In this class you will use your knowledge of cellular and molecular biology to understand how the immune system functions and malfunctions. As it is one of the branches of biology with most extensive vocabulary, we will emphasize the correct usage of terminology and apply it to critical reading of research articles. You will experience first-hand the cellular and molecular aspects of immunology in the lab, where you will apply what you have learned in class to answering a question of your own by researching, designing, planning and executing an experiment. In addition you will learn how to communicate your findings clearly in the language of immunology.
The objectives of this course are to:
- learn the fundamental concepts of immunology and the associated vocabulary
- understand how knowledge about the immune system is acquired
- learn to apply immunological knowledge to solving new problems
- become proficient with the use of the major investigation tools of immunology
- become comfortable discussing immunological ideas with various audiences
To achieve these objectives we will:
- have weekly quizzes to monitor understanding and retention of concepts and vocabulary
- have weekly discussions of original research articles, to understand the process of acquiring immunological knowledge
- ask "how do you know that?" of most facts in the textbook in addition to solving practice problems
- learn in practice the major experimental procedures during lab, which should make it progressively easier to come up with experimental solutions to problems
- have oral presentations of your experimental design in lab, poster presentations of your lab project at the end of the semester, and class presentations of a figure from an original article - all good ways to apply vocabulary and demonstrate understanding of the concepts and experimental approaches.
Websites created as a part of the class
In the course of conducting research in this class you will gain experience in identification and critical reading of scientific literature, experimental design, execution and troubleshooting, data collection and analysis, and scientific writing. Experimental procedures will include: mouse husbandry, harvesting and processing of lymphoid organs, tissue culture, cell purification by magnetic beads, cell proliferation assay, apoptosis/survival assay, and protein or nucleic acid isolation and detection as needed.
In this seminar, we will explore how the immune system perceives infection at the cellular and molecular level and communicates that information to the appropriate cells in the body. We will learn how the cells of the immune system “talk” to each other to coordinate the immune response, why they sometimes fail to communicate properly, and finally, after the battle with infection has been won, how the immune response is turned off. We will address these questions by critical reading of original research literature and pose new questions by writing research proposals.
Paper Deconstruction Exercise to help improve the reading and understanding research papers from primary literature and any paper writing of your own
This seminar is intended as an extension to the Immunology class (Bio307) where the basic vocabulary and concepts of immunology were introduced. Therefore this seminar is meant to build upon the knowledge from Bio307 and uses case studies of immunological disorders as a tool to
This capstone seminar is intended for senior undergraduate students pursuing a concentration in biochemistry. It is designed to promote synergy between the knowledge acquired in biology and chemistry classes to achieve a new perspective via the lens of biochemistry. Students from diverse major backgrounds, who have fulfilled the other course requirements for the concentration, will be encouraged to integrate concepts from their major disciplines with the key concepts of biochemistry by reading and critically analyzing the original scientific literature on the broad topic of signal transduction and regulation of gene expression.