CHEM 115
AIDS: The Disease and Search for a Cure Spring 2010
Division III
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Class Details

Since the discovery of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1) in 1983, modern techniques of molecular biology have revealed much about its structure and life cycle. The intensity of the scientific investigation directed at HIV-1 is unprecedented in history. We now know more about this virus than any other known pathogen. However, the early optimism concerning the prospects for an effective AIDS vaccine has now waned and HIV strains that are resistant to drug therapies are common. We are now nearly three decades into the AIDS pandemic and the World Health Organization estimates that there are more than 33 million HIV-infected persons worldwide.
After an introduction to chemical structure, we examine the molecular biology of the HIV virus, the molecular targets of anti-HIV drugs, and the prospects for a cure. We look at how HIV-1 interacts with the human immune system and discuss both old and new methods of vaccine development as well as the prospects for making an effective AIDS vaccine.
The Class: Format: lecture, three hours per week
Limit: none
Expected: 60
Class#: 3431
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: evaluation will be based on problem sets, a midterm, quizzes, a final exam, and a paper/discussion
Prerequisites: none; designed for the non-science major who does not intend to pursue a career in the natural sciences
Distributions: Division III
Attributes: INST Global Health Studies Electives

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