Minor in Emerging Global Diseases

A multi-disciplinary minor, administered by the Department of Entomology with participation from the Departments of  Animal Sciences, Anthropology, Biomedical Sciences, Ecology  Evolution and Organismal Biology, Economics, Food Science and Human Nutrition, Sociology, Veterinary Microbiology and Preventive Medicine, and Veterinary Pathology, and from the Interdepartmental Program in  Microbiology.

A career that works

Emerging Global Diseases are responsible for major human and animal health problems and for losses in food production and quality worldwide. The problems are especially severe in developing countries. Students who receive a minor in  Emerging Global Diseases can work with businesses or agencies involved in international agriculture, medicine, or veterinary medicine. Examples include the USDA, the Public Health Service, the Peace Corp, the US Agency for International Development, the World Health Organization, and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. This field is growing and students with experience have ample opportunities for professional advancement and international travel.

Making a difference in human and animal health

Emerging and re-emerging diseases cause major health problems, in both humans and animals, in all countries, but especially in developing countries. Malaria, trypanosomiasis, leishmaniasis and other protozoal diseases cause mortality and morbidity in humans and food producing animals. There are over 300 million clinical cases of malaria annually and more than two million deaths each year from this disease. No effective vaccines currently exist for protozoan parasites, and traditional parasite control programs are the current means of prevention. The impact is equally serious for numerous diseases caused by bacteria and viruses.

Fundamental research is underway to discover new prevention or therapeutic approaches to these diseases. In addition, understanding of physical and cultural barriers, such as remoteness of location and slow acceptance of new practices, is important to develop and implement effective control programs. The Emerging Global Diseases program addresses these issues, and gives students opportunities to participate in cutting edge research and investigations of culture and physical geographic aspects of disease control.

Building on our strengths

The Emerging Global Diseases program capitalizes on historically strong programs at Iowa State University: parasitology, entomology, microbiology, immunobiology, biochemistry, pathology, food safety, environmental studies, veterinary medicine, and animal ecology.

Entomology administers the Emerging Global Diseases minor, which may be earned by completion of at least 15 credits in related courses taken at ISU. Core courses address issues important to the field, including molecular and cellular mechanisms of pathogen-host interaction, cultural and geographic differences that affect disease control, and the effects of international trade on animal and human disease. The following courses must be taken for a minor (3 courses): Micro 310 or Biol 353, Ent 374 or Ent 574, Soc 411 or Soc/Envs 345 or FSHN 342. The remainder of the credits may be selected from any of the above-listed courses not selected, and from other appropriate courses as approved by Emerging Global Diseases program advisers including: Ent 490; Ent 374L; Econ/Globe 385; HS 310; HS 350; VDPAM 428/528.

If you are interested in the undergraduate minor in Emerging Global Diseases, please talk to your academic advisor, and then contact Russ Jurenka rjurenka@iastate.edu who is the advisor for the minor.

If you'd like to apply for admission to Iowa State University, see the Iowa State admissions page.