus; Cellular immunology procedures include histology of leukocytes (mouse and human), normal and diseased lymphoid tissue, and two-color flow cytometric analysis of lymphocyte subpopulations. Students get ample experience in scientific writing as well as peer review.



Poverty, Race, AIDS in the U.S.: Finding Solutions (MICROBIO 494PI, 1cr) -HIV rates in U.S. poverty areas rival those found in Haiti, Burundi, Ethiopia, and Angola. HIV prevalence in high-poverty neighborhoods is more than double that of the nation overall. Within high-poverty neighborhoods, prevalence among people living below the poverty line was double that of those living above it. Blacks disproportionately bear the brunt of the HIV epidemic in the US accounting for over 48% of all new cases of the disease while representing only 12% of the population. The HIV epidemic that was once thought to be a declining problem is now threatening to destroy not only the progress previously made, but also the health, well-being and potential of men and women of all races in poverty areas across the United States. Some important questions therefore need to be answered: Is race, poverty or both the driver of HIV in these communities? What should be done to stem the tide of new HIV infections in these areas of our society?  This course satisfies one of the three modules required for the Integrative Experience for BA-MicBio and BS-MicBio majors.


Microbiology Graduate Seminar ( Microbio 791A, 1cr) - This course is a combination of the microbiology department seminar series and graduate student colloquium. This course allows students to listen to and interact with invited speakers who are leaders in thier field of research. These invited speakers typically represent the research interests of the department as well as cutting edge microbiology research in general. The graduate student colloquium provides a forum in which our students at all levels in the department may develop the skill of publicly presenting their research with meaningful feedback from both their fellow graduate students as well as professors. 


Immunology Journal Club (Microbio 797J, 1Cr) - Critical review of the scientific literature is an integral part of scientific research, and both students and faculty benefit greatly from the discussions originating from these reviews. In this journal club, each student presents a paper, having made their own selection from top-ranking journals in Immunology with the approval of the instructor. In most semesters, papers are presented from any area of immunology. In some semesters, the faculty restricts the papers presented to a specific topic. During recent years, such topics were programmed cell death, virus immunology, and receptor-mediated signaling. Cross-listed with Vet & Animal Science Dept.


Courses Taught in the Past

Photo by John SolemBiology of Cancer and AIDS (Microbio 160, 4 cr) - This is a general education course for undergraduates. The major goals of the course are to guide students as we explore how Cancerand AIDS begin and progress. We discuss the roles of individual cells, the immune system, mutations and infectious agents in cancer development, as well as how various physical, genetic and environmental factors influence one's chances of getting cancer. The class covers specific cancers, treatment strategies, survival and how lifestyle affects cancer risks. The class also covers HIV biology, transmission, prevention strategies, treatment, principles of vaccine development and why HIV presents special challenges for vaccinologists. Through meaningful interactive discussions at each class period and discussion sessions, we seek to better understand what cancer and AIDS can teach us about the human nature, health, healing, disease, living, and dying.



Immunology Lecture (Microbio 540, 3 Cr) - This course is an upper-level undergraduate course designed to familiarize the student with the principles of immune function and host pathogen interactions. The course covers the historical perspective of immunology, humoral and cellular immunity, innate and adaptive immune responses, immunse dysfunction, cells and organs of the immune system, molecular immunology and cell signalling, immune effector mechanisms, the role of the overall immune system in health and disease as well as cancer immunology. Special emphasis is placed on research immunology techniques as well as serology and clinical immunology relevance.