The Great Diseases: Cancer, Heart Disease, Diabetes, and Epidemics

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Two Sections Available to Choose From:

Course DatesLengthMeeting TimesStatusFormatInstructor(s)CRN
June 21, 2021 - July 21, 20216/21 - 7/214 WeeksOnlineOpenOnlineAisling Dugan
July 19, 2021 - August 18, 20217/19 - 8/184 WeeksOnlineOpenOnlineAisling Dugan

Course Description

This course will explore the big killers of mankind. Students will gain a better understanding of the history of disease and the biological reasons diseases occur.

In examining the major diseases that afflict man, we will explore cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, neurodegenerative diseases, like Multiple Sclerosis and Alzheimer’s, autoimmune diseases, and infectious disease, like HIV and the flu. We will discuss the historical background, incidence, and identification of each disease. Students will learn the biological basis for disease and treatments that are available. We will also dissect why some people are at higher risk for developing a specific disease and preventative measures. Students will understand the psychological, social, and economic impact of disease. This course will teach student how to read college-level textbooks and scientific primary literature.

After taking this course, students will be able to:
• Name the top 5 diseases that kill humans.
• Explain how each disease develops on a biological level.
• Understand how disease development has changed over the last 100 years.
• Discuss why certain diseases are so prevalent today, what causes diseases, and how they might be prevented.
• Recognize the social and economic significance of disease.

Prerequisites: Completion of a high school biology course is recommended.

Course Information

  • Course Code: CEBI0959

Program Information


Brown’s Pre-College Program in the liberal arts and sciences for students completing grades 9-12 by June 2021.

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