What you will learn
- Understand the fundamental principles of living organisms.
- Recognize how information flows from our genes to produce proteins, how viruses infect our bodies and understand the process of scientific investigation.
- Understand the principles of both arms of the immune system.
- Discover the pros and cons of vaccines and the revolution of the mRNA vaccine.
- Discover how COVID-19 became the 3rd pandemic this century and the biology of Coronavirus in humans and animals.
For centuries viruses have infected millions and changed the course of history. Science and innovation have answered these threats for generations and assisted man in managing emerging pandemics. Consequently, diseases like Smallpox and Polio have practically been eradicated. Yet others like AIDS, SARS and Zika constantly continue to remind us that nature is bigger than us and still has much in store. This has clearly been demonstrated with the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has turned our lives upside down.
This program is divided into two courses:
In the first course – “Introduction to Cell Biology & Viruses” – you will be introduced to the world of cell biology and how viruses, as the ultimate parasites, attack cells and use them to their advantage. We have specially designed video segments that will walk you through the basic workings of our cells, how DNA functions as the hard disc of the genetic heritage we received from our parents and what proteins do to keep our bodies alive and functional.
We will review the world of viruses and how they differ from bacteria and other infectious agents. Specific examples of human diseases, such as Polio, Smallpox and Flu will be discussed. In the second course – "Immunology: Fundamentals & Applications" – we will review the basics of our first line of immune defenses, the innate immune system. Furthermore, we will study the second arm of the immune system - adaptive immunity and how highly efficient antibodies and white blood cells custom tailor precise and specific knock-out of invading viruses, while establishing memory cells to protect us against future encounters with these disease-causing agents.
Based on the principles of immunity and cell biology we will learn how vaccines work. We will critically evaluate their pros and concerns and how this amazing innovation has saved millions of lives. The last lesson will be dedicated to Coronaviruses and their biology. We will review the spectrum of the human associated Coronaviruses, including SARS CoV from 2002 and MERS CoV from 2012 - the previous Coronavirus pandemics. Moreover, special attention will be devoted to an in-depth focus on SARS CoV2 and why it has been so successful in infecting hundreds of millions of people worldwide. In conclusion, we will discuss various approaches to the treatment and protection against COVID-19 infection and understand how 30 years of scientific innovation has led to the mRNA vaccine revolution.
Courses in this program
TAUx's Viruses & How to Beat Them: From Cells to Pandemics Professional Certificate
- 2–3 hours per week, for 4 weeks
Whereas cells are alive, viruses are not. Discover how living cells translate information coded in our genes into proteins and what happens when viruses hijack our cells and cause life threatening diseases.
- 2–3 hours per week, for 3 weeks
When we are attacked by viruses our bodies are not left helpless. Discover how our immune system fights infectious diseases, how vaccines protect us and how immune mechanisms have been implemented in our fight against Coronavirus.
Meet your instructors from Tel Aviv University (TAUx)
Experts from TAUx committed to teaching online learning