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“All Sorts of People”

This historical case study is based upon events surrounding the deadly 1721 smallpox epidemic in Boston. It recounts the story of Cotton Mather, hi ...


A Case Study Involving Influenza and the Influenza Vaccine

This interrupted case study presents a discussion about the benefits of the influenza vaccine between Mary, a nursing student, and her coworker, Ka ...


A Diet to Die For

This clicker case is designed to lead students to a conceptual understanding of oxidative phosphorylation (and, by analogy, photosynthesis). Studen ...


A Mysterious Illness on Vancouver Island, British Columbia

Something is killing organisms from dolphins to dogs to humans on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. What is it? How did it get to the island? How ...


A Question of Responsibility

Most students are aware that asbestos is a health hazard, but don’t know that “asbestos” refers to a variety of minerals with bot ...


A Rainbow of Sepia

This flipped case study examines the selective pressures that have affected the evolution of diverse human skin pigmentations. To prepare for the c ...


A Search for the Right Answer

In this role-playing case study on Parkinson’s disease, students learn about brain injury and brain repair mechanisms, the physical and psych ...


A Shot in the Arm or a Hard Pill to Swallow?

The immune response to a vaccine is influenced by the nature of the vaccine and the delivery method. In this interrupted case study, students trave ...


A Simple Plan

This case study introduces students to Dr. E.L. Trudeau, who performed a seminal early experiment validating the germ theory of infection. Part I i ...


Abracadabra

This case introduces students to HIV, its life cycle, treatment, and problems associated with treatment options. The case, which incorporates criti ...


African Illness: A Case of Parasites?

This case is based on a British patient presenting to a hospital with an array of symptoms after returning from an African safari. Students learn a ...


Agony and Ecstasy

This interrupted case study explores the scientific, legal, and societal complexities of repurposing an illicit substance, 3,4-methylenedioxymetham ...


AH-CHOO!

As the carbon dioxide concentration of our atmosphere increases and our climate warms, the hay fever season seems to be getting longer and more sev ...


All That Glitters May Not Be Gold

In this decision case, a congressional staffer must weigh a number of competing concerns and issues, including popular reactions to genetically mod ...


An Infectious Cure

This four-part interrupted case on phage therapy was developed for a freshmen non-majors course in molecular biology. The case begins with a story ...


And Baby Makes Four

This case study is based on stories reported in the media and is used to examine biological and ethical dimensions of assisted reproductive technol ...


Anencephaly in Yakima

This case study explores the recent (2010 - 2016) outbreak of neural tube defects, specifically anencephaly, in a rural three-county region of Wash ...


Anthrax Attack!

This case study presents a fictitious bio-terrorist plan to release anthrax in the United States. Students are assigned character roles and, throug ...


Antibiotic Resistance

Resistance to antibiotics arose very shortly after these "wonder drugs" were first introduced.  This case study examines resistance to the mos ...


Antibiotic Resistance in a Russian Prison

In this case study, students will have the opportunity to model the spread of tuberculosis and development of antibiotic resistance in a hypothetic ...


Are Vaccines and Autism Linked?

This case study was written to reinforce the understanding that a successful hypothesis accounts for all relevant observations and is falsifiable t ...


Bad Blood

The ethics of human experimentation are explored in this case about the infamous syphilis studies performed at the Tuskegee Institute from the 1930 ...


Biological Terrorism

In the weeks following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, anthrax-laced envelopes were mailed t ...


Bringing Home More than a Medal

This case study was inspired by the Zika virus outbreak that occurred around the time of the 2016 Olympic Games. Many athletes were fearful of atte ...


BSL-4: Authorized Personnel Only

This case study is based on the 2014 Ebola epidemic that spread to multiple highly populated countries in West Africa, making it the largest and mo ...


Buzz Off!

This case study was written to teach students about malaria, an infectious disease transmitted by the female Anopheles mosquitoes that thr ...


Campus Outbreak!

This PowerPoint-driven case study follows the progress of three undergraduate students as they attempt to model the rapid spread of an influenza ou ...


