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

Course Description

In examining the major diseases that afflict man, we will explore cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, neurodegenerative diseases, autoimmune diseases, and infectious disease, like HIV, flu, and Covid. Lectures and reading will discuss the historical background and early identification of each disease as well as epidemiological trends. You will learn the biological basis for diseases and treatments that are available. We will also dissect why some people are at higher risk for developing a specific disease and preventative measures. Special emphasis will be given to the anatomy and physiology of several organ systems.

You will also gain a deeper understanding of the psychological, social, and economic impact of diseases. This course will teach you how to analyze data, build an argument and debate one's side, and dissect multi-media content to answer biological questions.

By the end of this course, you will be able to:
• Name the top 5 diseases that kill humans and explain how each disease develops on a biological level
• Expand your knowledge of and confidence in the fields of cell biology, genetics, anatomy, and physiology
• Analyze and critique data and graphs
• Appreciate how disease occurrence has changed over the last 100 years and varies in the developed versus the underdeveloped regions of the world
• Explain risk factors, treatments, and preventive measures of major human diseases
• Understanding the role of multiple organ systems in the human body and how dysfunction of these leads to disease

This course will apply biological concepts in genetics, cell biology, and anatomy to clinical symptoms and diseases.


Completion of a high school biology course is recommended.


One Section Available to Choose From:

Online sections of Pre-College courses are offered in one of the following modalities: Asynchronous, Mostly asynchronous, or Blended. Please review full information regarding the experience here.

Dates: June 27, 2022 - July 22, 2022
Duration: 4 Weeks
Meeting Times: Online - Mostly Asynchronous
Status: Closed
Format: Online
Instructor(s): Aisling Dugan
Course Number: 10253