Darwinian Dilemmas of the Pandemic Century


Imroze Khan
Imroze Khan

Course Dates

1st June – 22nd June
1st June – 22nd June


Tue, Wed –
4:30 to 6PM


6 Hours/Week


INR 12,000


28th May, 2021

Pre-college courses to explore specific disciplines

3-Weeks live, online courses during holidays

India's best faculty, amazing peers & learning support

Completion certificate from ashoka university

About The Course

Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution – Theodosius Dobzhansky.

Disease-causing pathogens are emerging at an unprecedented rate across the globe. Scientists are warning us against new human diseases and pandemics in the future. Have you wondered why some animals become carriers of severe disease-causing viruses but do not fall ill themselves? How did this ability originate and develop and how did they become different from humans? How might climate change and rapid human-made destruction of ecosystems affect these processes?

If these questions pique your curiosity, and you wonder how infectious diseases arise and spread, this is the course for you! We will study examples such as the SARS-CoV-2 infection to uncover the mechanisms underlying disease, infection, and evolution. We will investigate mankind’s relentless insurgence into the natural world, the ecological and evolutionary history of animals and pathogens and end by emphasizing how an understanding of these processes can help us predict when and where the next pandemic might occur.

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    Imroze Khan

    Ph.D. IISER Kolkata

    Imroze is an Assistant Professor of Biology at Ashoka University and a DBT-Wellcome Trust Intermediate Fellow. He is an evolutionary biologist with a special focus on understanding the selective forces that determine adaptive evolution of immune responses. His research combines diverse approaches – the use of experimental evolution and life history analyses, physiological and molecular manipulations to assess evolutionary and ecological outcomes. Among his other interests is to study the parallelism between evolutionary concepts and the cultural history of the world, and integrating the two within the framework of liberal education.

    He believes that evolutionary biology is a discipline that easily straddles the domains of natural sciences and humanities: it is a subject with historical implications and often has to grapple with the challenge of having to derive logical inferences from natural ‘experiments’ without the luxury of replication in reality, as is the case with history. He did his Bachelors in Chemistry at St. Xavier’s College, Calcutta and Masters in Biochemistry at University of Calcutta. He did his doctoral studies in Evolutionary Biology at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Kolkata. Before joining Ashoka, Imroze was a postdoctoral fellow at National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bangalore and a visiting researcher at the Free University of Berlin.

    Horizons Course Objectives

    Discover Your Interest and Aptitude

    Go Deep Into Specific Disciplines

    Learn with Amazing Peers from Schools across India

    Explore Unique Perspectives and Ideas

    Develop New Skills and Abilities

    Learning Support for the Course

    Hansika Chhabra

    Teaching Assistant

    Hansika Chhabra – Teaching Assistant
    Hansika Chhabra graduated with a Master’s in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Delhi in 2017. She is trained in Biology and was a research trainee in Neuroscience at IISc until 2019. Taking a break from academia, she acted as ‘coordinator’ for TheLifeofScience.com, a feminist science media collective. Her interests lie in science communication and mental health.

    Madhavi Menon

    Professor of English, Ashoka University

    Director, Centre for Studies in Gender & Sexuality

    Director of the PhD Programme in English

    Ph.D. Tufts University

    Madhavi Menon is an eminent theorist and scholar of gender, sexuality, politics, and identity. 

    She joined Ashoka University in 2013 as one of its founding faculty members. She went on to establish the university’s Centre for Gender & Sexuality Studies (CSGS), which is the first of its kind in India. Previously, she was a professor at Ithaca College and American University

    Most prominently known for her work on queer theory and Shakespeare, she has also edited the collection Shakesqueer and written three books on Shakespeare and sexuality. She is also most recently the author of Infinite Varieties: A History of Desire in India and Law of Desire: Rulings on Sex & Sexuality in India. 

    In addition to being Director of CSGS, she is the Director of the Ph.D. programme in English and Professor of English at Ashoka University.