Cancer Cluster or Coincidence?

In this interrupted case study students analyze the complexities surrounding identification and confirmation of cancer clusters. The case challenge ...


Cell Phone Use and Cancer

In this case study, students analyze a scientific study, first by analyzing news articles reporting on the research and then by reading the origina ...


Chickens and Humans and Pigs, Oh My!

Influenza is a common topic in the popular press and a point of interest for many students.  This case study was written to promote interdisci ...


Childbed Fever

This case describes the pioneering work of Ignaz Semmelweis and his efforts to remedy the problem of childbed fever in mid-19th century Europe.&nbs ...


Chimpanzee Droppings Lead Scientists to Evolutionary Discovery

This interrupted case study focuses on the research of Dr. Beatrice Hahn, who investigates DNA sequences in chimpanzee droppings in order to explor ...


Cholera and Conflict in Yemen

This case study explores the 2016–2018 cholera outbreak in Yemen and how political and financial circumstances impacted relief efforts. Stude ...


Closing the Gap

In this problem-based learning/role playing case, students apply their knowledge of the biology of HIV/AIDS and antiretroviral therapy to developin ...


Coffee and Cigarettes

This analysis case explores second-hand smoke and its impact on the decision to institute a smoking ban in the outdoor seating area of a popular co ...


Coping with Infection

This interrupted case study introduces two distinct, but not mutually exclusive, strategies for defending against parasites: resistance and toleran ...


Coronavirus Quandaries for Patients with Cardiovascular Disease

This directed case study tells the story of “Arie,” an anatomy and physiology student who has recently switched to distance learning du ...


Danielle's Difficulty

The incidence of Clostridium difficile infection (CDI), including severe infection, has increased in both institutional settings and the g ...


Decoding the Flu

This "clicker case" was designed to develop students' ability to read and interpret information stored in DNA. Making use of personal response syst ...


Dengue in the Landscape

This interrupted case engages students in issues contributing to the increase of dengue fever in Jamaica. The overall goal of the case is to make c ...


Diabetes and Acid/Base Chemistry

This case study focuses on a teenage patient with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) who presents with severe acidosis, becomes combative and loses co ...


Disease Along the River: A Case Study and Cholera Outbreak Game

This case study centers on an active teaching game that simulates a cholera outbreak among five villages along a river, similar to the Haitian outb ...


Dr. Collins and the Case of the Mysterious Infection

In this case study, Dr. Collins must diagnose and prescribe treatment for a young patient with a serious infection. Students receive pieces of the ...


Drug Wars: An Epic Tale of Asthma and Bacterial Pneumonia

This case study is based on real events that the author experienced with her 10-year-old daughter. Although the names have been changed, all of the ...


Earthquakes Damage Cells, Too

Cholera is a commonly explored disorder when teaching transmembrane transport. Expanding on this theme, this case study also introduces intracellul ...


Eating PCBs from Lake Ontario - Is There an Effect or Not?

This case is based on an actual news release reporting on research about the effects of eating Lake Ontario fish contaminated with PCBs. Developed ...


Eating PCBs from Lake Ontario - The Clicker Version

This is a “clicker” adaptation of another case in our collection, “Eating PCBs from Lake Ontario: Is There an Effect or Not?&rdqu ...


Enigma in the ED

This PowerPoint-driven case study has students apply the “Steps of an Outbreak Investigation” from the Centers for Disease Control and ...


Ethnomedicine in Latino Communities of Madison

This PowerPoint-delivered case study guides the reader, a hypothetical student intern with the City of Madison (Wisconsin) Public Health Department ...


Face the Fats

This clicker case introduces students to the biochemistry of lipids through the story of Pete, a college student who begins to consider his nutriti ...


Family, Culture, Medicine

This four-part problem-based learning case examines cultural conflicts between Western medicine and non-Western traditional healing practices. Stud ...


Farmville Future?

Life has changed for the rural residents of Farmville County since the arrival of four concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs); the air has ...


