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Biologic Basis of Vaccine Development

East Baltimore
4th Term
International Health
Academic Year
2024 - 2025
Instruction Method
Class Time(s)
M, W, 3:30 - 4:50pm
Auditors Allowed
Yes, with instructor consent
Available to Undergraduate
Grading Restriction
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Course Instructor(s)
Contact Name
Anna Durbin
Contact Email
Frequency Schedule
Every Year

260.611-612, or equivalent familiarity with the principles of immunology. If you are concerned about meeting this requirement, please contact Dr. Bream or Dr. Durbin for guidance.

This course will provide you with a basic understanding of concepts important to vaccine development for pathogens for which there are no licensed vaccines. It is a core vaccine course for completion of the vaccine certificate but more importantly will help you as you learn more about vaccines and evaluate the properties of candidate vaccines.
Provides an overview of the biologic basis for development and evaluation of new viral, bacteriologic, parasitic, and cancer vaccines. Address the fundamental immunologic concepts of correlates of protective immunity underlying current and new strategies for immunization. Emphasizes the use of new technologies for expression of vaccine antigens, including recombinant DNA techniques and use of novel adjuvants and antigen-carrier systems to enhance the delivery/presentation of specific immunogens to effector sites.
Learning Objectives
Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
  1. Identify and describe the biological obstacles preventing development of effective vaccines for several important human pathogens
  2. Identify, analyze, and critique cutting-edge strategies for approaching these obstacles
  3. Describe several molecular mechanisms by which various adjuvants may potentiate vaccine induced immune responses
  4. Identify and explain multiple differences between the natural immune response to pathogens and the vaccine induced immune response to targeted antigens
  5. Analyze and explain the implications for bio-defense of vaccine related work on various pathogens
  6. Describe the advantages and disadvantages of several viral and bacterial vectors for the delivery of recombinant vaccine antigens or DNA
  7. Discuss the three signals necessary to trigger a primary immune response to a candidate vaccine antigen
  8. Discuss the important role that vaccine type (i.e. live vs. killed vs. subunit) and route of administration (IM vs. ID) can play in determining the types of immune responses elicited by immunization
Methods of Assessment
This course is evaluated as follows:
  • 85% Assignments
  • 15% Attendance