Thanks to the development of antibiotics and vaccines, many contagious diseases have been eliminated or controlled. Nonetheless, we are still confronted with a group of debilitating diseases that affect a growing number of people. Diseases such as diabetes, addiction, AIDS, influenza, Alzheimer's disease, and cancer are of great consequence to the individual and increasing concern to our society. Cancer will be the main topic of the course, but we will also learn about some other challenging diseases as well. We will consider the social and economic consequences of the topic of choice, but the main focus will be on the molecular and cellular basis of the disease, the difficulties in curing or treating the disease, as well new research approaches that offer hope for the future.