Fat Facts

It's Mother's Day and Dolly, a high school senior, is making a Mediterranean salad for her mom, who is a college chemistry major and who likes to t ...


Fear!

In this PowerPoint-driven case study, students compare and contrast poliovirus and its effects with SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19. Before the class meeting, ...


From Cow Juice to a Billion Dollar Drug, With Some Breakthroughs in Between

Before the discovery of insulin in 1921, being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes was a death sentence. Despite the successful management of diabetes w ...


Hidden in Plain Sight

As nonliving entities, viruses face specific challenges when replicating in a host.  Avoiding the host immune system is something that every v ...


Holes in the Matter

This case centers on a fictional group of young adults who studied abroad together in Scotland as college students. A number of them develop diseas ...


Honeymoon Havoc

In this interrupted case study, students meet a pair of fictional newlyweds on their way to Australia for their honeymoon. Initially eager to enjoy ...


Host-Pathogen Interactions

This case study introduces students to the complex field of immunology and the wide variety of host-pathogen interactions that drive evolutionary c ...


Hunting the Ebola Reservoir Host

This one-hour introduction to the study of infectious diseases uses recent research on the Ebola reservoir host to motivate students to consider th ...


I Can Quit Anytime I Want

This “clicker case” explores the biological basis for the temporary euphoria that accompanies drug use as well as certain aspects of th ...


I Don't Need a Flu Shot!

In this “clicker case,” Ryan, a college student, receives an email from the campus health education office urging students to get a flu ...


Inactive Brains

Two speakers have been invited to a town hall meeting to help decide a hotly contested issue. A grant has been awarded to the school district with ...


Indigenous Knowledge and the Search for Medicine

This case study is based on a real scenario in which a high-profile ethnobotanical study in Chiapas, Mexico, ended when local and international org ...


Inside the Opioid Crisis

This case study follows the struggles of "James" as he copes with extreme pain resulting from an automobile accident.  Unable to manage his sy ...


Is it a Lemon or a Lyme?

This dilemma case was designed for a junior level immunology course. It could also be used in a microbiology or bacteriology course where the empha ...


Is the Data Dirty or Clean?

This case study challenges students to differentiate between anecdotal evidence and science-based evidence related to human health. The case uses a ...


Is There a Relationship Between Blood Type and Risk of Contracting COVID-19?

This directed case study introduces the basics of blood typing and discusses possible correlations for contracting COVID-19 by blood type. After st ...


It Takes a Herd

This directed case study places students in the role of committee members tasked with developing a strategic long-term plan for building up herd im ...


Just Lose It!

This case study introduces “Rose” and “Michael,” a couple with infertility issues that may be related to Rose’s weigh ...


Katrina's Troubled Waters

This case study explores some of the health issues brought to light during the flooding in New Orleans caused by Hurricane Katrina. The case encour ...


Keeping to the Straight and Narrow

This case study tells the story of a group of ten men, recently released from federal penitentiaries, who are housed in a residential reentry cente ...


Know Your Enemy, Know Yourself

This case study relates the actual experiences of a woman with breast cancer as she shares her experiences through a series of blog posts at variou ...


Let's Get This Course Started

The first day of class is often a reading of the syllabus, even when active learning approaches are used throughout the rest of the term. This inte ...


MDR Tuberculosis

In this case study on multi-drug resistant (MDR) tuberculosis, students consider ways in which to preserve health as a human right without subjecti ...


Michael's Story

This interdisciplinary case study introduces us to the Greens, a family with a recently diagnosed autistic child. Autism is one of several disorder ...


Microbial Pie, or What Did You Feed the Neighbors?

The Emergency Room seems busier than usual, and the cases coming in are all too similar.  Everyone seems to be suffering from the same symptom ...


Mini Cases in Psychoactive Drugs and Their Effects on the Brain

Designed for an upper-level psychology class titled Brain & Behavior, this series of mini-cases can be used in any undergraduate cours ...


