Graduate Courses in Immunology

 Ph.D. Study Plan | Dual Degreee Study Plan | Masters Study Plan

The Graduate Group in Immunology brings together faculty and students from diverse disciplines. The diverse nature within the group mirrors the presence of Schools of Veterinary and Human Medicine and Colleges of Agriculture and Biological Sciences, providing a unique and rich research environment. Emphasis of study within the Graduate Group in Immunology includes aspects of Infection and Immunity, Inflammation and Nutrition and Immunity.

Students are required to take a number of immunology classes that comprise the core curriculum of the program. Those classes are designed to teach the student the current knowledge base in immunology and enhance their ability to critically evaluate current literature. Students are also required to take classes in outside areas of study. Those areas depend on their interest and their particular field of study. Classes in those outside areas might pertain, but are not limited to topics in microbiology, molecular biology, neurobiology and pathology. Those classes should be chosen after consultation with the mentor and the assigned graduate student advisor. More information on those classes may be found at relevant websites.

Core Courses in Immunology

The following core courses are required for graduate students in the group:

IMM 201 Basic Immunology (Fall)

IMM 201 is a required graduate level course for first year Immunology Graduate Students. This course is a comprehensive introduction to basic principles of immunology and a prerequisite to IMM 293. Course content includes lectures based on immunology textbooks, in addition to discussion of concepts and current literature pertinent to lecture topics. Letter grading is based on discussion participation, one midterm and a comprehensive final exam.

IMM 201L & 202L Laboratory Rotations (Fall, Winter)

Ph.D. students enroll in this class to participate in laboratory rotations during the Fall and Winter quarters in their first year. They will conduct 3 rotations of 6 weeks duration in the laboratories of graduate group faculty members to be identified in consultation with the graduate adviser. Following each rotation the student must submit a written research report and present their research findings in a short oral presentation to the class.

IMM 293 Current Concepts in Immunology (Winter)

This is an advanced level graduate course in Immunology. IMM 201 is a prerequisite for this class. It is a required course for all Immunology Graduate Students. Topics include: Anitmicrobial peptides and other innate immune defenses, Inflammation and leukocyte migration, Macrophage and Dendritic cell biology, T and B cell development and function and current models of immunology. The class is divided into a lecture and a discussion part. In the lecture part of the class students read recent literature reviews as background to obtain and comprehend up-to-date information on various aspects of both innate and adaptive immunity. In the second part of the class research papers on those topics are reviewed and discussed to enhance the students ability to design and critically evaluate experiments. Letter grading is based on 2 comprehensive take-home exams, a written evaluation of a recent research article and participation in discussion.

Selective Courses in Immunology

6-10 units of selective course work is required. The following selective courses are also offered by the group:

  • IMM 294
  • RAL 209
  • IMM 297
  • NUT 251
  • IMM 203
  • IMM 204
    • IMM 203 Cancer Immunology (Spring, alternate years)

      This course covers concepts in cancer biology, progression and immune evasion. It will also cover topics such as: immune surveillance, immune effector mechanisms and current concepts in immune therapy.

      IMM 204 Innate Immunology (Spring, alternate years)

      This course covers current topics in the field of innate immunity through student seminar presentations and critical evaluation of the literature. Concepts include: pathogen recognition, intercellular communication, specialized cellular function and effector/signaling molecules.

      IMM 294 Clinical Immunology (Winter)

      This course covers the clinical application of principles of hypersensitivity, autoimmunity, transplantation, immunodeficiency, and tumor immunology. The material is case based and focuses on both human and animal (veterinary species) examples of diseases. In the two hours session a faculty lecturer presents approximately one hour; during the second hour a student presents a case related to the day's topic. The group addresses questions posed about the case and discusses various aspects of immunopathogenesis. The grading is 50% midterm and 50% final examination. The prerequisite is second year standing in the Immunology graduate program, or consent of instructor.

      IMM 297 Mucosal Immunology (Spring, alternate years)

      This class is held in a journal club format. Expert lecturers assign recent research papers on various aspects of immunology as they pertain to immune defenses at different mucosal surfaces of the body, including respiratory tract, gastrointestinal tract and urogenital tract. Following a short overview lecture by faculty to provide the context of current knowledge in the field, students will be selected to participate in presenting the major findings of the paper.

      NUT 251 Nutrition and Immunity (Winter, alternate years)

      This course explores the mechanisms by which nutrition and diet affect the immune system and resistance to infectious diseases and cancer. It also explores the impact of an immune response on metabolism, appetite, and nutritional needs. The class has both lectures and discussions.

      RAL 209 Current Topics in Immunology: From Presentations to Grants (Winter)

      Current developments in various aspects of immunology and their interrelationships. Focus on areas of immunology not currently covered in the basic and advanced immunology courses. The student will learn strategies for effective oral presentations, writing of reviews and the basics of grant preparation.

      Seminars in Immunology

      2-3 units per year (one participatory & one non-participatory) until advancement to candidacy. The following seminars are offered by the group:

    • IMM 296
    • PMI 291A
    • PMI 298-42 Immunology Breakfast Club
    • MMI 209
    • PMI 290
      • IMM 296 Advanced Topics in Immunology (Fall)

        This course offers presentations by faculty on advanced topics in immunology and their research. It is a required course for all Immunology Graduate Students. Recent topics encompassed studies of integrins, galectins, chemokine and antigen receptors in varied research areas such as pulmonology, dermatology, autoimmune and infectious diseases. Students are expected to complete one short writing assignment.

        PMI 291A Seminar in Immunology (Fall)

        This course stresses student participation in presentations and discussion, and is a companion course to IMM 201.

        PMI 298-42 The Immunology Breakfast Club (Fall, Winter, Spring)

        This is a student-run discussion group intended particularly for students before they advance to candidacy (or masters exit exam). Students decide each quarter on a discussion topic in immunology of choice. Each student presents on a topic of her/his choice. Faculty may be invited to discuss particular areas of interest.

        Elective Courses

        8 units of elective course work is required. Please see the degree requirements for details.

        Designated Emphasis

        Graduate students in Immunology may participate in a Designated Emphasis, a specialization that might include a new method of inquiry or an important field of application, which is related to two or more existing Ph.D. programs. The Designated Emphasis is awarded in conjunction with the Ph.D. degree and is signified by a transcript designation; for example, "Ph.D. in Immunology with a Designated Emphasis in Biotechnology".

        The Graduate Group in Immunology is associated with four inter-graduate programs: Biotechnology, Host-Microbe Interaction, Translational Research and Biology of Vector-Borne Diseases.

        Students must fulfill additional courses and other requirements specified by these programs before the qualifying exam can be taken. For more information on the additional requirements contact those programs directly.