BIO205: Microbiology

Fall 2018

3 Credit Hours

·           Professor: Dr. Emily Cope (

o   Course time: Tu/Th 8:00AM-9:15AM

o   Course Location: Wettaw (BLDG 88) RM 130

o   Office Hours: Monday 1:00-2:15PM 8:30-9:45am and Tuesday 9:45-11AM or by appointment

o   Office Location: ARD 222 (Suite 220)

·           Prerequisite: BIO 181 or 181H

·           Corequisite: BIO 205L/305W

·           Recommended: CHM 130 or 151

·           Supplemental Instructor: Raini B Leveen;

·           Course website: BBLearn, Schedule and Course Description on

·           Course schedule: Access via website above, via BBLearn, or here:


Course Description. This course will cover the fundamentals of microbiology emphasizing structure and function of organisms, aspects of microbial diversity, beneficial and pathogenic microorganisms, host-microbe interactions with a focus on health and infectious disease, and applied microbiology. The course is designed for students majoring in microbiology and those in the health professions with the idea being to prepare students for more advanced courses in applied microbiology, immunobiology and/or infectious disease. Medical microbiology will be covered as it relates to the description, treatment, and prevention of infectious diseases caused by microorganisms. We wish to impart a conceptual understanding as to why infection with certain microorganisms is followed by disease while infection or colonization by others does not. In addition, we hope to stimulate an understanding of the wide-ranging diversity of habitats, genetic mechanisms, and host interactions that microbes manipulate to persist.

In general, lectures will emphasize more conceptually difficult material. This course is intensive and students should be ready to use other sources for studying outside of their textbook, including peer-reviewed literature and reputable web sources.

Course Approach. In this course, you will learn the language and concepts of microbiology, including aspects of microbial biochemistry, genetics, identification, and host-microbe interactions. A significant proportion of this course will be devoted to basic microbiology including bacteria, viruses, and eukaryotic microorganisms. We will first cover general characteristics of microorganisms including morphology, genetics, metabolism, and the structures of prokaryotic and eukaryotic microorganisms. When appropriate, the function each characteristic will be related to infectious disease or maintenance of host health – for example, bacterial metabolism of lactose in early life is critical for human development. Next, we will introduce different ways to control infectious disease including pharmaceutical (drugs) and host defense mechanisms (immunology). Throughout the semester, we will review a variety of infectious diseases. We will end with a discussion on the various roles that microbes play in human health and disease. Class sessions will consist primarily of lecture material, in-class discussions, and in class worksheet assignments. This course must be taken in combination with Bio 205L.


Student Learning Expectations/Outcomes for this Course. After taking this course, students should have a fundamental understanding of microbial physiology, genetics, and their roles in human health and disease. This understanding is important and useful to women and men in all fields. Since the human microbiome and emerging infectious disease have become important topics in human health in the recent years, we will address topics in these areas. The objectives of this course are to 1) promote critical thinking among students, 2) provide students with a foundation in microbiology and microbiological processes, 3) provide students with a foundation about different groups of microbes, and 4) to provide students with knowledge on how microbes are central to human health and disease and the role of the immune system in mediating these interactions. You will build upon your previous knowledge in chemistry, genetics, and cell biology. BIO205 may be a prerequisite for other classes you are interested in taking at a later date (e.g. Immunobiology BIO401C). Thus, check on the prerequisites before you decide to drop this class.


Required Textbook. ISBN: 978-0-393-97858-2. Microbiology: The Human Experience. Authors: John W. Foster, Zarrintaj Aliabadi, and Joan L. Slonczweski. This textbook is available to purchase (new, loose leaf, or digital EBook for a reduced cost).

Course Schedule. A tentative schedule is provided at the link at the top of the syllabus. It is also here: This spreadsheet will be kept up to date and will be where you find current due dates, exam dates, reading materials, and lecture information. Check this link regularly!

*Please note: The lecture material may be modified based on the needs of the course but the exam dates will remain firm.


Assessment of Student Learning Outcomes. Your grade will be based on three in class exams worth 100 points each (SEPTEMBER 20st, OCTOBER 16th, NOVEMBER 15th), a comprehensive final exam worth 150 points (THURSDAY, DECEMBER 13th 7:30am-9:30am), 10 quizzes using the BBLearn online system for a total of 100 points (there will be 12 quizzes total, two lowest scores will be dropped), five unannounced in-class activities (worksheets or group activities) worth 10 points each. These are graded on a pass/fail basis and require attendance to earn credit. You can opt-out of the final exam if you have a grade of an A (90.0%) or higher (no, an 89.9% won’t cut it).

*A note on the quizzes: 10 quizzes = 100 points (10 points each).  There will be 12 quizzes (using the BBLearn online system weekly) throughout the semester; these will cover the assigned reading prior to covering the material in class as well as older material. These will be a mix of InQUIZative assignments and/or more formal quizzes. Only the best 10 quiz scores will be included in the final grade.

