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Fundamentals of Immunology

1st Term
Academic Year
2024 - 2025
Instruction Method
Asynchronous Online
Auditors Allowed
Yes, with instructor consent
Available to Undergraduate
Grading Restriction
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Course Instructor(s)
Contact Name
Alan Scott
Contact Email
Frequency Schedule
Every Year

Academic backgrounds in relevant scientific areas such as chemistry/biochemistry, biology/cell biology/molecular biology, environmental sciences, microbiology/immunology or biomedical engineering.

How do we recognize that we have been invaded by a pathogen? What are the tissues, cells and molecules that function in the innate and adaptive immune responses? What are the basic requirements to mount an effective, well-controlled immune response? How are antibodies formed and how do they work? How do vaccines protect us from disease?
Introduces the major molecular and cellular components of the immune system and provides a broad understanding of the biological concepts associated with the induction and regulation of innate and adaptive immune responses. Explores major mechanistic topic areas that include the innate recognition of pathogens, the molecular nature of antigens and antigen presentation; molecular basis for antibody and T-cell receptor structure and diversity; cytokine signaling in immune activation, T cell lineage commitment, cellular basis for antibody production, cellular basis for T cell activation and cellular immunity, and central and peripheral tolerance.
Learning Objectives
Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
  1. Categorize and differentiate pattern recognition receptors, their ligands and signal transduction events
  2. Examine the relationships between structure and function for antibodies, T cell receptors and MHC molecules
  3. Examine the genetic, molecular and cellular basis for the antigen specificity of antibody and T cell receptors and the role that receptor specific has in pathogen recognition and tolerance to self
  4. Articulate the roles cytokines play in the differentiation, activation and regulation of immune responses
  5. Examine the cellular and molecular basis for T cell development and selection
  6. Examine the cellular and molecular basis for antibody production and T cell-mediated immunity
Methods of Assessment
This course is evaluated as follows:
  • 40% Midterm
  • 40% Final Exam
  • 20% Quizzes
Special Comments

It should be emphasized that only students with a background the the basic cellular and molecular science will optimally profit from this course. It would be inappropriate for students without such backgrounds.