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Learn about disease with online courses and programs

What causes illnesses to arise and spread, and how can we treat and prevent them? If you’re curious about the mysteries of disease, you can expand your medical knowledge and career horizons with edX’s courses on disease research.

What is disease?

Disease is a broad term that refers to a condition that impacts the body’s normal functions. They may be brought on by a variety of factors, such as genetic disorders, bacterial infections, personal habits, or the environment. Diseases can also cause various levels of pain or discomfort to those experiencing them, which may impact their ability to conduct daily activities.

By studying diseases, medical researchers can pinpoint their causes, allowing for more effective treatment and prevention. This research can also lead to lifesaving public health policies and a stronger understanding of how the human body operates.

Today, technology plays an important role in disease research, allowing for faster and more accurate diagnoses, richer data sets, and easier interactions between patients and providers. With the right training and skills, you can break into this exciting field that aims to help individuals and communities live healthier lives.

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Disease course curriculum

There are many ways to approach learning about disease. You may be interested in its interaction with nutrition and lifestyle, or perhaps you want to study specific conditions like diabetes and heart disease. edX offers a wide range of courses that cover various aspects of disease and disease research.

As you navigate through your coursework, you can explore topics including:

  • Historic transitions and emergence of epidemic infections

  • Discovery, proof of association and causation, and control in epidemics

  • Morphological development of disease

  • Different disease levels, such as cells, organs, and systems

From there, you might move on to specialized courses that dive into concepts such as lifestyle medicine treatments for chronic disease, medicinal chemistry, cancer biology, and drug discovery. There may also be opportunities for hands-on laboratory work as you move into more advanced classes.

Learning about disease research can supplement your knowledge of biology, medicine, and similar topics. edX offers a variety of educational opportunities for learners interested in studying these topics. A boot camp can provide flexible hands-on learning for those who want to upskill quickly, while executive education courses are designed for busy professionals. You can also pursue a more comprehensive curriculum in a bachelor’s degree program or, for more advanced learners, a master’s degree program. Find the right learning path for you.

Explore jobs related to disease

Disease research contributes to many different fields and important discoveries across industries. From developing technology that powers modern medicine to delivering patient care, choose a career path that aligns with your skills and knowledge.

Once you have the educational experience, you may be able to qualify for roles such as:

  • Epidemiologist: Investigates causes and patterns behind diseases, working closely with public health officials.Footnote 1

  • Geneticist: Studies the development, interaction, and impact of different genes on human functioning, which may be impacted by disease.Footnote 2

  • Clinical researcher: Conducts medical research, which can include patient trials and other means of studying disease.Footnote 3

  • Infectious disease doctor: Studies infections to improve medical understanding around diseases and how they spread.Footnote 4

  • Public health officer: Develops standards around community health markers, which can include tracking the outbreak of disease and preventing it from spreading.Footnote 5

While many of these roles exist within similar industries, employment qualifications for careers that may utilize disease research skills differ based on the position and employer. Some roles may require a higher level degree while others may only ask for a demonstration of skills that can be acquired in a boot camp, for example. Before deciding on which learning path will work best for you, research potential roles you hope to pursue and align your coursework with your professional aspirations.

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