Cellular and Molecular Immunology, 15 cr
Why study immunology?
The role of our immune system is to defend us against microbial infection. This fascinating system is composed of a large number of cells, which both patrol our body by circulating in the blood and reside in various tissues. The cells have various kinds of expertise, performing different functions, and collaborate to form an efficient and effective defense system to fight infections. The collaboration involves intricate interactions between cells causing exchange of signals that together tailor an appropriate response to any given microbe. Indeed, the response to the microbes highlights all the mechanistic principles of cell biology in a highly relevant context.
However, our immune system does not only do good. In some persons the system is dysfunctional and as a consequence tissues of the body can be attacked and injured. In fact most of the diseases in humans involve the immune system. Thus, to study immunology is highly relevant for a future career in any discipline of human health, from the laboratory to pharmaceutical and biotech companies and the bedside.
Why choose this course?
The level of ambition is set high: the aim is to take the participant way beyond anecdotal knowledge of the immune system. The focus is on the molecular and cellular basis of the adaptive immune response, which is mediated by lymphocytes. You will learn how these cells are generated and how they communicate, differentiate and function to eliminate invading microbes. The organization and function of the immune system in mucosal tissues is a special focus of the course because most infections occur in this area of the body. Other areas of focus are regulation of the immune system in the normal steady state and its lack of regulation during hypersensitivity and autoimmunity.
The theoretical parts of the course are treated both in lectures and in problem solving group exercises. The first two weeks provide a general introduction to the immune system. Here the basic concepts and principles are introduced and will prepare you for the rest of the course. This second part of the course is divided into several themes, each of which is followed by a group exercise designed to summarize the information collected during the themes. Training in immunological techniques will be obtained through regular practicals during two weeks of the course. You will learn some techniques currently used in immunological research laboratories.
A written exam will be performed at the end of the course. Additional requirements are laboratory reports approved by laboratory teachers and active attendance at group exercises.
Education office, Ecology building
Telephone: +46 46-222 73 16
E-mail: Christina.Ledje [at] biol.lu.se
Telephone: +46 46-222 43 25
E-mail: dan.holmberg [at] med.lu.se
Lena M. Svensson
Telephone: +46 46-222 42 30
E-mail: lena_m.svensson [at] med.lu.se
"Janeway’s Immunobiology"; 9th edition; Murphy, Garland Publishing Inc 2016
The course is offered during the second part of the spring term.
The language of instruction is English.