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Study Abroad Programs

Study abroad programs hosted by the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Biology

Plague Penicillin and Pasteur: Microbiology in Europe
This program focuses on the historical and applied aspects of microbiology and molecular biology. Linking all aspects of the program is a readings and seminar series; speakers will be renowned professors from Cambridge University, University College London, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Imperial College, the Pasteur Institute, and Delft University of Technology. Students will visit London, Cambridge, Nottingham, Amsterdam, Delft, Paris, Dijon, and Geneva as part of the study abroad. Visits to museums will be highlighted with presentations outside the general public, including disease diagnosis using London plague pit skeletons, Fleming’s lab where penicillin was discovered, Pasteur’s laboratory and crypt, and microscopes made by van Leeuwenhoek and Darwin. We will make bread at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris and Gouda cheese in Gouda (and eat them, too!). The program ends in Geneva at the World Health Organization. This program is most appealing to students that are passionate about microbiology and molecular biology, who are interested in medicine and in how these disciplines are applied and used in daily living. Read Full Story
This Study Abroad may also be used to earn internship credit. Many antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections are on the rise. In fact, by 2050 antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections are expected to be the number one cause of death in the U.S. ( www.cdc.gov). India is where many of the antibiotic-resistant genes evolve due to the high population combined with the presence of antibiotics in the local rivers and lakes from antibiotic production factories. We plan to travel to India, isolate DNA from local sources, such as rivers and lakes, and then return to BYU to identify antibiotic-resistant genes present in the DNA, giving us an understanding of emerging disease before it hits the clinic. In addition, we will be taking samples from which to harvest bacteriophages, viruses that can infect and kill antibiotic-resistant bacteria. These bacteriophages are a novel treatment for antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Bacteriophages were likely first reported in 1896 when Ernest Hanbury Hankin described something in the waters of the Ganges and Yamuna rivers in India with antibacterial action that could pass through a very fine porcelain filter. We will be in the heart of both antibiotic resistance emergence and bacteriophage history, while enjoying the rich and ancient history, art and culture of India.

The study abroad will begin by meeting in Paris from where we will fly together to New Delhi. Program travel will also include visits to the cities of Jaipur, Agra, Gwalior. Experiences will include visits to the Jama Masjid (India’s largest Mosque), the Raj Ghat (the cremation site of Mahatma Gandhi), the Amer Fort–the original capital of State, Maharaja’s City palace and garden, the Taj Mahal, Abhaneri (stair-wells invented to harvest rain water), the Mitawali temple, Garhi padawali, and the Bateswara group of temples.
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