Germs 101: Ten Germs That Shook the World


Our recent experience with Covid-19 has graphically illustrated the devastating effect of infectious microbial disease on the entire world. This course will focus on ten others—leprosy, influenza, TB, plague, polio, smallpox, cholera, syphilis, malaria, AIDS—that have had major political, social, economic, and historical effects upon mankind. We will discuss the discovery of their causative agents, mode of spread, their historic importance, our efforts to conquer them, and their potential future threats to humankind.

NOTE: This course is the first of a pair of related courses dealing with microbes and their relationship to man. The second, “Germs 201: Microbes Versus Man,” will be offered in the fall of 2024.




Optional readings and a glossary will be made available.

About the Instructor

Richard Neiman, MD, a graduate of Tufts University School of Medicine and professor emeritus of pathology and laboratory medicine at Indiana University School of Medicine, has had a lifelong interest in the history of medicine. He has had a close association with MSC, having served for many years on its board, as its president, and as a faculty member.





Richard Neiman



1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
6-week course begins April 8. There will be no class on 4/22. Class meets on 4/8, 4/15, 4/29, 5/6, 5/13, 5/20.




Class meets at UMA Brunswick Center, Orion Hall, Brunswick, Room 101