BIO 94 W — Gut Bacteria in Health and Disease: An Introduction to the Microbes Within
Course Format: Flex Online (About Formats)
Duration: 5 weeks
Date(s): Mar 29—Apr 30
Refund Deadline: Apr 1
Instructor(s): Tobi Schmidt
The microbes that live on and in us are collectively known as the microbiota. Studies have demonstrated that the gut microbiota exert a strong influence over our health. In particular, the bacteria residing in our digestive tract can influence a spectrum of diseases. Unhealthy lifestyle, especially a poor diet, is a key factor contributing to the types of gut bacteria that promote diseases like obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, colorectal cancer, depression, and even neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Recent discoveries show that gut microbiota can be modulated by lifestyle choices and that healthy and unhealthy populations of bacteria can be predicted based on specific lifestyle patterns. In this course, students will be introduced to the key microbiota that have a profound influence on our health. We will explore how they exert this influence and what lifestyle factors contribute to healthy and unhealthy gut microbiota populations. The course emphasis is on the role of diet in influencing the gut microbiota and our overall health. However, we will also explore other lifestyle factors such as exercise, sleep, and stress, and how they can modulate gut bacteria.
Tobi Schmidt, Immunotherapy Researcher; Personal Health Advisor and EducatorTobi Schmidt focuses on educating healthcare professionals and individuals in order to provide a better understanding of human health and disease. She has conducted research focused on modulating the immune system and its environment to improve immune function in fighting disease. This area of study, known as immunotherapy, is one of the newest tools in the fight against cancer. Schmidt received a PhD from the Stanford School of Medicine Department of Microbiology & Immunology. She has also researched cures for diseases in academic and pharmaceutical labs.
Textbooks for this course:
There are no required textbooks; however, some fee-based online readings may be assigned.