Modern Frankenstein?

This interdisciplinary case study uses the format of a progressive disclosure to explore certain advances in biotechnology and evaluate them within ...


Morgan: A Case of Diabetes

This case teaches about the causes and effects of Type 2 diabetes by working through the various options available to a young Native American woman ...


MRSA in the NICU

DNA sequencing and analysis (bioinformatics) is an increasingly important tool for understanding biological data, including medical data. In this c ...


New Ways to Breathe

This case study follows a young cystic fibrosis (CF) patient named Lucas. Through Lucas's story and interactions between his parents and pediatrici ...


No Longer Fond of the Local Pond

When an elementary school teacher calls in sick to work, she finds out that she is not the only one who will be missing school that day.  Chil ...


No Longer Living the Sweet Life

In this interrupted case study, students will help “Dr. Gupta” investigate and assess complications arising in one of her long-term pat ...


Oil in the Amazon

In this case study, students participate in a game in which they assume the roles of various stakeholders in a proposed oil and gas proje ...


On a Clear Day You Can See Forever

In this case study, developed for an introductory environmental studies course, students grapple with the issue of air pollution, specifically the ...


Patient Zero

Emerging diseases and potential pandemics make the news nearly every year. Students (and everyone else) may wonder where new infectious diseases co ...


Peanut Butter to the Rescue?

This case study introduces students to ready-to-use therapeutic foods (RUTFs), products that have revolutionized the treatment of undernourished ch ...


Pesticides

By simulating a public hearing, this case study requires that students sift through and organize information on pesticide use presented to them fro ...


Proper Preparation

In this case study, students assume the role of health officials tasked with communicating to the public about the COVID-19 pandemic caused by seve ...


Resistance is Futile - Or Is It?

While the majority of people are prone to HIV infection, some individuals remain uninfected despite repeated exposure. This case study is based on ...


Resistance Is Futile, Or is It? The Clicker Version

This clicker case is an adaptation of a case by Annie Prud'homme-Généreux that was originally published by the National Center for Ca ...


Resurrection

This case study examines the molecular methods that were used to reverse engineer the 1918 influenza virus strain in order to try and solve the mys ...


Retro Goes Modern

This case study considers the evolution of HIV from SIV, as well as the evolution of HIV within humans by mutation rate. It also discusses the immu ...


Return of the Whoop!

This interrupted case study outlines the history of pertussis or whooping cough, a disease that in the early 1900s claimed the lives of more people ...


Revolt on the Tuberculosis Ward

Monique is a 30-year-old Haitian woman with advanced pulmonary tuberculosis who has been transferred from a tuberculosis sanatorium to a large gene ...


Sex and Vaccination

This case study focuses on the controversy surrounding the decision by Texas Governor Rick Perry to mandate the compulsory vaccination of girls in ...


Shannon and Jake

This case was developed to teach first-year medical students the basics of medical ethics. It describes a situation in which a family physician is ...


Sick on a South American Sugarcane Plantation

This case study familiarizes readers with a disease that affects millions of people in Central and South America while illustrating a relatively un ...


Social Distancing in the Midst of COVID-19

This directed case study is intended to give students insight into why social distancing is used to minimize the spread of infectious diseases. Stu ...


Statins Stat!

This case study describes a visit by "Naomi" to her physician, who upon seeing Naomi's bloodwork decides to prescribe her a cholesterol-lowering ag ...


Streams of Coal or Streams of Death?

Mary Beth was raised in Western Pennsylvania, an area where thousands of abandoned coal mines have led to extensive contamination of streams and a ...


Sunny Skies and a Lurking Microbe

Based on a true story, this case study chronicles the development of a wound infection that began as a minor cut that occurred while carrying out a ...


Super Bug

Sam, a pre-med college student, routinely gets dialysis and develops a urinary tract infection. The infection is from a bacterium that the news med ...


Take a Deep Breath

This interrupted case study tells the story of “Callie,” a 26-year-old baker from San Francisco who runs a successful new cupcake busin ...


