Have you always wanted to better understand viruses, but did not know where to start? I have the solution for you – my undergraduate virology course. The 2016 version has just ended, and all the lectures are available as videos, either on YouTube or here at virology blog (where you can also find lecture slides and study questions).
It will take some time for you to watch all the videos – each is about 70 minutes long – but the effort will be worth it. In the end you will know more virology than most of the world. With new viruses emerging annually, don’t you want to understand how they work? Go ahead, dive in.
Readers of virology blog know my fondness for the long form. Many appreciate an in-depth discussion of virology in a blog post, video, or podcast, but this format is not for everyone. I know that I have been missing many individuals who would like to know more about viruses, but do not have the time or interest to spend an hour or more a week doing so. For those individuals, I have started Virus Watch.
Virus Watch is a weekly video series that explores the amazing world of viruses. They will be short (less than 10 minutes), with clear animation and focused on one or two stories. I released the first episode this week, which is about recent research on Zika virus. This virus will certainly be our focus for some time, but I also will explore other viruses in the series.
I am fascinated by viruses, which have I studied for my entire career, and I want you to be fascinated with them as well. You can find Virus Watch at my YouTube channel, or view the first video below.
A major new feature of the fourth edition of Principles of Virology is the inclusion of 26 video interviews with leading scientists who have made significant contributions to the field of virology. These in-depth interviews provide the background and thinking that went into the discoveries or observations connected to the concepts being taught in this text. Students will discover the personal stories and twists of fate that led the scientists to work with viruses and make their seminal discoveries.
For the chapter on Infections of Populations, Vincent spoke with Thomas London, MD, of the Fox Chase Cancer Center, about his career and his work on hepatitis B virus.
If you want to understand life on Earth, you need to know about viruses.
We have reached the halfway point in my 2016 Columbia University undergraduate virology course. So far we have learned the basics of virus replication: how viruses enter cells, how the genome is reproduced, and how proteins are made and assembled into new virus particles. In the second half of the course, we will consider how viruses cause disease, how immune responses prevent infection, vaccines, antivirals, emergence of new viruses, and much more.
All of my lectures are recorded as videos and available freely on YouTube. Below is a list of the first thirteen lectures, with links to the YouTube videos. You can also subscribe to the videos at iTunes University. If you would like copies of the lecture slides and study questions, go to virology.ws/course.
Do you want to learn virology? Every spring I teach a virology course at Columbia University, and this year’s version has just started. I record every lecture and put the videos on YouTube. Here is a link to the playlist: Virology Lectures 2016. Lecture #1, What is a Virus, is embedded below as a teaser.
I strongly believe that the best approach to teaching introductory virology is by emphasizing shared principles. Studying the phases of the viral reproductive cycle, illustrated with a set of representative viruses, provides an overview of the steps required to maintain these infectious agents in nature. Such knowledge cannot be acquired by learning a collection of facts about individual viruses. Consequently, the major goal of my virology course is to define and illustrate the basic principles of animal virus biology.
You can find the complete course syllabus, pdf files of the slides, and reading at virology.ws/course.
My goal is to be Earth’s virology professor, and this is my virology course for the planet.
I interviewed Harald zur Hausen, MD., recipient of the 2008 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, in Manchester UK at the 2013 meeting of the Society for General Microbiology. We spoke about his career, his work leading to the discovery that human papillomavirus types 16 and 18 are causative agents of cervical cancer, and his thoughts on other agents of human cancers.
On TWiV #186, in response to a request to talk about Schmallenberg virus, we directed the listener to our discussion of this new virus with Richard Elliott on TWiV #177 – Live in Dublin. At the same meeting (Society for General Microbiology Spring Conference 2012) Richard also gave a separate presentation on Schmallenberg virus, which can be viewed in the video below.
This past February I was interviewed by the Australian Broadcasting Company on the topic of the Fouchier and Kawaoka experiments on avian influenza virus H5N1. The video, Building the Perfect Bug, has been released by Journeyman Pictures and includes interviews with S.T. Lai, Laurie Garrett, Michael Osterholm, and Ron Fouchier (transcript available). It is far too alarmist for my taste, but both sides of the issue are represented.
The video includes sequences of me working in the cell culture laboratory. Note that I did wear a tie for my interview while Michael Osterholm did not.
Each year I teach basic virology to medical, dental, and nursing students here at Columbia University Medical Center. Here are videocasts of my three lectures for 2009: Introduction to Virology I and II, and Viral Pathogenesis.