New Course: Pandemics, Past and Present

Pandemics, Past and Present:
Integrative Approaches


The College of Arts and Sciences is excited to offer three new online interdisciplinary courses in Summer 2021. Faculty from across the College have teamed up to create courses in which students will explore pressing intellectual questions from new perspectives.

Pandemics, Past and Present: Integrative Approaches (BIOL/HSTY 277) aims to further students’ understanding of pandemics, the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Medicine will collaborate to give students perspective on the impacts and challenges of global pandemics and equip them with the tools to dispel misinformation.

Leena Chakravarty, instructor in the Department of Biology, Dianne Kube, lecturer in the Department of Biology, Jonathan Sadowsky, Theodore J. Castele Professor in the Department of History, and Sarah Markt, assistant professor in the Department of Population and Quantitative Health Sciences, will examine pandemics through four lenses: the history of pandemics, the spread of disease in populations, the life cycle and molecular biology of the influenza virus and SARS CoV-2 and the technology of testing, therapeutics and vaccinations.
“In order to address epidemics, all of these aspects have to come together,” Kube said. “We will be able to provide a lot of information that will allow our students to talk more intelligently in the future.”

After this course, a student will be able to broadly integrate different perspectives into their understanding of pandemics throughout history and will understand the significance, challenges and consequences of living in times where deep biological and epidemiological understanding of viruses and technological advances have become part of the tools humans need to live. This is the way we are going to learn how to curb [pandemics] in the future. It can’t be a one discipline approach anymore. We need multiple disciplines to understand where we came from, where we are and where we can go in the future,” Markt explained.

Students with questions should contact: Dr. Dianne Kube at,  Dr. Leena Chakravarty at, or Dr. Jonathan Sadowsky at


  • Summer 2021 courses will be viewable in SIS starting March 1
  • Students can begin adding courses to shopping carts on March 1
  • Graduate registration begins March 22
  • Undergraduate registration opens April 12
  • Non-degree and visiting students can register starting April 13

Visit or email for more information.

Photo credits
The Spanish Influenza. Emergency military hospital during influenza epidemic, Camp Funston, Kansas, United States. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Generic license.

Computer generated representation of COVID-19 virions (SARS-CoV-2) under electron microscope. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.