Taking the Time to Understand the Uptick in Lyme

This clicker case study is based on the true story of Ella Buss, a young girl diagnosed with Lyme borreliosis (Lyme disease), one of the most frequ ...


The 1st New Disease of the 21st Century

This case study uses a PowerPoint (~1MB) combined with role-playing to present the epidemiology and pathophysiology of Severe Acute Respiratory Syn ...


The Case of a Tropical Disease and its Treatment

This case study highlights the epidemiological and socioeconomic factors associated with a disease which plagues thousands of people in Central and ...


The Case of the Newborn Nightmare

Three newborns left in the care of "Dr. Mark Maddison" have developed a mysterious rash. Under increasing pressure from hospital administrators and ...


The Dilution Effect

In this case study students are provided with information for piecing together the story of how forest fragmentation and biodiversity loss can affe ...


The Evolving Genetics of Disease Resistance

This interrupted case study for the flipped classroom applies evolutionary genetics research to human health. Students learn about a naturally occu ...


The Haemophilus Vaccine

This case study focuses on a young mother whose child attends a day care center where there has been an outbreak of bacterial meningitis. The case ...


The Medicinal Use of Marijuana

Whether marijuana should be legalized for medicinal purposes has been contested for decades. The claims, counter-claims, issues, and judgments in t ...


The Modern Caveman’s Dilemma

During the Paleolithic era, human life expectancy was only 33 years—roughly half of what it is today. We owe our more extended lives in part ...


The Mystery of the Blue Death

This historical case study describes the story of John Snow’s discovery of water-borne transmission of cholera in 19th-century London. Design ...


The Never-Ending Contamination

This case study discusses a possible national security crisis of a terrorist group stealing radioactive materials in an attempt to build and detona ...


The Path of a Pathogen

Scientists and healthcare professionals initially exhibited little concern over the Zika virus even after evidence of human infection was first ide ...


The Power of a Test

In this directed case study, students follow the story of “Marcus,” a recent college graduate who is working as a technician in a clini ...


The Unfortunate Nurse

Dengue (pronounced "deng-ee") is a viral disease transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito, usually Aedes aegypti. It is common in ...


The Water in Weberville

This case study presents a realistic example of drinking water contamination within a fictional local community and leads students through an abbre ...


The Write Weight

Kasey is a busy undergraduate student who is struggling with her body image and wants to lose weight. To aid in this process, Kasey keeps a food an ...


To Spray or Not to Spray

In this case study, students grapple with the complex issues surrounding the use of DDT to control malaria in the developing world. In their examin ...


To Vaccinate, or Not to Vaccinate

The case was prompted by a newspaper story about a couple who refused on religious grounds to have their son vaccinated even though vaccination is ...


Tragic Choices: Autism, Measles, and the MMR Vaccine

This case explores the purported connection between vaccines in general, and the MMR vaccine specifically, and autism. Students examine results fro ...


Tuna for Lunch?

This case examines mercury bioaccumulation and biomagnification within the context of the human health impacts of ingesting food (specifically, fis ...


Under the Knife and Completely Aware

This case study is based on a newspaper article about the suicide of Sherman Sizemore shortly after he underwent an exploratory laparotomy (abdomin ...


Vaccines, Social Media, and the Public Health

While the "vaccine controversy" has made headlines since the late 1990s, the emergence and popularity of social media has created a public opinion ...


What’s in Your Water?

This directed case study uses a fictionalized story about a family that has recently moved to the Washington DC area and is confronted with a situa ...


When Work Makes You Sick

This case study was inspired by a real-life scenario, and follows the story of Roberto, a migrant farmworker whose health is impacted by the usage ...


Where’s the Evidence?

This analysis case study uses a jigsaw activity in which students learn about characteristics of the novel coronavirus causing COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2 ...


Why Was the 1918 Influenza So Deadly?

In this intimate debate, students examine the causes of the devastation wrought by the 1918 Spanish Influenza pandemic. Students consider whether t ...