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VIROLOGY

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VIROLOGY

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Academic year 2015/2016

Course ID
SVB0046
Teacher
Prof. Giorgio Gribaudo
Degree course
Cellular and Molecular Biology
Year
1st year
Teaching period
First semester
Type
Distinctive
Credits/Recognition
6
Course disciplinary sector (SSD)
BIO/19 - microbiologia generale
Delivery
Formal authority
Language
English
Attendance
Lessons optional and laboratories mandatory
Type of examination
Written
Prerequisites
Basic knowledge of General and Applied Microbiology, Cell Biology, Molecular Biology, Immunology (First level degree).
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Sommario del corso

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Course objectives

This course aims to provide students with an advanced knowledge of cell and molecular biology of animal viruses, of the interactions between viruses and cells in which they replicate, and of the applications of viruses to deliver and express either their own or foreign genes.

 

Specific objectives are to learn:

  • the repertoire of viral strategies for genome replication and expression;
  • the principles of viral pathogenesis: from the infection of single cells in the laboratory to the interplay with their host organisms and spread in populations;
  • how to cultivate and assay viruses in the laboratory;
  • the principles involved in developing methods of treatment and control of viral infections;
  • how to engineer viral genomes to deliver and express specific genes.
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Results of learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding: At the end of the course, students will have to prove:

- to know:

  • the diversity of the molecular strategies of virus replication;
  • the principles of viral pathogenesis
  • the basic methodology for virus cultivation and assay;
  • the principles of control and prevention of viral diseases;
  • the most important applications of viruses to deliver and express genes of interest;

 -  to understand:

  • how to design and develop a candidate antiviral drug or vaccine;
  • what methodological approach based on engineering of viral genomes should be used to deliver and express genes to answer a specific problem;
  • how to exploit this knowledge to develop a potential vaccine or therapeutic strategy.

 Acquisition of this knowledge and understanding will be assessed through the Multidisciplinary Midterm Test (MMT), the evaluation of the Multidisciplinary Research Project (MRE), and the Final exam.

Applying knowledge and understanding: At the end of the course, students are expected to be able:

  • to integrate the theoretical and methodological knowledge acquired with the course of Virology with those learned in the courses of Advanced Cell Biology and Biotechnology, and Cell Physiology;
  • to carry out literature searches on topics of the course;
  • to analyze and understand scientific papers and technical reports;
  • to select methodological and technical approaches among those learned for planning a research project to answer a specific scientific question;
  • to organize and present a written report dealing with the development of a research project that address a specific scientific problem.

Acquisition of these skills will be tested through both discussion during lessons and evaluation of the Multidisciplinary Research Project (MRE).

 Making judgements: Students will be able to integrate data from the scientific literature with the acquired knowledge, to formulate independent judgements about the choice of methodologies and technical approaches relevant to the preparation of the Multidisciplinary Research Project (MRE).

Verification of judgement will be carried out through evaluation of Multidisciplinary Research Project (MRE).

Communication skills: Comprehension and practice of English language for oral and written communication. Preparation and presentation of the Multidisciplinary Research Project (MRE).

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Course delivery

The course consists in 48 hours of formal in-class lectures and in at-home activity to prepare the Multidisciplinary Research Assay.

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Learning assessment methods

Midterm Multidisciplinary Test (MMT, optional) – This test will be in common with the courses of Advanced Cell Biology and Biotechnology, Cell Physiology, and Virology. It will be a Moodle-based test of 30 questions (10 for each course): 21 with a variety of formats (multiple choice, true/false, filling in checklists) and three open questions. The optional midterm Multidisciplinary test will give rise to additional points to the final grade of final exam of each of the three courses, provided this will be passed in the first session (January-February 2016). Correspondence between Midterm Multidisciplinary Test vote and additional points for final exams is as follows: 22-23/32, 0.5 points; 24-25/32, 1 points; 26-27/32, 1.5 points; 28-30/32, 2 points. 

Multidisciplinary Research Essay (MRE, optional) – This at-home assignment will be in common with the courses of Advanced Cell Biology and Biotechnology, Cell Physiology, and Virology, and will refer to methodologies and technical approaches relevant to the three courses. The essay (up to 2000 characters + figures, tables and references) will be prepared by groups of normally three students. The optional Multidisciplinary Research Essay will give rise to additional points to the final grade of final exam of each of the three courses, provided this will be passed in the first exam session (January-February 2016). Correspondence between vote to the Multidisciplinary Research Essay and additional points for final exams is as follows: 22-23, 0.5 points; 24-25, 1 points; 26-27, 1.5 points; 28-30, 2 points. 

Final exam – This exam will be a Moodle-based test of 22 questions with different formats (multiple choice, true/false, filling in checklists) and two open questions for a maximum grade of 32/30. Grading 31 and 32 will give rise to “ 30 cum laude”. Any additional points obtained by MMT and MRE will be added to the final exam of the first exam session (January-February 2016). 

Upon student’s request, an integrative oral examination can be taken.

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Program

  1. Cell and molecular biology of animal viruses: the infectious cycle, the diversity of replicative strategies of DNA and RNA viruses,
  2. Basic techniques for virus cultivation and assay. Principles of diagnostic virology.
  3. Virus-host cell interactions. Pathogenesis of viral infections: dissemination, virulence and epidemiology. Oncogenic viruses and mechanisms of transformation and oncogenesis.
  4. Selected DNA virus infections.
  5. Selected RNA virus infections.
  6. Prevention and control of viral infections and diseases. Antiviral drugs: mechanisms of action of approved molecules. Examples of the design, discovery, and validation of candidate antiviral compounds.
  7. Vaccine: a proven defense against viral infections. Examples of the discovery and development of candidate viral vaccine targets.
  8.  Engineering viral genomes to deliver and express genes of interest. Rational design, development and applications of the most common viral vectors. Examples of viral vectors: AAV, Adenovirus, Baculovirus, Poxvirus, Retrovirus). Examples of applications of viral vectors for protein expression, gene delivery, gene therapy, and vaccine development.

Suggested readings and bibliography

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The material presented in class is available at the E-Learning (Moodle) platform (http://cmb.i-learn.unito.it/).

There is no a specific textbook for the course. However, for general reference, the following Virology textbooks are available at the DBIOS library:

Acheson, N.H., Fundamentals of Molecular Virology, 2nd Ed. Wiley 2011.

Flint et al., Principles of Virology, vol. 1 and 2, 3rd Ed. ASM Press, Washington, 2009.



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Class schedule

DaysTimeClassroom
Lessons: from 28/09/2015 to 15/01/2016

Notes: See the timetable at the Class Schedule Page

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Last update: 20/05/2016 11:37
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