College of Biological Sciences Launches Capstone COVID-19 Virtual Lab Course
By Greg Watry on April 3, 2020
"The University of California, Davis, College of Biological Sciences is providing undergraduates with a unique opportunity to study the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak in real time.
The newly minted CBS COVID-19 capstone course combines several existing laboratory courses that would have been held in spring quarter. It explores the biological intersections of virology, evolution and ecology, computational biology, molecular genetics, and other disciplines to give upper-division students a chance to investigate and deconstruct the coronavirus crisis.
'College of Biological Sciences Dean Mark Winey made the excellent suggestion to take this opportunity to bring together the college’s spring lab courses and to create a unique modular, virtual lab course centered around the COVID-19 pandemic,' said Ken Kaplan, professor of molecular and cellular biology, who organized the course along with Michele Igo, associate dean of undergraduate academic programs, and Mitchell Singer, professor of microbiology and molecular genetics.
'The goal for our students is to demonstrate to them how complex, global problems like this viral pandemic can be addressed by a diverse number of biological research approaches and how biologists work as teams to solve these kinds of problems,' Kaplan said.
The course features five different modules, each exploring a different perspective of the global pandemic. Module topics include: quantitative methods to understand viral spread, phylogeny and evolution of viruses, virus-host interactions, and vaccine targeting, among others."