BSCI 223 General Microbiology (4 Credit Hours)

  • Two hours of lecture and four hours of laboratory per week.
  • Prerequisite: Principles of Biology I. Fundamental concepts in morphology, physiology, genetics, immunology, ecology, and pathogenic microbiology.
  • Applications of microbiology to medicine, the food industry and biotechnology. Case based and Problem Based Course. Approved for General Education as an I-Series course.
  • Students will investigate the impact of microbes on our world by addressing three big questions. How do we recognize microbes? How do we utilize the potential of microbes? How do microbes impact human health?
  • Students will investigate and discuss these questions from a particular perspective: How does NASA differentiate microbes from earth from microbes from Mars? Does the potential of microbes hold a solution for global warming? How will we control and prevent infectious disease in an era where antibiotics may soon be obsolete? 
  • BSCI223 is a University of Maryland General Education Course in the category of Natural Science and I-Series.

Relevant publications: 
Smith, A.C., etal. 2005. J Cell Biology Education, 4:143-156.


Stewart, R. C., etal 2008. The National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science Case Collection,


Smith, A.C., and Stein, D.C., 2010. "Wanda's Woes". MedEdPORTAL; Available from:  

BSCI348A Scientific Teaching Internship (3 Credit Hours)

  • Students participate in a pedagogy seminar where they learn theories and practices of science education that are employed in BSCI223. The students act as teaching interns as the serve as undergraduate teaching assistants in BSCI223.
  • UTAs help to support the active learning mission of BSCI223.
  • Students make gains in skills that are transferrable to careers and graduate school including increased knowlege of microbiology, scientific teaching, communication skills, leadership skills and self confidence.

Relevant publication:
Schalk, K., J. R. McGinnis, J. R. Harring, A. Hendrickson, and A. C. Smith. (2009). The Undergraduate Teaching 
Assistant Experience Offers Opportunities Similar to the Undergraduate Research Experience
. J. Microbiol. Biol 
Educ. Vol 10.

BSCI380 Bioinformatics & Integrated Genomics (4 Credit Hours)

  • Three hours of lecture and three hours of laboratory per week. Prerequisites: Principles of Biology II, Principles of Genetics, Calculus II.
  • Recommended: Molecular Genetics, Principles of evolution. Junior or Senior standing.
  • Computational methods for study of biological sequence data in comparative biology and evolution. Analysis of genome content and organization.
  • Database searching, pairwise and multiple sequence alignment, phylogenetic methods, pattern recognition, and functional inference. Functional and comparative genomics approaches.

BSCI 412 Microbial Genetics (4 Credit Hours)

  • Two hours of lecture and six hours of laboratory per week.
  • Prerequisites: Principles of Genetics and General Microbiology.
  • A laboratory/lecture based course that covers the fundamentals of mutation, mobile genetic elements and transmission genetics of microbial organisms using both classical and molecular approaches.

BSCI 417 Microbial Pathogenesis (3 Credit Hours)

  • Prerequisite: Principles of Genetics and General Microbiology. Junior standing.
  • Current research in microbial pathogenesis and the molecular and cellular basis of bacterial disease.
  • Comprehensive overview of the molecular basis of pathogenesis with a focus on model microbial systems to illustrate mechanisms of disease pathogenesis.
  • Topics covered: how microorganisms attach to and enter cells; how host cells are damaged by microbial products; how the host responds to invasion; and host-pathogen evolution.

BSCI 422 Principles of Immunology (3 Credit Hours)

  • Prerequisites: Principles of Genetics and General Microbiology.
  • Recommended: Cell Biology & Physiology. Junior or Senior standing.
  • The immune system in health and disease. Presentation and analysis of the cellular and molecular processes that comprise the immune system.

Relevant Publication:
Cathcart, L.A., Stieff, M., Marbach-Ad, G., Smith, A.C., and Frauwirth, K.A. 2010. “Using Knowledge Space Theory to Analyze Concept Maps” In K. Gomez, L. Lyons, & J. Radinsky (Eds.), Learning in the Disciplines: Proceedings of the 9th International Conference of the Learning Sciences: Vol. 1. Full Papers (pp.952-959). Chicago, IL: International Society of the Learning Sciences.

BSCI 423 Immunology Laboratory (2 Credit Hours)

  • Six hours of laboratory per week.
  • Prerequisites: Principles of Genetics and General Microbiology. Corequisite: Principles of Immunology. Junior or senior standing.
  • Current techniques for assessment of immune status and evaluation of the immune response, including monoclonal antibody production, Western blotting, cytokine assays, ELISA and flow cytometry.

Relevant Publication:
Senkevitch, E., Smith, A.C., Marbach-Ad, G., Song, W., 2011  JMBE 12 (2).

BSCI 424 Pathogenic Microbiology (4 Credit Hours)

  • Two hours of lecture and four hours of laboratory per week.
  • Prerequisite: General Microbiology.
  • The role of bacteria and fungi in the diseases of humans with emphasis upon the differentiation and culture of microorganisms, types of disease, modes of disease transmission, prophylactic, therapeutic, and epidemiological aspects.

Relevant Publication:
Quimby,B.B., McIver, K.S., Marbach-Ad,G., Smith, A.C.,2011, “Investigating How Streptococcus Responds to Their Environment: Bringing Together Current Research, a Case Study and Laboratory Investigation” JMBE 12 (2).

BSCI 425 Epidemiology and Public Health (3 Credit Hours)

  • Two hours of lecture and one hour of discussion/recitation per week.
  • Prerequisite: General Microbiology. History, characteristic features of epidemiology; the important responsibilities of public health; vital statistics.

BSCI437 General Virology (3 Credit Hours)

  • Prerequisite: BSCI222 or permission of department. Junior standing. 
  • Formerly MICB460. Discussion of the physical and chemical nature of viruses, virus cultivation and assay methods, virus replication, viral diseases with emphasis on the oncogenic viruses, viral genetics, and characteristics of the major virus groups.

Relevant Publication:
Injaian, L., Smith, A. C., Shipley, J.G., Marbach-Ad, G., Fredericksen, B. L., 2011. Antiviral Drug Research Proposal Activity. JMBE 12 (1).