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Coursework at The Bush School

The Pandemic Preparedness and Disaster Response Concentration within the International Affairs Program curriculum at The Bush School brings students into the work of the Pandemic and Biosecurity Policy Program.  Through this coursework, students are able to develop a deeper understanding of the threats and challenges of infectious disease and pandemic preparedness.  The overarching goal of the concentration is to allow students to bridge the intellectual gap between science and policy. 

Students will complete the concentration with a broad understanding of recent pandemics and knowledge of the biological aspects of diseases with pandemic potential.  Additionally, students will gain an understanding of the impact pandemics have on domestic and international politics and the gaps in pandemic preparedness.  Students will understand the politics and science of pandemic preparedness and response and will be qualified to serve advisory on pandemic issues.


Course List

INTA 702: Infectious Diseases in the Developing World (core course)
This course is designed to introduce students to the challenges of infectious disease
control in the developing world. They examine the types of diseases that pose a pandemic
threat, how disease spreads, the social and economic consequences of disease, and the
factors that influence disease prevalence. The course also delves into real cases of
infectious disease outbreaks through in-depth case study analysis. One of the main goals
of this course is for students to think critically about the disease challenges in developing
countries, how diseases from the developing world pose a global threat, and ways that we
can work toward reducing that threat.
INTA 689: Bioterrorism
This course is designed to provide students with a broad overview of bioterrorism. It will
focus on various elements of bioterrorism including top agents, the principles of
weaponizing a disease, and dual use technology. In addition, students will conduct a case
study of the 2001 Anthrax attacks to gain a greater in-depth understanding of the policies
and issues surrounding bioterrorism response. Lastly, the class will participate in a
bioterrorism simulation.
INTA 689: Science and Policy
The pandemic capstone will examine timely issues related to pandemic policy issues, for
example, AMR or medical countermeasures. The topic for this course will change, but
the goal will remain to provide students with research experience in the area of pandemic
preparedness and response. The goal of this course is to bring together teams of
interdisciplinary students
HPCH 625: Health of Refugees and Displaced Populations
This course is designed to provide students with a complete understanding of the health
challenges of refugees and displaced populations. This includes an understanding of the
events that create the need for migration, health in refugee camps, health of those settled
in the community, and the policies surrounding refugees and displaced persons, which
can have an impact on health. The aim of this course is for students to understand the
different and unique challenges faced by refugees and by displaced persons in a time of
large-scale forced migration.

ENTO 635: Vector-Borne Based Disease Management and Response in Human and Animal Systems
Integration of arthropod vector biology and surveillance with response and management
of vector-borne disease outbreaks; complex interactions of diverse authorities in vector-
borne disease management and response; participation in designing, operating and
assessing outbreak response and management plans; capstone experience in the Vector
Biology and Vector-Borne Disease Response certiļ¬cate.

INTA 689: Agricultural Bioterrorism
This course extends beyond the general bioterrorism course to focus specifically on the
challenges and threats surrounding agricultural bioterrorism. The food and agriculture
structure around the world is vulnerable to attack and there are unique difficulties in
securing pastures and fields. This challenge persists in food production with security
lacking at many facilities. This course will examine the threats of agroterrorism, what is
currently being done to counter the threat, and what is still left to do. Students will be
challenged to think outside the box on new ways to protect our food infrastructure from
INTA 635: Great Famines, War, and Humanitarian Response
Exploration of famines, their various definitions, theories of their causes and
consequences; how those affected by them cope with the stages through which famines
pass and means by which they may be predicted, measured, and assessed.

PHEB 615: Disaster Epidemiology
Students will be taught the basic principles, terms, and epidemiological tools for use in
disasters. Topics to be covered include: 1) public health consequences associated with
various types of disasters; 2) rapid health assessment of disaster-affected populations; 3)
establishment of emergency surveillance systems in disaster settings; 4) the federal and
state disaster response framework; 5) selected case studies of disasters and their effects
on populations; and 6) topics related to disasters in international health settings. Each
class session will have a lecture component, team exercise/case study and discussion.

Outbreak: A One Health Field Investigation
Students and faculty will investigate an emerging infectious disease spillover (animal-to-
human) scenario unfolding across the state of Texas over the span of a four-week
intensive course. Participants from medical, nursing, public health, veterinary, as well as
other allied life science and policy backgrounds, will conduct epidemiological
investigations involving wildlife, livestock, blood-feeding vectors, and humans. Students
will view a necropsy, an autopsy, trap disease-spreading vectors, and perform clinical and
molecular laboratory diagnostics. Instruction will include pandemic-potential infectious
disease emergency management operations, communications, and reporting. The course
features collaboration among TAMU, Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service
(TEEX) Emergency Operations Training Center (EOTC), Texas Veterinary Medical
Diagnostics Laboratory (TVMDL), the University Texas Medical Branch-Galveston
(UTMB-G) and the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRVG).