Queen's University
MICR 382 Microbes in Health and Disease

MICR 382, Microbes in Health and Disease, will examine the ongoing interplay between microbes and humans, focusing on the roles of microbes in health and disease.  It wasn’t until the late nineteenth century that diseases such as plague, typhoid fever, malaria, and influenza were understood to be caused by microbes. These diseases occur despite the unique relationship developed over millions of years between microbes and humans that constitutes the immune system. In addition, humans act as hosts to trillions of beneficial microbes that thrive in and on our bodies. Infectious diseases result from microbes found both in the environment and associated with the human body.

Minimum 3rd year (Level 3) standing and MICR 271/3.0 or permission of the instructor.

After completing MICR 382, students will be able to:

  1. Organize & assess information from various sources to critically and appropriately solve a problem.
  2. Work in a small group setting in order to critically & collaboratively evaluate the factors that contribute to a biological change related to microbes.
  3. Integrate the information taught in the course to provide a broad-based understanding of the impact of microbes on health and disease and to progress to related upper level courses.
  1. Communicator
  2. Advocate
  3. Leader
  4. Scholar
  5. Professional
  6. Collaborator

All assessments will be graded using marking rubrics.

Assessment 1 – Quizzes (35% total – two quizzes; 15% and 20%)

The course instructor will introduce students to a number of quiz questions during guided videoed lectures. Students will be guided through specific concepts related to the questions by the instructor in order to help the student understand the question, think about the material needed to answer the question, and formulate answers. Students in small groups will discuss their answers and formulate consensus answers to the quiz questions within a specified time frame. Students will have two quizzes total over the length of the course, the first being worth 15% and the second being worth 20%. TAs will grade quizzes.

Assessment 2 – Group Case-Study Assessment (35% – two group assessments; 15% and 20%)

Students will have two small group assignments; both of which will be based on a case-study analysis. The first (15%) will pertain to microbes and their contributions to healthy living, and the second (20%) will pertain to microbes and their contributions to infection and disease. Students will initially write a draft analysis individually.  Then in small groups, students will exchange their reports and review 2–3 other student’s reports, providing comments and suggestions for improving each report. After reworking each report into a final draft and submitting, TAs will choose 1 report per group from the submissions for assessment. The individual draft reports, the reviewer’s comments and all final drafts will be submitted. The case-study reports will be graded by TAs.

Assessment 3 – Final Exam (30%)

The final exam will consist of well-designed short answer questions, aimed at problem solving and assimilating knowledge learned throughout the course, rather than strict memorization.

Instructor or TA- directed discussions will take place on an ongoing basis. Students will be expected to have small group discussions to consider their interpretations of the course material and assigned readings. The instructor will ask students for feedback on this process. Although these sessions will not be graded, they are meant to improve understanding of the course material through discussion and deliberation with peers.

9–10 hours a week (108–120 hours per term).

Required Texts

  • MICR 382 course notes via modules posted online.
  • Relevant primary literature will be provided by the instructor pertaining to specific modules.