INSTRUCTOR: Michelle Flenniken
DATES: Wednesdays; April 1, 8, 15 & 22 
TIME: 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
LOCATION: Hope Lutheran Church


ebolaCOURSE INFO: Viruses are fascinating obligate intracellular pathogens that infect nearly every organism on Earth. Understanding virus-host interactions has led to numerous fundamental discoveries, including that DNA is the genetic material of life. This course will focus on understanding virus–host interactions from the molecular to the global scale. Topics of exploration include: basic virology, virus-host interactions, recent and past virus epidemics (i.e., ebola virus, polio virus, influenza virus), zoonoses, vaccines, antiviral treatments, and Dr. Flenniken’s research aimed at understanding the role of viruses in recent increased losses of honey bee colonies in the US.

CLASS FORMAT: Lecture and Discussion

READINGS: Suggested Reading: Spillover, by David Quammen

INSTRUCTOR BIO: Michelle Flenniken is an Assistant Professor in the Plant Sciences Department, and an Institute on Ecosystems Affiliate, at Montana State University. She is a virologist, currently investigating the role of viruses and other pathogens on recent honey bee colony losses, and antiviral responses in insect and plant hosts. Michelle has over 10 years of experience in virology, during which time she has utilized virus capsids as anticancer delivery agents, investigated mammalian antiviral responses, and discovered a new virus family that infects honey bees.

Michelle enjoys talking about important scientific topics with learners of all ages; she teaches Genetics and Virology at MSU, and a molecular biology course for 5th-7th graders called “Honey Bee Investigators (H.B.I.)” each summer; she gives numerous lectures to beekeepers, and the general public each year.

COST: $50

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MSU Wonderlust is a high-quality community resource for lifelong learning for the Bozeman area.  Here is university-quality instruction by experts in a huge number of subjects, some multi-week courses, some one-off events.  These offerings come free of homework, exams, or papers: The MSU Wonderlust experience is just a chance to learn new things or review things we’d already studied.  It's also an opportunity to meet people with a wide variety of interests.

The Winter/Spring offerings begin with a reception at the Pilgrim Congregational Church from 4 to 6pm.  It's a chance to meet with the course instructors and side-trip presenters; find out more about their plans.  

Gerry Wheeler, President of Friends of Wonderlust