The effects of toxins and toxicants on living organisms – from individual cells to ecosystems – illuminate many biological principles and processes, and also inform perspectives on several issues in contemporary society. This course will use case studies and laboratory exercises to introduce students to the mechanisms by which certain chemicals (including natural products, pharmaceuticals, and industrial/agricultural chemicals) exert toxic effects on living things, and to connect that knowledge to broader interdisciplinary topics, such as the perception and assessment of risk; the design, ethics, interpretation of, and extrapolation from scientific research; the value and limitations of biological and mathematical models; the distinction between good science, bad science, and pseudoscience; and the translation of research insights into public policy. Includes a laboratory component (BIOL-3950L). A laboratory fee will be assessed. Prerequisite: 30 credit hours of university-level studies, including 6 credit hours in Biology.
- Professor: Rachel Krause