Biology of Parasitism: Modern Approaches

A unique course for advanced graduate students, postdocs, and independent investigators, who are seeking in-depth training in modern approaches to the study of protozoan parasites and parasitic worms.

Course/Program Dates:
Jun 14, 2024 - Aug 01, 2024
Application due date:
Jan 10, 2024

Directors: Vernon Carruthers, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; Friedrich Frischknecht, Heidelberg University Medical School; and Melissa Lodoen, University of California, Irvine

Course Description

A unique 7-week course for advanced doctoral students and postdocs who are seeking in-depth training in modern approaches to the study of protozoan parasites and parasitic worms.

This course is focused on the cellular and molecular mechanisms by which human and animal parasites cause disease and the host responses to infection. The course consists of daily lectures by distinguished leaders in the field juxtaposed with intensive experimental work. The lectures cover most areas of active research in modern parasitology and are designed to complement the laboratory work. Ample opportunity is provided for students to interact informally with visiting lecturers and course faculty. In the laboratory, the students work together in small groups, gaining hands-on experience and working collaboratively with the faculty to explore new questions and discover new knowledge. Students will use advanced imaging, flow cytometry, biophysical methods, a variety of state-of-the-art molecular, bioinformatics and cell biological techniques, and in vivo infection models to study mechanisms of nutrient uptake, drug resistance, parasite motility, host-to-host transmission by insect vectors and immune responses to infection. Students will gain experience working with malaria parasites, Toxoplasma gondii, African trypanosomes, Entamoeba histolytica, parasitic worms and the mosquitoes that transmit malaria. The course is international by design, with students coming from around the world. Coming into the course, students should have a solid understanding of cellular and molecular biology and will complete the course with a new set of experimental tools to apply to their own research, a greatly expanded network of international colleagues, and a deep and broad appreciation for the remarkable interactions that occur at the host–parasite interface.