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Contagion: Infectious Agents & Diseases

We are no longer admitting high school students to the 2018 Summer Session.

Zika, Ebola, HIV, SARS…in our increasingly globalized and mobile world, infectious diseases can emerge and spread faster than ever before, making epidemics, even pandemics, a real possibility.  That, together with increasing antibiotic resistance, makes understanding where these threats come from and how we can control their spread one of the most urgent issues of our time.  In this three-week course, students will learn about the origin, biology, and evolution of some of the most feared viruses, such as Ebola, HIV, and Influenza, and lethal bacteria such as E. coli.We will explore the nature of emerging diseases and will use particular examples to discover how we can predict and control their spread.  Our dependence on microbes from an evolutionary point of view will also be discussed.  Students will have access to the state-of-the-art laboratory facilities at the University of Chicago for hands-on activities such as PCR, CRISPR, DNA sequencing, DNA sequence analysis, viral culture and antibody studies all applied to the study of infections and immunity (and will not be exposed to dangerous materials).

Course Code

BIOS 15105




High School Students


Biological Sciences

Class Day(s)

Mon Tues Wed Thurs Fri

Class Start Time


Class End Time


Primary Instructor

Beatrice Fineschi


Session I

Orientation Date(s)

Start Date

End Date


Additional Details

  • This course is open to Neubauer Family Adelante Summer Scholars Program students only.
  • Admissions: the application deadline for this program is March 2, but all applications will be read and reviewed after the March 2 deadline.
  • Rolling admissions is not offered for this program.
  • There is no application fee to apply for the Neubauer Family Adelante Summer Scholars Program.

Cost & Aid

All programs expenses are covered by the program.

Complete Cost & Aid Information (including housing and other fees) for high school students can be found here.
Complete Cost & Aid Information (including housing and other fees) for undergraduates can be found here.