St Petersburg University is launching a new online course ‘SARS-CoV-2 Coronaviruses and Acute Respiratory Viral Infection Pathogens’. Leading scientists will tell you: what viruses are; what their nature is; and what danger they can cause to humans.

The authors of the course are: Professor Aleksandr Markov, Head of the Department of General Physiology at St Petersburg University, Doctor of Biology; and Oksana Rybalchenko, Professor at the Department of Physiology at St Petersburg University, the supervisor of the course ‘Microbiology, Virology and Immunology’, Doctor of Biology. They will tell you about: the classification and genetics of viruses; and main methods of laboratory diagnosis and detection of viruses. The course will pay special attention to coronaviruses, including SARS-CoV-2 which is a COVID-19 pathogen. Moreover, the authors of the course will help to understand the relevant information about the new coronavirus. They will talk about the latest clinical trials related to the search for drugs and vaccines for COVID-19.

Primarily, the course is designed for students studying biology and medicine at Russian universities. Hoewever, it may be of interest to a wide range of people who are eager to understand information about the new coronavirus. The course starts on the Open edX platform on 13 July and will last 10 weeks. Signing up has already started.

For reference: St Petersburg University has already started more than a hundred online courses in various fields: from nuclear physics and blockchain technology to the Chinese language and legal theory. St Petersburg University online courses are available on the largest educational platforms in Russia and the world, including the Open edX patform, Coursera, and the Chinese platform XuetangX. With the transition of Russian universities to distance learning, the University has opened access to its online courses for all students in Russia with the possibility of transfer credits to their educational institutions. Additionally, free access to St Petersburg University courses has become available on the Coursera for Campus platform.