The spring semester has just ended at Columbia University, which means that my annual virology course has also concluded.
The course met twice weekly, during which time we discussed the basic principles of virology, including how virions are built, how they replicate, and how they cause disease. For the last two lectures of the course we discussed viruses in the public eye, namely XMRV and influenza H5N1.
Each lecture in my virology course was recorded as a videocast and is available at the course website , at iTunes University , or on YouTube . One hundred and eighty-five Columbia University undergraduates registered for the virology course in 2013, but nearly 100,000 individuals have subscribed to the course through iTunes University . I strongly believe that the general public must understand as much as possible about viruses, so they can participate in the debate about issues that impact them, such as vaccination, H7N9, and the new coronavirus CoV-MERS. As I have said before, it is my goal to be Earth’s virology professor, and this is my virology course for the planet.
In June, my Virology course will become the fourth course from Columbia University to be offered as a MOOC (massive open online course) via Coursera . Below is a short video which explains that offering.