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the schlenke lab
@ emory university

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Teaching



BIO 190 - Human Biology
This freshman seminar cover human evolution, genetics, behavior, environment, and other current topics in the
mainstream press.  We will discuss such questions as:  Which features of anatomy and lifestyle set us apart from
our closest primate relatives?  Is the concept of human races still useful?  Are the brains of men and woman different? 
Are behavioral traits like alcoholism, aggressiveness, and sexual orientation heritable?  Will the field of human
genomics enable us to cure genetic and infectious diseases?  How can we face environment challenges such as
overpopulation, pollution, and global warming?  Topics covered include:

  • Hominid evolution
  • Bipedalism, precision grip, and toolmaking
  • Language and brain development
  • Sociobiology, behavior, and twin studies
  • Gender roles and societal structure
  • Pathogens, vaccination, and antibiotic resistance
  • Diet and obesity
  • Chemical hormone mimics
  • Cancer, heart disease, and senescence
  • Gene therapy and stem cell research
  • The human genome project
  • Genetic diversity
  • Population growth
  • Water supply and quality
  • Land availability and crop yields
  • Environmental degradation
  • Ozone layer depletion
  • Global warming

BIO 354 - Origins and Evolution of the Immune System
This upper level undergraduate course is focused on the comparative immunology of prokaryotes, protozoans,
plants, fungi, invertebrates, and “lower” vertebrates.  The class is aimed at teaching students, who at Emory are
mainly on the pre-med track, to see evolutionary patterns that help explain how our own immune system developed
from those of our ancestors.  Such comparative study highlights the strengths and weaknesses of our immune
system, and points to ways in which other organisms have overcome the same pathogenic stresses we currently
face.  Topics covered include:

  • Restriction-modification systems
  • RNA interference
  • Antimicrobial proteins
  • Reactive oxygen species
  • Cell death
  • The hypersensitive response of plants
  • Systemic acquired resistance in plants
  • Proteolytic cascade systems
  • Phagocytosis
  • Humoral immunity in invertebrates
  • Cellular immunity in invertebrates
  • Immune specificity
  • Immune memory
  • Acquired immunity of vertebrates
  • Pathogen infection strategies
  • Adaptive evolution of immune systems


IBS 594 - Evolutionary Biology
This graduate level course covers the history and current status of major research areas in evolutionary biology
through lectures and readings from the primary literature.  Topics covered include:

  • Natural selection
  • Population structure
  • Molecular evolution
  • Phylogenetics
  • Sexual selection
  • Speciation
  • The evolution of sex
  • Kin selection and eusociality
  • Game theory
  • The evolution of novelty
  • Developmental programs
  • Aging
  • Virulence
  • Human evolution
  • Macroevolution


Emory Tibet Science Initiative - Molecular and Cell Biology
This introductory course intoduces "western science" to Tibetan monks and nuns living in exile in India, as part of
Emory's collaboration with the Dalai Lama.  Topics covered include:

  • The definition of life
  • The cell theory
  • Hierarchy of organization
  • Water and hydrogen bonds
  • Acids and bases
  • Chemical groups
  • Amino acids and proteins
  • Nucleic acids
  • Carbohydrates
  • Lipids and membranes
  • Organelles and cell structure
  • Cell cycle
  • Signal transduction
  • Photosynthesis
  • Respiration
  • Cell movement