Quizzes will be conducted on the BBLearn site and therefore are open book yet timed. Pay attention and check regularly, it’s your responsibility to get them done. The quiz will be open all day Thursdays, you’ll have 3 hours to finish it and you’ll only be able to take it once.

Exam Format. Exams will consist of objective questions, such as multiple choice, multiple answer, matching, or true/false. The majority of the exam (90%) will consist of new material and a minority of the exam (10%) will consist of material covered on prior exams – questions will be taken directly from previous exams.


Grading System.

Course Point Summary:

Exam 1 = 100 points

Exam 2 = 100 points

Exam 3 = 100 points

Worksheets = 50 points (5 total, worth 10 points each)

10 quizzes = 100 points (10 points each, ~5 questions/quiz).  There will be 12 quizzes (using the BBLearn online system weekly) throughout the semester; these will cover the assigned reading prior to covering the material in class (1 question) as well as older material (4 questions). Only the best 10 quiz scores will be included in the final grade.

Final Exam = 150 points.  This is a comprehensive exam covering all material discussed during the semester. THURSDAY, DECEMBER 14th

  If you earn 90.0% or higher, you may opt out of the final exam (no, an 89.9% won’t cut it)


Extra credit: There will be one special media assignment for 20 grade (not percentage) points of extra credit.


Media assignment guidelines. To get credit for the assignment the student must write and produce an 5-8 minute podcast, video, or animation episode describing a microbe in the context of an infectious disease or its relationship to human health from the spectrum of diseases and examples covered in this course. You may concentrate on the microbial characteristics (physiology, metabolism), disease symptoms, mechanisms used by that microbe to impact health or disease (e.g. metabolism, virulence factors), or any combination. You must also submit the written references. References should be listed in AMA format. The final draft of the transcript must be typed with one inch margins on all sides and will be due NOVEMBER 27th, by 11:59pm. Late extra credit will not be accepted. A note about primary literature, most Internet sources although containing lots of information, are NOT peer-reviewed. Please use appropriate sources including those found on Medline, CDC, or from a peer-reviewed journal to receive credit. Your textbook is a good general resource but does not count as a reference. Ask me if you do not understand the distinction! More detail about this assignment will be posted on BBLearn and linked to from What do you turn in? You must turn in your media assignment (e.g. MP3, YouTube Link), List of References, and Group Member list with contributions of each member. 

Grading Scale: A: 90-100%; B: 80-89.99%; C: 70-79.99%; D: 60-69.99%; F: 0-59.99%


Drop/Withdrawal. Refer to for important dates. The last day to drop without this course appearing on your transcripts is September 5th. The deadline to withdrawal without a petition but with a grade of “W” is November 2nd.


Course Policies and Student Learning Expectations.

·           Although there is a significant memorization component to this course, students will also be tested on their problem-solving and critical thinking abilities. Consequently, students who simply memorize material in preparation for the examinations score much lower than students who understand the material and can apply what they know to problems that they have not seen before.

·       Make up exams will be allowed at the mutual convenience of instructor and student providing that an excuse, such as documented illness, official university excuse, or family death, has been approved by the instructor in advance of the exam. Routine medical appointments that you schedule do not count as legitimate excuses, and all absences for illness must be accompanied by a doctor’s note or other evidence. Physician documentation or university documentation will be required for approval to take a make up exam.

·           Students who do not complete the quizzes will receive a zero for that quiz and will count as one of your two dropped quiz scores. THERE WILL BE NO MAKE UP QUIZZES.

·           Attendance at the lectures is not required, only if a passing grade is desired. It is recognized that absence from class is sometimes necessary. However, the course moves along quickly and generally students who do not attend class miss a substantial amount of information and often fail this course. A minor portion of your grade will be derived from in-class response questions and worksheets. These are graded on a pass/fail basis and require attendance to earn credit for. There is an extra credit assignment that you can complete to earn some of these points back.

·           Students are expected to behave professionally at all times. For each hour you spend in lecture you will be expected to spend at least two hours in study and preparation outside of class. Students are expected to read the textbook.

·           Students should be on time for class and should turn off/silence all cell phones, iPods, and other electronic devices for the duration of class. Laptops or tablets are allowed for note taking only.

·           No computers, cell phones, headphones, books, or papers may be used during the exams. If a student is observed using or looking at any of these items, it will be considered cheating and handled accordingly with NAU published policies on academic integrity, found here To be safe, I recommend keeping your phone off during exams.

·           Plagiarism and cheating will not be tolerated. Any students found guilty of each will receive a failing grade in the class. We will go over what is considered plagiarism on the first day of class. If plagiarism is suspected, I will check the document using Safeassign.

·           Students are expected to develop their own comprehensive set of notes; materials provided on the Bb Learn site are supplementary, and should not be viewed as substitutes for note taking.

·           I expect you to check the course schedule at least 24h prior to class. I will e-mail or notify you in the beginning of class when I modify the schedule.


University Policies. The Safe Environment, Students with Disabilities, Institutional Review Board, Academic Integrity, Academic Contact Hour, Classroom Management and Professional Ethics and Code of Conduct policies are available at Students are responsible for reviewing and understanding these policies.