IMMU 403
Basic Principles of Immunology and Hypersensitivity

The immune system encompasses a broad, highly interactive network of cells, tissues, and anatomical structures that protects us from infection and cancer, yet can also induce autoimmune disease. The course will explore the genetics, cell biology, and physiology that govern both our resistance to infection and the induction of autoimmune disease and allergy. Distinctions between the innate/natural immune system and the adaptive immune system will be discussed. The role of intestinal microbiota, inflammatory reactions, and vaccines will be also studied. Central to the discussions will be the role of cellular subsets (B cells, T cells, macrophages), serum proteins (immunoglobulins and complement), and cell surface receptors whose coordinated activities comprise the immune response. Specific immune pathologies or deficiencies associated with human disease will be also highlighted.


Familiarity with cell biology.

Learning Objectives:

  • Summarize key cellular components of the immune response.
  • Distinguish the function of innate/natural and adaptive immune systems.
  • Recall how the key antigen recognition molecules (TCR, BCR) arise from genetic recombination, and how the specificity of the immune repertoire is shaped.
  • Discuss the role of inflammation during infection, autoimmunity, and cancer.
  • Illustrate how cytokine activity affects cell signaling and function.
  • Predict how the immune system plays a role in the resistance to infection, induction of allergies, autoimmunity, and cancer.


Sample Syllabus


Class Type

Graduate Course




Summer 2022